PokerStars announced the creation of a new, extremely ambitious live tournament that it will host at the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure: the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship or PSPC for short.
Despite its recent emergence as a top-flight live tournament host, partypoker’s big announcement was in the online realm, as the site announced it would be quadrupling the guarantee of its flagship online tournament, the partypoker MILLIONS Online.
US Poker has put together a tale-of-the-tape to see how these tournaments stack up against each other.
What tournament has the edge?
The PokerStars PSPC will be held at the Bahamas, an island paradise, in January.
Of course, for the people that don’t win their way to the PSPC via a Platinum Pass (which covers up to $5,000 of expenses), that island paradise comes at a price, as the PCA is one of the costliest venues in poker.
On the other hand, partypoker is hosting its tournament online.
That makes the tournament more accessible and cuts down on any possible expenses for players who have access to partypoker’s global platform, but it does shut out players in the US and other jurisdictions.
These two approaches really highlight the different marketing approaches each company is taking. PokerStars continues to focus on a total experience, with partypoker focused on providing pros with appealing and convenient tournaments.
At $25,000 the PSPC seems like an exclusive tournament. But with PokerStars giving away over 300 seats, plus online qualifiers, expect way more recreational players to be registered for the PSPC than any $25k tournament in poker’s history.
The PSPC tournament being rake-free is also a nice bonus.
At $5,300 ($5,000 buy-in plus a $300 tournament fee), partypoker’s buy-in is pretty hefty for an online event, but the site will rely heavily on qualifiers to give the average poker player a chance to win a seat.
Comparing the cost of the two tournaments is a bit like comparing an apple to an orange, but because of the rake-free component, I’m giving a slight edge to PokerStars even though the tournament is more expensive.
There’s no official guarantee for the PSPC, but there really doesn’t need to be. There will be at least $9 million in the prize-pool from Platinum Pass winners and the extra $1 million PokerStars is awarding to the winner.
At the end of the day, the PSPC should have a total prize-pool of at least $15 million and more likely approaching $20 million.
The partypoker MILLIONS Online has a $20 million guarantee, which will make it the richest online poker tournament of all time, easily beating the $12.2 million generated by the 2010 PokerStars WCOOP Main Event.
As noted, PokerStars is sweetening the PSPC pot by $1 million.
Additionally, the site is also giving away roughly 320 Platinum Passes, which will add $8 million to the prize-pool – each Platinum Pass includes a $25,000 seat and up to $5,000 in expenses.
partypoker isn’t adding money to the pot, but like PokerStars, they’re giving away plenty of free seats. 480 to put an exact number on it.
All told, partypoker will be giving away close to 500, $5,300 tickets – 420 through an online leaderboard and another 60 at live events – worth about $2.5 million.
Additionally, partypoker is giving away over 1,600 satellite tickets to the top 20 finishers on the low- and mid-level leaderboards. These tickets have values of $530, $109 and $22. The free satellite tickets are likely worth about $250,000 and will send another 50 or so seats.
However, it’s unlikely the full 550 tickets will be used to enter the partypoker MILLIONS Online, as partypoker players can win more than one prize-package; Stars players cannot.