I spent two weeks in Las Vegas back in July. While there, I had the opportunity to catch up with the PokerStars executives behind the PSPC, David Carrion and Marta Norton, together with PCA Tournament Director Mike Ward and PokerStars players’ representative Garry Gates. Of course, I also met with many players who will be playing the PSPC.
As soon as I heard about the PSPC, I knew that this was something special, but the more I think about it and talk to people about it, the more I realise that this is so much more than simply special.
I was fortunate enough to be Tournament Director for the Guangdong Asia Millions at PokerStars Macau, and I witnessed a number of Chinese businessmen mixing with most of the world’s best high-limit tournament pros.
However, the PSPC takes the fascination to the next level. Recreational players and businessmen with large bankrolls will mix with top professionals and the 320 Platinum Pass winners, the vast majority of whom have never played a $25,000 buy-in event. What’s more, PokerStars is adding $1,000,000 to first place. You won’t find value like this in any other tournament.
I am already aware that some regular players who have never played a $25,000 event are intending to sell packages of themselves for the PSPC. This, I believe, could create a snowball effect.
First, let’s look at the best prize pools for major poker events in USD*
|WSOP Main Event (2006)||$82,512,162|
|One Drop USD$1,000,000 Buy-in (2012)||$42,666,672|
|Macau High Stakes Challenge SHR USD258k Buy-in (2012)||$23,511,128|
|Super High Roller Bowl Aria USD500k Buy-in (2015)||$21,500,000|
|WPT Championship USD$25,000 Buy-in (2007)||$15,495,750|
|GuangDong Asia Millions PokerStars Macau USD129K Buy-in (2013)||$15,376,897|
|PCA Main Event USD$10,000 Buy-in (2011)||$15,132,000|
|EPT Grand Final Monte Carlo Euro10,000 Buy-in (2008)||$13,323,417|
With regard the PSPC prize pool, before we accept our first direct buy-in, we are already totaling $9,000,000. If you don’t count the Super High Roller Events (in bold), I feel like the PSPC is a lock to be the biggest prize pool outside of the WSOP Main Event, surpassing both PokerStars’ and the WPT’s long-time established prize pool records.
Here is the prize pool including the 1 million added to 1st place based on the following PSPC participant numbers:
Garry Gates is in contact with a significant proportion of prospective PSPC players, and he is especially buoyed by the feedback these players are offering. Like me, he feels 600 players is a conservative PSPC player estimate and believes there are good prospects for a number more than 800! We could be about to experience the biggest $25,000 event in history!
Now, when you talk to David Carrion about the PSPC, his intention was not to create the biggest $25,000 event in the history of poker. His intention was to create a tournament for the players, by the players, and to re-emphasize to the community that poker is still very much a part of our DNA.
This is not just about us putting $9,000,000 in a tournament. We want the players to be a part of this, too!
While most poker players are aware that the PSPC is a $25,000 to be held during the PCA at The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, the full details of the event are not yet public. That’s because we’re seeking player preferences in relation to the format of the event, hence the name: the Players’ Championship.
Here is what we have decided so far:
– There will be no rake/administration fee for the event, meaning the only deduction from the prize pool will be the standard staff deduction of 2% for that level buy-in.
– In total, 320 $30,000 Platinum passes will be awarded, each providing the winner a PSPC entry plus accommodation and expenses credit.
– $1,000,000 will be awarded as added value for first place.
– The event will be held across five days, January 6-10, 2019.
– The PSPC will be a freezeout.
Over the coming weeks, we will be seeking feedback on many aspects of the tournament format through a questionnaire sent to all Platinum Pass winners and to players expected to enter the event. We will also be asking the wider poker community for their views on this. Once we have collated all the information, we will discuss the findings internally and with a group of players and then announce what the tournament will look like.
This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyday players to take part in a $25,000 event with a huge prize pool. Moreover, the event will be a tremendous value for all, no matter whether they win a Platinum Pass, qualify online via PokerStars, or intend to sell pieces of themselves to raise their buy-in.
Platinum Passes are being awarded globally at many PokerStars LIVE events and the burgeoning MoneyMaker Tour in the USA. In a few weeks’ time, we will be awarding ten Platinum Passes at the biggest EPT in Barcelona!
So get cracking now on securing your seat in the 2019 PSPC at the PCA.