The UK run of the Moneymaker Tour Road to PSPC rolls into London for the second time this week, with two more Day 1 flights of the £140 Main Event taking place today (Thursday) at Aspers Casino in Stratford.
If you want to get in on the action, you still can. Tomorrow (Friday 8 November) will see the final two starting slights, kicking off at 12 pm and 6 pm. It’s worth getting down to Aspers if you can, as the winner will not only bank thousands of pounds, they’ll also win themselves a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) 2020.
Chris Moneymaker himself is already through, dominating the first flight and bagging up 470,000 from his 30,000 starting stack. The PokerStars Ambassador has been playing plenty of poker of late, coming straight to London from Newcastle where the Moneymaker Tour stopped off last weekend.
“It’s a great city, and it was really fun to head up there,” Moneymaker tells us. “The only trouble for me was trying to understand the Newcastle accent!”
Hull’s Daniel Stancer, a 32-year-old professional £1/£2 grinder, took down the event for £7,989 plus the Platinum Pass worth roughly £26,000. That means he’ll now be playing the €22,500 buy-in PSPC 2020 in Barcelona next August.
“I base the success of these tournaments on a couple of things: one, we get good winners. And two, everybody has a good time. I believe everyone has had a blast at the first two stops.
“We were in London a couple of weeks ago and the guy who won the Platinum Pass [Andy Barham] cried, so right away it was a phenomenal experience to be a part of.”
Barham won £7,501 for his victory, but like Stancer, it was the Platinum Pass he really wanted.
“Anytime you give away a Platinum Pass it’s exciting,” Moneymaker says. “Last year I gave one to this guy Damon Ferrante and he cried too, which made me tear up. Anytime I get the opportunity to give away a pass I know that I’m potentially changing someone’s life forever, but if nothing else I’m giving them a really cool experience.”
Their time with Moneymaker doesn’t just end after the tournament is over though, as he explains.
“I’m very blessed to be able to do what I do. I feel like a game show host of sorts. I get to give away good prizes, but it doesn’t end when they get the Pass. They’ll then join a Facebook group with all the PokerStars Ambassadors and other winners, even those from last year. Everyone has become really good friends, it’s like a family, a really close-knit community of people sharing videos and strategy.”
One of the things Moneymaker likes about the Tour compared with last year is the increase in buy-in, from $86 in 2018 to £140 (UK) and $360 (USA) in 2019.
“Obviously the prize is quite top-heavy, but even if you come and finish fourth and walk away with a few thousand pounds or dollars, that’s still a good tournament, and at the end of the day, you’re happy you played and won a nice score,” he says.
Despite what’s still a relatively low buy-in compared with other Main Events, we’ve also seen big-name pros making the journey to take their shots at the Moneymaker Tour, most notably a seasoned Scot who showed up in Newcastle.
“It’s great to have guys like Niall Farrell and some other pros come and play these events, but at the end of the day, if I had to pick a winner, it would be someone local,” Moneymaker says. “The pros are going to be at the PSPC anyway, so it’s always nice when you get an amateur winner.”
The Aspers edition of the Moneymaker Tour is special, as not one but two Platinum Passes are being handed out. One will go to the winner of the Main Event, while eight online qualifiers from the Platinum Pass Experience will battle it out live on stream this Saturday (November 9) for the other.
From there the Tour continues into Dublin (Nov 22-24), then back across the pond at Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood (Dec 11-15) and California’s Stones Gambling Hall (Jan 31-Feb 9).
“We also have a stop in Brazil coming up which I’m really looking forward to,” Moneymaker says. “We’re supporting Andre Akkari’s Road to PSPC, which should be fun. I’ve been to Brazil a couple of times and it’s a really fun environment. I think Brazil might be the biggest stop we have on the Moneymaker Tour. They’re very passionate about poker, and the number of people who play there is astounding. I hope for a really big turnout down there, and in Miami too.”
If you haven’t played at a Moneymaker Tour Road to PSPC event yet, don’t fret. Moneymaker, a seasoned interviewer, ends our chat with a teaser.
“We’ll have a bunch of new locations announced soon, and when we announce those you’ll find them right here on the PokerStars Blog.”
Ready to sign up for PokerStars and go for your own Platinum Pass? Click here to get an account.