As I write this, my PokerStars colleagues are finishing their breakfast in Barcelona and preparing for another day of high-energy, crazy-stakes tournament poker. The €100k buy-in event has a €1.6 million first prize. While nine hours to the west, people have put up $86 (I mean “eighty-six dollars” – that’s not some code for $8,600), hoping to win a $30,000 Platinum Pass. $30,000 is a big chunk of money, but it’s round-off error in the Barcelona tournament – when I said “€1.6 million” I literally rounded off more than $30k.
Nobody coming to Lucky Chances expects to get rich. Of course, if they win the Platinum Pass, then maybe – maybe – they have a shot at the big money at the Atlantis. But that’s not why they’re here. They’re here because that’s what they do on Saturday – they come down to Lucky Chances to play in the poker tournament because (wait for this…) they love poker tournaments. I can’t tell you how many people, well into the tournament, said to me, “So, what’s this Platinum Pass thing?”
Vlogger Matt Vaughan reported a conversation between two players, where one said with great assurance, “No, Chris Moneymaker isn’t going to be here – it’s just for advertising.” “Did you correct them?” “No, I didn’t.” “Then maybe you could still get a prop bet down.”
Chris walked into the room and the place lit up. “You mean we’re going to have a poker tournament, and Chris Moneymaker is here, and there’s this Platinum Pass thing that you’re giving away?” “Yep.”
“Then,” they said, “let’s have a party.”
You could collect every chip stack in the room and probably not come up with a buy-in for the €100k event in Barcelona. But the joie du jeu is every bit as strong, and these folks take unabashed delight in rubbing elbows with a true poker legend.
If you love poker, you would have loved being at Lucky Chances this weekend.