Three continents, three Platinum Passes

The long-awaited return of the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC) is just two months away. And as the January 30 start date rapidly approaches, opportunities to win a Platinum Pass to pay for the pricey $25,000 buy-in are dwindling. On Monday, PokerStars announced several new opportunities for poker players to do earn one of these coveted tickets.

In the United States, PokerStars added a final stop on the Road to PSPC-USA schedule at Resorts World Las Vegas. Running December 8-11, the $400 buy-in tournament has a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool, but more importantly, PokerStars is also giving the winner a Platinum Pass worth approximately $30,000.

The Platinum Pass includes the $25,000 PSPC buy-in, six nights in a five-star hotel for the winner and a guest, $1,900 in expense money (read: for flights), airport transfers, and Platinum Pass “winner experiences.”

The Resorts World tourney will have three starting flights December 8-10, with the final day on December 11.

Shifting continents, players at the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP) in Sao Paolo this week will have a chance to win a Platinum Pass not at the BSOP proper, but at the after party. On December 4, at the BSOP Millions After Party, PokerStars is hosting an online event with a buy-in of just $1.10.

In its Monday morning announcement, the poker room did not say anything about the prize pool, but we know that a Platinum Pass is being awarded and with a buy-in that low, that’s really all that matters. One would assume that the tournament will have a standard payout structure, aside from the Platinum Pass.

Shifting continents once again, the third Platinum Pass announcement on Monday was for players in France. PokerStars streamer Gotaga is streaming a poker night with his friends on December 2, live from his Paris studio. Among the guests are his brother Ronan, Twitch streamers Domingo and Xari, French rapper Rim’K, and YouTuber JOYCA.

During the stream, PokerStars will host a freeroll (we assume its on the .fr version of the poker room, though the press release does not specify) for the broadcast’s viewers with a €20,000 prize pool and a Platinum Pass for the taking.

Four years later

The first and only PSPC was held in January 2019 after about a year of promotion by PokerStars. Super high roller tournaments have become the norm over the last several years, but the idea behind this one was to make it more accessible to everybody via the Platinum Pass. PokerStars wanted players of all bankrolls to be able to compete for what it thought would be a massive prize pool.

And it worked out. During 2018, PokerStars handed out 320 Platinum Passes and a total of 1,039 players entered the PSPC, which was an all-time record for a $25,000 buy-in live tournament. Ramon Colillas, who was one of the Platinum Pass recipients, won the tournament and $5.1 million.

PokerStars planned to continue with the PSPC in subsequent years (though possibly skipping a year to allow for the momentum to build again), but the pandemic got in the way. Once Stars determined it could host the event again, it needed time for qualifiers, planning, marketing, and the like, so it waited until January 2023 for the next one.

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