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PokerStars Closes in on $8 Million Awarded in Platinum Passes to 2019 PSPC

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It’s one of the most audacious concepts for a poker tournament ever conceived but PokerStars has now awarded over $6.6 million in free packages to the inaugural $25,000 buy-in PSPC set to take place this winter.

The online poker giant awarded three more $30,000 packages, which the company brands as Platinum Passes, over the weekend. Two of the packages were given away by Team PokerStars pros Daniel Negreanu and Jen Shahade while the third was awarded to a recent winner on the Moneymaker Tour.

From the outset, PokerStars promised it would contribute over $8 million to the PSPC prize pool in the form of 320 Platinum Passes in addition to an extra $1 million just for the eventual winner. The 2019 PSPC is scheduled to take place in the Bahamas in January.

PokerStars has now given away roughly 222 packages (which represents $6.6 million in value added to the PSPC) with just under 100 more set to be awarded before 2018 comes to a close.

Biggest $25,000 Buy-in Tournament in History

What makes the PSPC so unique in the poker world is that the field will not be made up entirely of full-time grinders.

In fact, many of the qualifiers are completely recreational players who won their packages in contests that were only tangentially related to poker.

For instance, this weekend Daniel Negreanu awarded his Platinum Pass based on a contest of his own invention called #DonateWithDaniel where he asked players to tell him about a charity or cause close to their hearts.

He ended up picking Ireland’s Jordan Matthews, who plans on donating all potential winnings at the PSPC.

Meanwhile, Jen Shahade, who is a chess grandmaster, asked followers to come up with their own game that combines poker and chess. Warren Sheaves invented a game called Chess Draw and just like that locked up a $30,000 Platinum Pass.

There are a handful of poker pros who’ve managed to snag Platinum Passes, including Kenny Tran, David Peters and Mikita Badziakouski, but a large percentage are recreational players.

The mass infusion of recreational players will create a unique dynamic at the PSPC, not unlike the famous WSOP Main Event, where professional players will likely turn up en masse in an effort to cash in on what should be a solid value proposition.

Rec players and pros alike will benefit from the jacked-up prize pool, which will likely top $15 million even by conservative estimates. Regardless, it’s going to smash records for the biggest $25,000 buy-in event ever held.

Over $1.4 Million in Platinum Passes Still Up for Grabs

There’s still plenty of time to snag a Platinum Pass with PokerStars set to award over $1.4 million in the last few months of 2018.

The most obvious way to win a Platinum Pass is to win one of the numerous freerolls that will be held on the PokerStars online software. The PokerStars lobby has more information about exactly what events will award a pass.

Two more passes will be awarded during Jason Somerville’s famous Run it Up Reno festival, which is currently taking place at the Peppermill Resort & Casino in Reno.

Jaime Staples is also set to award another Platinum Pass in his #myultimatesweat competition. He’s already narrowed it down to six inspirational finalists.

There are also a number of live events where it’s possible to win a Platinum Pass. There’s a chance PokerStars might even throw in a few more packages before the qualifying season is finished. Here’s a look at the upcoming live tournaments that award passes:

EventDatePlatinum Passes
Run it Up RenoOct. 19-292
London Super SeriesNov. 13-183
MEGASTACK DublinNov. 15-181
Belgian Poker Challenge NamurNov. 25-Dec. 11
EPT PragueDec. 7-182

Each package is valued at $30,000 and includes:

  • The $25,000 buy-in to the PSPC
  • Six nights’ accommodation at Atlantis Resort Nassau
  • $2,000 in travel expenses
  • Yet-to-be-announced rewards and surprises