Change is good. Especially if you want to avoid Island Time. The Bahamas is no longer a home away from home for PokerStars. Yesterday in Barcelona, the suits announced the triumphant return of the PokerStars Players Championship. The next one will go down in 2020 in Barcelona. How about that? At this time next year, we will be gushing about the newest PSPC champion.
Spain's Roman Colillas won the inaugural PSPC event in the Bahamas after fading a field of 1,039 runners to win $5.1 million at Atlantis. French pro Julien Martini took second place for a score worth nearly $3 million after Martini lost a heads up battle to Colillas. The 2019 PSPC prize pool in the Bahamas set records for a $25K event. The first PSPC prize pool topped almost $26.5 million.
Colillas won his seat via a Platinum Pass. His story is the stuff dreams are made of! Roman's run is a wet dream for marketing execs. It's way better than some random German kid in a scarf adding another seven-figure score to his Hendon Mob page. PokerStars was so psyched that Colillas won, that they tapped him to become a sponsored player. Hence, the Spanish Chris Moneymaker (aka Senor Moneymaker) was born.
A ton (320 in reality) of Platinum Passes were doled out prior to the 2019 PSPC. Who knows how many they will give out next year? They gave out Platinum Passes to poker media stars like Kevin Mathers. They awarded Platinum Passes to up-and-coming vloggers and streamers. They sweetened random tournaments across the PokerStars universe with an added Platinum Pass to the winner of both live and online events.
I even think they had one contest where someone had to wrestle a bear and if they survived, then they would go to the Bahamas. With the bear of course as their +1. (Editor's note: before we have the legal department from PokerStars HQ coming down hard on us for incorrect information… it was actually one ornery goose and not an actual bear… but bear wrestling sounded so badass that we allowed a bit of artistic leeway in the creation of this clicky-bait infomercial PR blast rewrite.)
Everyone is betting on the number of entrants for the 2020 PSPC. Will or will it not pass 1K? Can it get up to 1,250 or higher? Will it fail to crack 888 runners? Very few people (e.g. industry experts, half-baked bloggers, haters, forum denizens, my Aunt Carrie, Joey Tushy Face from the Borgata) thought the PSPC would never crack 1K runners in the first one. Sure, the numbers were juiced and juked worst than crime stats in West Baltimore. But let's be honest here… PokerStars took a hit with the PSPC, because almost one-third of the field qualified thru Platinum Passes.
So, will the luster of the PSPC wear off and bring numbers down? Or perhaps it truly was a big hit, despite the number of Platinum Passes. Will the location in Spain actually increase interest and boost satellite entrants? Time will tell. One thing is for certain, this guy would rather spend a week in Barcelona than a week in the Bahamas.
A Platinum Pass for the 2020 PSPC is valued at €26,000 or roughly $30K USD. The value is similar to the initial Platinum Pass.
According to PokerStars, a Platinum Pass includes...
- Buy-in to the €22,500 PSPC 2020 event
- Six nights hotel accommodation for you and a guest in a five-star hotel
- Airport transfers
- PSPC Merchandise
- €1,250 expenses
Plus every Platinum Pass winner gets special access to Platinum Pass winner experiences during their time in Spain.