PokerStars Uses Feedback to Shape PSPC

PokerStars Uses Feedback to Shape PSPC

The PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship has been building buzz for months, even though it’s not set to take place until January 2019. Frequently called the PSPC, the tournament is a set to be the largest $25,000 buy-in event in poker’s history.

The tournament initially attracted so much attention because of the investment that PokerStars made in it from the start by committing $8 million to the prize pool on top of the buy-ins, as well as an additional $1 million to the first-place prize alone. Online poker sometimes sees overlays in its tournaments, but it’s not for a lack of operators trying to make their guarantees in buy-ins. Adding money to prize pools is generally not something an operator hopes to do. But the PSPC is a different beast, with PokerStars willing to add $9 million to the prize pool long before most players even have the chance to buy in.

More information has been released intermittently about the event as it nears – though it is still five months out – and there is now a chance for the players who win their seats into the tournament to contribute their opinions, as well as the poker community at large. This will allow PokerStars to create a tournament that is truly based on player feedback.

Some Decisions Already Made

As mentioned, the PSPC tournament will be open to any player able to buy in for $25,000. And that tournament will take place at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas from January 6-10, 2019.

There are also players winning their seats in the form of Platinum Passes that have been and will continue to be awarded to players around the world. The Platinum Pass is worth $30,000, as it includes the buy-in for the PSPC, six nights of hotel accommodations, and spending money. A total of 320 passes will be awarded before the event takes place, and more than 150 of them have been designated to players as of August 20.

PokerStars decided that there will be no rake or administration fee for the tournament, meaning players will buy in for exactly $25,000 with nothing extra added. The only monies deducted from the prize pool will be 2%, the standard staff deduction.

The only other decision made thus far about the tournament itself is that it will be a freezeout, meaning no players will be able to buy extra chips or rebuy upon elimination. With so many reentry tournaments available at poker series these days, players can be assured this will not be the case for the PSPC.

Input Welcome

According to Danny McDonagh on the PokerStars Blog, the PSPC is more than just a massive tournament that is likely to set records. It’s about the players and the creation of an event that brings the poker community into the discussions to make it more special.

McDonagh wrote, “Now, when you talk to (PokerStars Executive) David Carrion about the PSPC, his intention was not to create the biggest $25,000 event in the history of poker. His intention was to create a tournament for the players, by the players, and to re-emphasize to the community that poker is still very much a part of our DNA.”

And that is where the players come in. Platinum Pass winners and regular high-roller players will be emailed a questionnaire so PokerStars can gather the feedback. But everyone in the poker community is welcome to submit their feedback as well. “Once we have collated all the information,” wrote McDonagh, we will discuss the findings internally and with a group of players and then announce what the tournament will look like.”

By visiting this web page, anyone can take the anonymous survey. It is available in seven languages and asks questions like:

–Full 8-player or 9-player tables?

–Play 8 or 10 hours per day?

–Payouts for 10%, 12.5%, 15%, or 18% of field?

–Shot clock? If so, when?

–Regular or big blind antes?

The questions include more details about the topics above, as well as the importance of the first-place prize versus the minimum payout versus the percentage of the field to receive payouts. Players will have input into nearly every aspect of the tournament.

About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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