In its inaugural edition four years ago, the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) shattered the record for the largest non-WSOP live tournament ever held, and the largest $25k buy-in tournament in history.
The record might be broken once again: over 1000 players took their seats on the first Day 1 of the long-awaited PSPC 2023 event. Official statistics from PokerStars overnight report that 1003 players entered the $25,000 buy-in tournament. Reporting on the ground has the figure slightly higher, at 1005 players by the close of play yesterday.
Either way, the prize pool sits at over $24 million. It has already made it one of the top 25 largest poker tournaments ever held — and the prize pool could grow further as registration remains open until later today.
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The PSPC is what the operator calls “a true celebration of poker.” It is structured as a single-day freeze-out tournament, with a decent portion of the field represented by recreational players and those that won their seat for free. The event is being run as part of the operator’s iconic PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) tour.
Much like the inaugural edition held in 2019, PokerStars gave away over 400 Platinum Passes with each Pass worth $30,000, locking in over $10 million in prize pool. The package includes the event buy-in, travel and accommodation. Another 600 players entered the tournament either by direct buy-in or winning through satellites on the PokerStars real money app, taking the total prize pool to over $24 million.
PSPC 2023 Players & Platinum Pass Holders
|Total Players||Platinum Pass Holders|
|Day 1 Entrants||1005||405 (40.29%)|
|Day 1 Survivors||680||278 (40.88%)|
Day 1 got underway at the new venue at the Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas on Monday afternoon, and “at the shuffle up and deal” over 700 players had taken their seats. By the time the day closed, another 300 players entered the tournament. To beat 2019’s participation level, which attracted 1039 total players, the tournament needs just 35 more entries to register today.
To beat its prize pool, though, the task is slightly harder: it needs about 100 more. That’s because, in the inaugural edition, the entire buy-in was added to the prize pool, making it effectively rake-free. For this edition, the operator is not taking any house fee but $500 from each player’s buy-in is being deducted for the staff fee. Thus, for every player’s buy-in, $24,500 goes to the pool.
Many of the biggest names in the game took part in the tournament including the reigning champion Ramon Colillas, who has made it to Day 2, alongside former WSOP Main Event winner and former PokerStars ambassador Chris Moneymaker, 2022 Main winner Espen Jorstad, Fedor Holz, Ryan Riess, Martin Jacobson and more.
Among PokerStars Team Pros to survive Day 1 include Andre Akkari, Arlie Shaban, Benjamin Spragg, and Sam Grafton. The chip leader on the day is former 888poker ambassador Chris Moorman tied with Tony Tran with 356,000.
680 players survived to play on Day 2, which begins on Tuesday afternoon. Players can still buy-in, with registration open until level 11. The top 20% of the field make the money. This means at least 200 players will turn a profit when the money bubble bursts, with the minimum cash prize sat at around $26k.
PokerStars is providing live stream coverage on their official Twitch channel and on YouTube, with a 30-minute delay every day until the winner is crowned. The PSPC runs until February 3, 2023.