After five long days of play, the final table is finally set for the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold 'em Championship. What started as a 1,014-player affair has dwindled to just six men from five different countries, who will be returning today to play down to the winner.
All six are guaranteed to walk away with at least $1,000,000, but the winner will take home over $4,000,000 and the coveted PSPC trophy — an excellent addition to any poker player’s collection.
This year’s PSPC started with over 400 PokerStars Platinum Pass winners, and two of them are still in the mix. Interestingly enough, they both hail from Germany and start the day as official short stacks. Plenty of play is left, and a few lucky double-ups could quickly turn things around.
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PSPC Final Table Chip Counts
|Jose “Nacho” Barbero||Argentina||19,325,000|
|Max Menzel (PP Winner)||Germany||5,025,000|
|Niclas Thumm (PP Winner)||Germany||1,800,000|
Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
The PSPC final table represents a fascinating mix of hardened professionals and poker enthusiasts. For example, Niclas Thumm, the short stack to start the day, works in accounting, but he won his Platinum Pass through the PokerStars Dare2Stream competition.
Even though he did not win, Thumm won the community award, and the Twitch community will be rooting hard for him when the play resumes today.
Max Menzel, the other Platinum Pass winner, is originally from Germany but has been living and working in Singapore. Menzel is no longer a poker pro, but the game is still his favorite hobby. That love for poker turned into a Platinum Pass during one of his visits to Manila, and he will start the day as fifth in chips, with a stack of five million.
The Bahamas have been very kind to Portuguese players this year. After the Portugal duo took down the top two spots in this year’s PCA, Pedro Marques will have an opportunity also to claim the PSPC title. He is starting with 10.5 million in chips, and the final table coincides with his 30th birthday, so he will have quite a story to tell no matter what, especially if he wins.
Starting the day, second and third in chips are Alexander Shylko (Belarus) and Philipe Pizzari (Brazil), with stacks of just around 12 million. They are both professional players and no strangers to big tournaments.
Finally, leading the pack with 19.3 million chips is the name most poker fans will recognize. Argentina’s Jose “Nacho” Barbero is the most experienced player in the mix, and he is starting with the most enormous stack, so we would not bet against him. “Nacho” won his first WSOP bracelet last summer and will be looking to add a PSPC trophy to his collection.
Another Poker Fairytale in the Making?
The biggest reason poker has become a worldwide phenomenon is that the game can turn anyone into a hero for the day. The stories of Chris Moneymaker and Jamie Gold show the world that the dream of poker greatness is not reserved just for hardened pros.
The PokerStars Players Championship is an event that can create another such story. Both Platinum Pass winners have already locked up seven figures, so no matter what, this will be a poker trip they will remember for the rest of their lives.
PSPC 2023 Payouts
But should one of them win the whole thing, we will have an epic story at our hands, and it is hard not to root for them at this point.
If you would like to tune in and follow the live action, PokerStars will be doing live coverage of the final table on its official YouTube and Twitch channels, starting at 19:00 CET.
Want to try and make your own hero story at next year’s PSPC? Sign up for PokerStars and be ready when the Platinum Pass giveaways begin!