The inaugural PokerStars NL Hold’em Players Championship was held in January of 2019. The first running of the event broke the record for the largest $25,000 buy-in poker tournament in the history of the game, attracting 1,039 total entries to create a prize pool of more than $26.4 million. A total of $9 million was contributed to the prize pool, most of which came in the form of free $25,000 seats into the event that were awarded to players by PokerStars in the lead-up to the event. One of those ‘Platinum Pass’ winners was Spain’s Ramon Collilas, who turned his free seat into a $5,100,000 payday.
The second running of the event was scheduled to take place at the European Poker Tour Barcelona stop in 2020, but both that year’s PSPC and the whole tour stop were ultimately postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hope was that the second edition of this unique tournament would take place in 2021, but on Wednesday, Mar. 24, PokerStars announced that the event will not go ahead this year.
“We are sad to announce that the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) will not go ahead this year. However, we are excitedly planning ahead to a later date with the aim to truly celebrate being back with our community with a bang when the time is right,” said a post from PokerStars Staff on the site’s blog. “Due to the ongoing uncertainty, at this time, we cannot provide exact dates for when the PSPC will take place but will keep everyone informed with updates when we have them.
“We know that this further news will come as a disappointment to many hoping the PSPC would take place this year, but our priority is the safety and good health of all our players and staff, as well as the communities that host such large events,” the statement continued. “We are committed to running the PSPC at Casino Barcelona and making it a true celebration of poker, and to ensure everyone has the best experience we need to have a safe, healthy and comfortable environment. This event is one of a kind, therefore we don’t want to settle for anything less than an amazing experience for those currently with a Platinum Pass, and those yet to win one. And we truly can’t wait to see all our players, and run this event as it should be.”
The statement went on to say that this news of yet another postponement will not affect any ongoing Platinum Pass promotions that the site currently is running. “We will continue to award Platinum Passes with 400 in total of our players set to turn their Platinum Pass into what we intend to be an exceptional experience. We look forward to highlighting our Platinum Pass winners, sharing their amazing stories and creating that brilliant community of winners that we had in our inaugural event. Our Platinum Pass winners are a very special community and we will continue to plan activities and surprises in the run-up to the event, albeit a longer than expected lead time. We promise it will be worth the wait.”
The announcement did not clarify if the EPT Barcelona stop that the PSPC was meant to take place during has also been postponed. As of the afternoon that the postponement was made, the only stops listed on the official EPT website were the currently ongoing EPT Sochi that spans from Mar. 18-28, and another stop at the same venue in Russia planned for Oct. 2-11.