It was 15 years that Chris Moneymaker turned an $86 satellite win into $2.5 million, a World Series of Poker Main Event title and a special place in poker history. Now, with the help of the PokerStars Platinum Pass, Moneymaker is hoping to make magic happen for somebody else. The Moneymaker PSPC Tour is nine-stop tour running across the United States that will award one $30,000 Platinum Pass at each stop – and the buy-in is just $86.
Each Platinum Pass comes with a buy-in to the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship this January at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and an additional $5,000 for travel and hotel. PokerStars is giving away 300 through various means leading up to the event.
While Moneymaker doesn’t want to take all of the credit for the new tour, when PokerStars approached him about giving away a Platinum Pass, he knew he wanted to reach a certain audience.
“It was a little bit of a collaboration. We were trying to figure out a way that we could get more passes into the United States and do some things. One, to have a better presence in the U.S. and two, give other people opportunities that aren’t getting opportunities playing online or going to some of these other stops,” said Moneymaker. “This a way to do that and give everybody a really good price point to get in and promote this and hopefully have a story to tell at the end of it.”
The nine stops are all inside the United States, including one being played online in New Jersey. While details for each stop are up to the host venue, Moneymaker expects each one to unlimited re-entry but don’t think this means it’ll be full of well-bankrolled players taking shot after shot after shot.
“I would imagine every single stop is going to be packed where there’s going to be alternates, so if you bust it’s going to be difficult to bust multiple times and get back in,” said Moneymaker. Each stop on the tour will award a Platinum Pass to the winner on top of the normal prize pool with payouts determined by the host venue. “Every casino is probably going to have a different method to how they’re going to run their tournaments. We’re going to be at MGM Harbor and they’re going to run different from Stones, probably. The payout structures are going to be different. I think Stones is leaning more towards paying almost zero to first and giving all the money to second and back and first place will get the $30,000 package.”
The Moneymaker PSPC Tour Schedule
|August 4 – 5||Stones Gambling Hall||Citrus Heights, CA|
|August 19 – 26||Lucky Chances||Colma, CA|
|September 9||Foxwoods Resort Casino||Mashantucket, CT|
|September 15||MGM National Harbor||Oxon Hill, MD|
|September 22||Gardens Casino||Hawaiian Gardens, CA|
|September 23||Talking Stick||Scottsdale, AZ|
|October 7||Mohegan Sun||Uncasville, CT|
|October 10 – 14||Maryland Live||Hanover, MD|
While obviously designed to be affordable, the $86 buy-in is also a nod to one of the most misreported parts of Moneymaker’s historic 2003 WSOP victory. In the moments and days after his win, mainstream media reported that Moneymaker had turned his win in a $39 satellite on PokerStars into $2.5 million. In reality, the buy-in for his first satellite was $86 – but even Moneymaker ran with the $39 story for years.
“I remember that night doing the interviews it was $39, and I thought for 12 years it was $39. I wrote a book, $39 to $2.5 million,” said Moneymaker, who was told by a PokerStars staffer at an event in London in 2015 that the buy-in was actually $86. “I was like, ‘I did not know that, but okay, good to know’.”
The confusion actually continued though. Moneymaker misheard the number and was under the impression it was $81. When they started putting plans together for this tour, everything was built around an $81 price point.
“Somebody had to come back and say ‘No, it was $86’. So it goes up every couple of years – it’ll be $100 before long,” joked Moneymaker. The historical tie-in was obviously important, but Moneymaker wanted to make sure that players that aren’t able to otherwise travel to play in bigger buy-in tournaments were able to get into this one with a shot at winning something special.
“I’d rather go and play the Festivals or the Cups with the smaller buy-ins. Go to some of the smaller stops. That’s where people like to see me and it’s just a lot more fun and I enjoy that atmosphere. This fits really well with that mold,” said Moneymaker. “I’m excited about this tour. This tour is going to be a really awesome thing. Hopefully one of them makes a deep run and it changes their life.”