Over ten months after announcing what is expected to be the largest $25,000 tournament in history, PokerStars has finally revealed what players can expect when they take their seat at the upcoming PokerStars Players Championship.
Everything from the tournament structure to the payout percentage was designed for the players by the players as well as members of the PokerStars team. The field is expected to be a mix of elite high-rolling players and the 300 participants that freerolled into the contest by way of winning a Platinum Pass. In total, the prize pool should soar past $10,000,000 with the winner of the inaugural PSPC becoming a millionaire many times over.
How Players Helped The Process
The only two aspects of the PSPC that was determined before consulting the players was that the event will take five days and it will be a freezeout. There will be no re-entries.
After that, PokerStars sent surveys to players who will actually be participating in the event – both Platinum Pass winners as well as players that are expected to buy-in directly. In addition, a five-player panel was consulted that includes, former PocketFives #1-ranked player Shaun Deeb, 2018 PCA High Roller winner David Dvoress, high roller circuit grinder David Peters, author-turned-PokerStars sponsored player Maria Konnikova and Dragos Trofimov – those three all have already won a Platinum Pass this year.
The surveyed players, the player representatives, as well as members of the PokerStars team, evaluated just about every aspect of the tournament. With all opinions accounted for the details of the event began to take shape.
The question of whether play would begin eight or nine-handed was seemingly split down the middle. It was decided that Day 1 of the PSPC will play nine-handed. Then, as players bust the tournament, tables will be scaled down to eight-handed “at the start of Day 2 by the latest.”
With the event taking place in the Bahamas, players overwhelmingly also opted for a shorter playing day. Roughly 70% of the players wanted to play for eight hours a day versus a ten hour day. The first two days of play will not have dinner breaks but will be introduced later in the tournament depending on field size.
PokerStars popularized the current trend of paying 15% and the polled players agreed that’s what the PSPC should pay. However, since there is no rake for this event, the money that would have gone to rake will be redistributed to the prize pool. Before reaching what would be a traditional min-cash, there will be some players receiving their $25,000 buy-in back. For Platinum Pass winners, this will be a $25,000 profit as they will not have paid out-of-pocket to be in the tournament.
Other prize pool numbers that have been revealed include first place paying out somewhere between 16.8%-17.5%. Though the survey favored a slightly higher percentage for first place, the player panel and the PokerStars team determined that with the additional $1,000,000 added to first place, a flatter payout structure would benefit more players.
All of today’s modern high roller conventions will be enlisted during the PSPC. The big blind ante, which is currently used in all of PokerStars LIVE events, will be used.
The tournament will also shift to a shot clock as soon as the money is reached, which is expected to be late in Day 2.
The structure features 60-minute levels throughout the tournament. The starting stack of 60,000 at 100/200 starting blinds provides 300 big blinds when the first hand is dealt.
The min-cash will be based on the total number of players who end up registering. The calculation will likely be between 1.27 and 1.45 the buy-in. This calculates into a min-cash of roughly $32,000 on the low end and $34,000 on the high end.