From $5k to $5m – How New Poker Tournament is Making Millionaires

Poker hand.
A new tournament shines the light on unknown players – helping to make them millionaires in the process.

30-second summary

  • The PokerStars Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) attracted more than 1,000 players this year
  • Many of the star players are completely new to poker and looking for a chance to make a fortune
  • The tournament was created in December 2017
  • It has become the wealthiest $25,000 buy-in event in the history of poker
  • The winner, Ramon Colillas, took home over $5 million

Ultimate competition in the sun

Earlier this week in the Bahamas a poker tournament took place like never seen before. A $25,000 buy-in complemented by 320 players – some newbies, some experts – on an all-expenses-paid trip to spectate and compete. It had never been done before.

It was the brainchild of PokerStars, who also added $8 million to the prize pool, and then gave an extra $1 million to the first-place prize. PokerStars gave away more than more than 300 $30,000 Platinum Passes to make it happen, which guaranteed entry into the tournament and a trip to the Bahamas. Amazingly, in a fairytale ending – one of them won.

Former fitness trainer took the hand

The crowned winner was Ramon Colillas, a 30-year-old former fitness trainer from Barcelona, Spain, who won $5.1 million after he outlasted 1,039 players to win the tournament.

Over the past year the Spaniard had been trying to win his Platinum Pass, the credit-card sized metal pass that allowed winners to pay for flights, accommodation and, most of all, a seat worth $25,000 at the table. He was determined to get to the Bahamas and managed to pick up points for his performances by entering €500 buy-in tournaments across the country.

The winning hand

On the day Colillas got ahead thanks to a huge hand and Julien Martini, his opponent, was not able to capitalize on his early running.

The flush versus a full house put Colillas in the lead and before long it was all his for the taking. Previously, his largest win had been just $5,000.

After the tournament, a delighted Colillas said: “A lot of players were saying this was the most important tournament in history, so now it’s only about happiness and enjoying the moment.”

A tournament that makes millionaires

It wasn’t just Colillas who went home a millionaire, thanks to the Platinum Pass. Marc Rivera, from the Philippines, finished a respectable third and took home $2.168 million in total. He gained his Platinum Pass when he lifted the APPT Korea title in April last year.

By the end of the tournament, a whopping 43 players who had earned themselves a Platinum Pass took home a major paycheck. From a total of 1,039 players, the prize pool was a staggering $26,455,500 in total, thanks to the extra added by PokerStars.

The PSPC tournament has become the largest tournament hosted by the company in some measure.

Final table results

  1. Ramon Colillas – $5,100,000
  2. Julien Martini – $2,974,000
  3. Marc Rivera – $2,168,000
  4. Scott Baumstein – $1,657,000
  5. Jason Koonce – $1,304,000
  6. Marc Perrault – $1,012,000
  7. Farid Jattin – $746,000
  8. Talal Shakerchi – $509,000

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