Event not taking place this year
PokerStars has announced the postponement of the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC). The event will not take place in 2021, but PokerStars is planning for its future return at Casino Barcelona in Spain.
The online poker card room tweeted out the news on Wednesday:
The PokerStars team is unable to provide a precise range of dates for the potential return of the PSPC in light of ongoing uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The operator said it has big plans for the eventual return of the event and aims to
truly celebrate being back with our community with a bang when the time is right.”
For now, PokerStars is looking to prioritize the health and safety of all staff and players. One of the ways that players can gain entry into the PSPC is through a Platinum Pass, which allows holders to bypass the $25,000 buy-in. The latest postponement will not impact any of the current Platinum Plus holders, nor will it stop the awarding of further passes.
A record-breaking event
The PSPC first took place in January 2019 in the Bahamas. It made history as it was the largest-ever $25,000 buy-in poker tournament, with 1,039 players taking part.
the largest-ever $25,000 buy-in poker tournament
Platinum Pass holders were able to get free entry plus expense money, accommodation in a good hotel for about a week, and special PSPC merchandise.
The 181 players who finished in the money in the first event received prize money totaling over $26.4m, with 43 of these players being Platinum Pass entrants. Platinum Pass holder Ramon Colillas managed to come out on top in the tournament, winning the $5.1m top prize, alongside another six millionaires.
The second edition of the event was set to take place during the European Poker Tour Barcelona festival last August, before the pandemic led to its postponement. There were high expectations that the event would take place in summer 2021, but that will now not be the case.
A tough time for poker
Live poker has been suffering since the outbreak of COVID-19. Casinos and poker rooms all across the world had to close down their operations for extended periods of time over the past year or so.
While many poker rooms have been back up and running, operations are usually at significantly reduced capacity. Poker tables often have strict limits on player numbers, and plexiglass barriers often separate mask-wearing players from one another.
Some major live poker tournaments have made a return recently, particularly in the United States. However, some organizers remain hesitant about hosting live events because of extensive uncertainty and health risks. For the PSPC, players from all across the world would have to travel to Spain, which would cause concerns about spreading the virus.
Case numbers remain relatively high in Europe, where delays in rolling out vaccines are slowing down the return to normalcy.