Chris Moneymaker is often credited with starting the poker boom. He famously parlayed a $86 satellite into $2.5 million by winning the 2003 WSOP Main Event.
Some WSOP Main Event champions shirk the responsibilities of being an ambassador for the game that comes with winning the title and huge sums of money.
Not so, for Moneymaker. The Poker Hall of Fame nominee not only accepts the role, he relishes in it. Here’s proof:
PokerStars has parted ways with many of its notable poker pros this year. Moneymaker, however, continues to be the face of poker for the online poker site.
He represents the dream of every recreational player and grinder.
PokerStars Announces The Moneymaker PSPC Tour
In December 2017, PokerStars announced the PokerStars Players Championship. The five-day event will take place in January 2019 just before the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA).
The company also announced it is giving away more than 300 Platinum Passes worth $9 million. Each pass is good for entry to the $25,000 buy-in event plus accommodations and spending money worth $5,000.
It is PokerStars’ way of giving the recreational player a shot at a life-changing sum of money. It is the dream Moneymaker lived 15 years ago.
Since then, PokerStars has been giving away passes at its live events and through its ambassadors. To date, 6 US players have secured their pass, and there are more to come.
To celebrate Moneymaker’s magical run 15 years ago, Moneymaker and PokerStars are launching the Moneymaker PSPC Tour.
The nine-event tournament series will travel around the United States giving players the opportunity to follow in Moneymaker’s footsteps. There will be a $86 tournament at every stop where the winner will get their hands on the highly-desireable Platinum Pass.
In a press release announcing the tour, Moneymaker said:
“It’s been 15 years since the big win and it only feels like yesterday. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and I want to give someone else the opportunity to feel that #winningmoment. I’ve played a lot of poker for years and during that time I’ve got to know lots of people at live events and meet-ups.
Now US fans will have the chance to win an amazing prize and have some fun along the way. Come join me to play, you never know, this could lead to a life-changing moment like I had. I am looking forward to playing with some familiar faces at every stop.”
Why all the hype around the PSPC?
Sure Moneymaker’s run 15 years ago is always something to celebrate. It did change the face of poker after all.
Positioning the PSPC right before the PCA almost guarantees an excellent turnout attendance. Not to mention, big buy-in tournaments always seem to attract a lot of attention and players.
So why is PokerStars giving away so many passes?
David Carrion, the director of marketing for PokerStars, told PlayNJ.com it demonstrates the site’s “commitment to the game” and gets the poker community invested in the players and their stories.
“It’s about getting players excited about poker and giving players, no matter what their bankroll, many real opportunities to get involved,” said Carrion.
Getting Platinum Passes into US poker players’ hands
PokerStars currently operates an NJ online poker site, and it has its sights on Pennsylvania when online gaming goes live in that state sometime in the near future.
Trying to get Platinum Passes into US players’ hands is a challenge without a significant presence in the country. To help with the problem, PokerStars sought the help of its poker pros.
Jaime Staples, Jason Somerville, Liv Boeree, and Igor Kuganov have accepted the task of giving away passes. And now, Moneymaker will be giving away nine more on his tour.
A ‘genius’ idea for poker players
Carrion said the idea for the multi-stop tour was “genius” and was the brainchild of Moneymaker himself.
“It happens to be my favorite, and I am sure it will resonate with American poker players,” said Carrion. “We are also partnering with the Seminole Hard Rock in the States, and they are awarding two passes, one in July and one in August. I am particularly thrilled with this partnership; we share a strong appreciation for poker as so does Seminole Hard Rock.”
The other benefit to winning a Platinum Pass from one of the PokerStars ambassadors is the “added benefit of coaching.”
“Watch out for the ones who have qualified via the Platinum Pass Adventure because these guys will have the added benefit of coaching from our PokerStars Ambassadors,” said Carrion.
When asked about what else he wanted players to know about the tournament, Carrion said:
“What else can I say? It’s a tournament like no other. There’s a lot of value to enjoy, with $1 million to be added to the prize pool for first place, what’s not to like? There is so much value that I don’t think players need convincing on what a good proposition it is.”
The Moneymaker PSPC Tour schedule
The Moneymaker PSPC Tour will host its first event in Sacramento, Calif., at Stones Gambling Hall this summer. The tour also includes an online tournament at Poker Stars NJ and concludes with an event at Maryland Live in Hanover, Maryland.
Here is the complete Moneymaker PSPC Tour Schedule (please note that the dates and/or venues are subject to change):
|Aug. 4 – 5, 2018||Stones Gambling Hall||Citrus Heights, California|
|Aug. 19 - 26, 2018||Lucky Chances||Colma, California|
|Sept. 9, 2018||Foxwoods Resort Casino||Mashantucket, Connecticut|
|Sept. 15, 2018||MGM National Harbor||Oxon Hill, Maryland|
|Sept. 22, 2018||Gardens Casino||Hawaiian Gardens, California|
|Sept. 23, 2018||Casino Arizona Talking Stick||Scottsdale, Arizona|
|Sept. 30, 2018||PokerStarsNJ.com||ONLINE|
|Oct. 7, 2018||Mohegan Sun||Uncasville, Connecticut|
|Oct. 10 – 14, 2018||Maryland Live||Hanover, Maryland|