You only get one chance to make a first impression, which is why PokerStars’ tournament area at Baha Mar hits harder than a one-outer on the river. Aside from the sheer number of tables, the conference hall is dominated by a main stage that any major sports organization would be proud of.
The images alone can’t do it justice, but the reaction from my traveling companion sums up the spectacle perfectly: “wow, I had no idea it would be like this.” She’s not a poker player. She knows a little about the game through second-hand stories, but she’s never been to a live event, so the look of awe on her face was probably what a lot of Platinum Pass winners felt walking into the room.
CardsChat forum moderator Chris Robinson, aka CRStals, was in action on Monday (see image above). I caught up with him during the early stages of Day 1 and he was as impressed with the set-up as me. As I reported in December, the WPT World Championship would be a tough act to follow, but PokerStars is putting up a strong fight right now.
Bruce Buffers gets PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship underway
In fact, the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) came out swinging thanks to the iconic vocals of UFC announcer, Bruce Buffer. He delivered a shuffle up and deal that would get the meekest poker players fired up.
IT’S TIME TO WHOLE DAMN THING ♣️💸♥️💸♠️💸♦️💸@pokerstars #BUFFLIFE 😎 pic.twitter.com/XeiCvxDU2Y
— Bruce Buffer (@brucebuffer) January 30, 2023
With that, the 2023 PSPC was underway and more than 1,000 players started their journeys towards eternal glory. Only 678 of those made it through Day 1.
Chris Moorman and Tony Tran led the way with 356,000 chips, but they’re being chased by 276 Platinum Pass survivors, and a gang of pros, including Erik Seidel, Steve O’Dwyer, and winner of the PCA women’s event, Georgina James.
Late registration remains open until the starts of level 11 on Day 2, so the field is likely to grow. If that’s the case, 2019’s target of 1,039 entries could be in jeopardy.
We all know that only one personal can win the PSPC, but every Platinum Pass winner will have an experience they won’t forget. Even those who hit the rail on Day 1 have had the times of their lives. That, in and of itself, is a huge win.
Stay tuned for more personal insights and interviews from the 2023 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship.