Just How Much Did Platinum Pass Holders Win at the #PSPC?

PokerStars gave away 320 free entries to the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) over the course of the previous year via Platinum Passes that after accomodations and spending money were valued at $30,000.

The Platinum Passes for the event, which was well received throughout the poker community, were distributed around the globe. The recently released infographics from PokerStars help illustrate what countries received these valuable prizes and how successful the players from those countries were in converting their entries into cold hard cash.

In total, Platinum Pass winners cashed for $9.8 million, with players at the PSPC representing over 60 countries!

(Click on them to blow them up bigger)

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink

2+2 Poster Makes Back-to-Back

Final Tables at the PCA!

Talal “Raidalot” Shakerchi finished 8th at the PSPC and now sits at the Final Table of the PCA $100k.

You might already be familiar with the name Talal Shakerchi. If not, maybe “raidalot” jogs your memory. Either way, you’ll be hearing a lot more of those names over the coming days, because the 54 year-old businessman and highly successful self-titled “amateur” poker player has already accomplished something quite incredible in The Bahamas: He has made back-to-back Final Tables.

Shakerchi’s first deep run came in the now-famous PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship, going all the way to the Final Table before busting out in eighth for a cool $509,000.

While Shakerchi calls himself an amateur—in the sense that he has a day job—his winnings both live and online would be the envy of almost everyone who calls themselves a poker professional. With his PSPC cash, his live winnings now stand at $6.7 million, sitting 4th on the England all time money list and 136th overall.

The PSPC final table wasn’t even his biggest score to date—that goes to his 4th place finish at the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl just last month for $1.2 million. He’s also had some great results online, including taking down the $10,000 SCOOP High Main Event in 2016 for a tidy $1,468,000.

And now he’s squaring off for potentially an even bigger score: He’s about to take his seat at the Final Table of the $100,000 Super High Roller here at the Atlantis Resort & Casino in The Bahamas. Just five players remain, and while Shakerchi is the short stack he still has over 40 big blinds, more than enough room to make some plays.

Shakerchi is also a prolific poster on the Two Plus Two Poker Forums under the username raidalot, where he has made over 2000 posts in his eleven year history—a veteran on the famous poker forums. And he’s been notably critical of PokerStars in the past, but it seems he’s giving props for the PSPC event.

“I’m not the biggest fan of stars in recent years but, credit where it is due, this event is a positive for the game and is a win-win for both stars and players,” he posted just last night. “I hope they repeat next year.

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WATCH: Final Table of the #PCA2019 $100k Super High Roller

The $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) is down to the Final Table.

Just 5 players remain and they are relatively deepstacked, so we can expect lots of great play to unfold today.

The pay jumps are pretty steep at this stage and the winner will take down a cool $1,775,460!

You can find our coverage of the event on pokerfuse and you can also check out the Live Updates on the PokerStars Blog here.

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LISTEN: Tales From the #PSPC & #PCA2019 on The Fives Poker Podcast

If you weren’t lucky enough to get down to The Bahamas for the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC) and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) ... or even if you were (there’s a whole lot going on at the Atlantis Resort & Casino), be sure to check out Lance Bradley, Donnie Peters and F5’s original Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Walsh as they break down all the action on and off the felt on The Fives Poker Podcast.

These guys have been all over the place down here working some sick hours to bring listeners the latest and greatest!

We are also happy to announce that The Fives is now featured in the Pokerfuse Podcast Directory.

You can check out the latest episode below, or dig through the archives here.

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Watch: Crucial Hands at the #PSPC Final Table

In case you missed out on the Final Table stream of the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) event, here are clips of some of the most crucial hands at the Final Table of the event.

A Brutal Exit for Talal Shakerchi


Farid Jattin’s Elimination


Marc Rivera Folds the Best Hand


Colillas Eliminates Marc Perrault


Jason Koonce Elimination


Martini Busts Scott Baumstein


The Hand that Changed the Fortune for Colillas


And the Winning Hand

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Watch: The Winning Moment of the Inaugural PSPC Event

Platinum Pass winner, Ramon Colillas from Spain created history by taking down the biggest $25K event.

The day we all have been waiting for has finally happened!

PokerStars biggest and historic live event has finally concluded and Ramon Colillas from Spain, who was among the 320 Platinum Pass holders, took down the inaugural PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) event and freerolled his way to win the life-changing sum of money of $5.1 million, the biggest ever prize to be awarded by PokerStars.

In total, 1039 players entered the event, setting new records for a high roller poker tournament with the prize pool of $26.9 million.

After battling it out for four days, Colillas along with another Platinum Pass winner, Marc Rivera from the Philippines, made their way to the Final Table of the historic event.

Rivera finished in 3rd place and took home over $2.1 million for his efforts.

Meanwhile, the Spanish player Colillas, who won his Platinum Pass after winning the 2018 Campeonato de España de Poker leaderboard, had to face Julien Martini, a professional poker player from France, heads-up.

Martini began heads up play with a massive lead-42 million chips to Colillas’ 19 million chips.

Watch the winning hand here:

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink

PSPC Finishes In Style, PCA Kicks Off

Fireworks, free food and an open bar where all to be had last night as the PokerStars No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) wrapped up and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) got underway.

Social media posts seem pretty scant as to who was actually there, but it seems our very own Mike Gentile was busting some moves on the dance floor.

For those who missed it, the PSPC wrapped up with Spain’s Ramon Colillas (a Platinum Pass qualifier) going on to take down the title for $5.1 million!

Over at the PCA, Day 1 of the $100,000 Super High Roller is already in the books. Henrik Hecklen is leading the way with 1.3 million in chips, and PokerStars Pro Igor Kurganov is sitting in second with just over a million.

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink

PCA 2019:

Hecklen and Kurganov Leads the $100K Super High Roller

The historic PSPC event may be over but there is still plenty of action remaining as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is now in its full swing at the luxurious Atlantis Resort & Casino, Bahamas.

While the final table of PSPC was still being played out, yesterday also saw the kickoff of another high-stakes event—the $100K PCA Super High Roller.

Day 1 pulled in 56 total entries (including 13 re-entries) creating a prize pool of around $5.5 million. Late registration is still open and is expected to draw in few more entries.

Danish professional poker player Henrik Hecklen is leading the day along with PokerStars Team Pro Igor Kurganov. Both of them have crossed the 1 million chip mark.

Steve O’Dwyer, Sam Greenwood, Talal Shakerchi, Mustapha Kanit, Justin Bonomo, partypoker team pro Isaac Haxton and Patrik Antonius are among the 33 players who made it to day 2.

Among those to bust include PokerStars Ambassador Daniel “KidPoker” Negeanu, Jason Koon and Joe Cada.

Top 10 Chip Counts:

Henrik Hecklen 1,264,000
Igor Kurganov 1,050,000
Steve O’Dwyer 889,000
Sam Greenwood 792,000
Dominik Nitsche 679,000
Christopher Kruk 600,000
Talal Shakerchi 587,000
Mustapha Kanit 558,000
Justin Bonomo 548,000
Matthias Eibinger 460,000

Day 2 of the $100K SHR event resumes at 17:30 GMT with the winner to be crowned on January 16. The $10,300 PCA Main Event also kicks off today.

Watch the live action (with 40 minute delay) here:

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink

Bill Perkins Dishes Out The Wisdom At The PSPC

Joey Ingram sat down with Bill Perkins at the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) for a podcast that would almost hit the three hour mark.

Filmed in front of a live studio audience Perkins wastes no time in dishing out his pearls of wisdom of how to live a full and happy life.

Check it out below.

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Eli Elezra Celebrates The Release of His Autobiography at the #PSPC

Signing the book and meeting fans!

Long time poker pro and fan favorite Eli Elezra showed up at the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) this week and he brought with him his new autobiography, “Pulling the Trigger.”

Cardplayer Lifestyle founder, Robbie Strazynski translated the work into English and helped with the marketing.

For those not lucky enough to be here at the PSPC and meet the gracious Elezra in person and get a personalized dedication, don’t fret, you can still get you copy delivered right to your home, as the book is available on Amazon here.

For a preview of some of the stories you can expect to read about in the book, check out the interview Robbie did with Eli.

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Late Night Poker Action After the #PSPC

Last night after the official action at the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship concluded with the Final Table of 8 being set, the poker room at the Atlantis Resort & Casino in The Bahamas was still going strong.

Cash games and Sit & Gos were alive with action, and in anticipation of the pending launch of the new poker variant by PokerStars, Six Plus Hold’em, the staff here at the PSPC were even spreading the Short Deck game.

In addition to the grinders that normally inhabit the poker tables on the circuit, the celebs (in the poker world and beyond) were in attendance.

Some even couldn’t be bothered to leave the room to take a break.

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This is Why One PSPC Platinum Pass Winner

Tanked Two Minutes with Aces Preflop

With life-changing money on the line, one Platinum Pass winner genuinely considers folding aces pre-flop!

It’s one thing busting out of the largest high roller tournament in history. It’s another getting coolered with kings versus aces preflop. And it is yet another thing getting slow rolled, by a another Platinum Pass winner from your home country, for almost two minutes.

But that’s exactly what happened to Franz Ditz, who got it all in pre with KK on Level 17 (4000/8000) on the bubble during Day 3 of the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship in the Bahamas.

He opened for 16,000. Was three-bet by fellow German Michael Robionek on the button to 35,000. Ditz shoved for 250,000. Then Robionek went into the tank … for two minutes. When he finally called, he flipped over aces.

Ditz was understandably perturbed. The PokerStars Blog at the time said they had “some private and inside information we can reveal later that will make this seem … well, not as bad as it does now.” That information has now been released. Apparently, Robionek was genuinely considering a fold.

“My strategy to start the day,” Robionek said, was, apparently, “to not be dealt aces before the bubble.” $25,000 is—as it would be to most people both in and outside the poker world—a lot of money to the German. He had to borrow money to fly here, he said (the Platinum Pass does cover travel costs and expenses, but possibly not ahead of time).

Robionek went on to say that he lost his job two years ago, and had struggled to find a steady income since. He’s not much of a poker player—in fact, he’d never made a deposit on PokerStars before winning his Platinum Pass through a “human lie detector” competition run on social media.

As the PokerStars blog elaborates: “So, there he was … on a $25,000 bubble and wondering … could he actually afford to lose with aces when waiting just a little bit longer could mean literally life-changing money for him? So, he thought. And he thought some more. And ultimately he decided that if he couldn’t call with aces there, he probably shouldn’t be playing anyway. And so he did. And hence … the slowroll. “

He didn’t want PokerStars to talk about this before the money bubble burst because, quite understandably, he didn’t want the other players knowing just how much scared money there was in his stack.

So, knowing what we know now, does that excuse his slowroll? With this mix of players in the field, everyone would do well to relax the usual norms and expectations at these high roller events and try to assume the best intentions against their fellow players.

For Ditz, that’s not going to take any of the sting out of the tail. For Robionek, his incredible story and run continues. He’s going into Day 4 with 720,000 chips, one of ten Platinum Pass winners among the 38 to make it through. It’s a small stack, but he’s guaranteed a life-changing $86,400, and if he can hold for a few spots he’s going to take home a cool six figures.

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Watch: One of the Best Laydowns at PSPC, and Possibly of All Time

Thi Xoa Nguyen makes an incredible fold with a full house at the $25K buy-in PSPC event.

It was during day 2 of the history-in-making $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship when a Vietnamese lady by the name of Thi Xua Nguyen stunned everybody by making this incredible laydown versus Athanasios Polychronopoulos, a Greek-American professional poker player with two WSOP bracelets.

220 players remained on the field when Nguyen raised from the button with Ad Qc only to get 3-bet to 37,000 by Polychronopoulos from the big blind who held a pair of Aces.

Nguyen made the call and the flop landed Ks 9s Qd. Both the players checked. The Qh on Turn improved Nguyen’s hand to trips. She bets 17,000 after Polychronopoulos checked for a second time. He made the call and the Ace of Spade gave both the players a full house.

Polychronopoulos once again checked on the river with his Aces full. Nguyen bets 50,000 leaving her 153,000 chips behind but finds herself in a check-raise-all-in situation.

This is where things go crazy!!!

After tanking for a while, Nguyen lays down Ad Qc face up—a freaking Full house!!!. Out of respect for her incredible fold, Polychronopoulos flips out Aces and was himself stunned.

Did she misread her hand? No!!! She knew what she was doing. Nguyen put him on Aces or Kings and she was bang on right!!!

The hand was caught during the live stream and obviously, the viewers glued to the stream went berserk including the commentators James Hartigan, Joe Stapleton, and Lex Veldhuis.

Nguyen eventually finished 153rd for $25,450 and Polychronopoulos also made cash but busted against Platinum Pass winner, Jussi Nevanlinna.

What is more crazier is that on day 1 Nguyen won an EPT Monte Carlo package during a random draw table giveaway.

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink

Tension Was High on the PSPC Bubble

As the remaining field in the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) awaited the final player to bust out to break the money bubble, the tension in the room was palpable.

“It was pretty bad and prior to the bubble, there was a stalling problem,” PocketFives writer and the original Editor-in-Chief of F5poker, Jeff Walsh, told us.

Being that there is always tension on the bubble of tournaments, we sought out the perspective of Tournament Director for the Unibet Open and 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table member Kenny Hallaert.

Compared to other tournaments he played in and for which he was a Tournament Director, Hallaert thought the room at the the Atlantis Resort & Casino had “quite a unique atmosphere.”

“With all of the high rollers going on nowadays, there are many tournaments of this buy-in level, but not any of this field size with these types of players, so I think it was very exciting and for some people I guess also quite a nervous part of the tournament,” Hallaert said.

But finally after 2 hours, the bubble burst, but instead of producing a dejected poker player that missed out on the money, bubbleboy Paul Leckey from Ireland received an EPT Monte Carlo package valued at $11,000 as a consolation prize.

Not a bad result and reminiscent of the way the whole Platinum Pass program got started when the bubble boys at EPT Prague were awarded the first Platinum Passes. If you don’t know that story, you can find it here It is well worth a read!

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink

A Platinum Pass Qualifier is Chip Leader

At the PokerStars Players Championship!

Spain’s Ramon Colillas leads the field with 1.9 million chips.

Breaking news from the floor of the conference hall of the Atlantis Resort & Casino, Bahamas: As it stands right now the chip leader of the PokerStars No Limit Hold’em Players Championship won his entry through the Platinum Pass system!

At the start of Day 3, a Platinum Pass winner seemed like a longshot; indeed, it looked quite possible than one would not make the final table. The field was down to just 25% Platinum Pass winners, and they were heavily weighted towards small stacks. None in the top ten was a Platinum Pass hopeful.

But now, out of the ashes, gallops in Spain’s Ramon Colillas. With 1.9 million in chips, he’s has the chip lead right now. Obviously things are moving fast, but it is still a big turnaround. And not far behind him is Alexandre De Zutter, another Plat Pass winner, with 1.2 million in chips among the 100 remaining leaders.

A PSPC winner from a Platinum Pass would be a huge coup for PokerStars, a particularly from a large, established and regulated European market like France or Spain. There’s a long way to go, but it’s a great sign that at least we’ll get some deep runs from a wide mix of players.

As always, keep up with all the latest updates from the PokerStars blog.

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink

Lights out for Papi and The Kevmath:

F5 Faves Bust Out of PSPC Day 2

Monday has been brutal at the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship. We had over 1000 total entries for the tournament, some 750 took their seats for Day 2, and in barely six hours that has been cut in more than half: At the time of writing just 302 players remain.

Two casualties are fan favorites of from the F5 hovel as well as the wider pokertwittersphere: @Kevmath @Joeingram1. Here’s their personal bustout announcements.

For more bust-out action, PokerStars and PokerNews will keep you in the loop with all the gory details—like this Hellmuth coinflip.

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink

Watch the PSPC Livestream Now!

Watch live all the action from PokerStars Players Championship day 2.

Action is coming thick and faster in the Atlantis Resort, Bahamas. Around 756 players took their seats this morning to start Day 2. In just six hours that has been whittled down to just 336 players, and many more can be expected to fall before the day is out.

Don’t miss a beat with PokerStars’ top-notch live-stream on Youtube, and for more updates keeping F5ing F5 and yours eyes on our Twitter account

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink

Have You Seen The PSPC Trophy?

The PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship taking place at the Atlantis Resort & Casino is now the biggest $25,000 buy-in tournament in poker history.

In addition to the first place prize of at least $5 million, the winner also gets to take home this extravagant trophy.

You can check out a short video with shots of the production of the trophy in the Tweet below.

published 1 month, 1 week ago • by permalink