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PokerStars Launching Players Championship – Will Resurrect EPT, LAPT and APPT

PokerStars made a couple of huge announcements this past week. First, they revealed plans for the new PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship to kick off the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The new event will have $9 million added by PokerStars.

In addition, PokerStars announced the return of three popular regional poker tours that were disbanded in lieu of the PokerStars Championship series that kicked off in 2017.

PokerStars Players Championship to Add $9 Million

Last week, PokerStars announced the creation of the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC). The inaugural event will take place the week before the start of the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and will feature a $25,000 buy-in.

They also announced that this event will have $9 million added to the prize pool by pokerstars. The money will be added in two phases:

  • $8 million of the prize pool will be through 300 free PSPC Platinum Passes worth $30,000 each.
  • The last $1 million will be awarded to the eventual winner of the tournament.

According to The Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi, “We expect the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship will set the new global standard for live poker tournaments. We want to demonstrate and reinforce our commitment to the game, and give something back to the players by investing in our live events in a meaningful way.

Our objective is to create an event that brings professionals and amateurs together, creating many winning moments and unforgettable stories.”

Win Your Way into the PSPC at PokerStars

PokerStars will award packages to the PSPC throughout the year but the simplest way to get a package is to win a major online tournament at PokerStars. Events that will award packages to the PSPC include:

  • Sunday Million
  • Sunday Storm
  • MicroMillions Events
  • TCOOP and WCOOP Events
  • And More

Live tournament players will have a chance to win seats through select PokerStars Live events, such as PokerStars Championship Main Events.

There will be other opportunities to win packages throughout the year but those will be disclosed by PokerStars at a later date.

PokerStars Wisely Reintroduces EPT, LAPT and APPT

One of the more unpopular decisions made by PokerStars last year was the decision to eliminate the European Poker Tour (EPT), the Latin America Poker Tour (LAPT) and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) in lieu of the PokerStars Championship series.

Fortunately, PokerStars saw the error of their ways and announced that all three tours will be returning starting in 2018 and will replace the unpopular PSC concept. As part of the announcement of the return of these tours, PokerStars also revealed that at least one Platinum Pass will be awarded at each stop on these tours.

The EPT, LAPT and APPT were among the most popular of PokerStars’ international tours as they were showcases for international talent and considered among the top poker events in the world. Absorbing them into the PSC was not popular as it reduced the number of events and made them a bit more obscure.

PokerStars Makes Changes to Try and Regain Customer Confidence

There are a couple of likely reasons that PokerStars made these changes. The first being the regular complaints by many players at PSC events around the world in 2017. Many players accused PokerStars of trying to execute a money grab and many felt they were completely ignoring the players that helped make the live tours a success.

Another factor is the rise of partypoker Live and other live tours around the world. The alternative tours have really begun to gain ground as players fed up with PokerStars began to frequent these other events. After partypoker won Poker Operator of the Year in October, PokerStars took notice.

Time will tell whether PokerStars is truly trying to right the ship or if this is merely an attempt to get positive press for the company. If the trends of the last year continue into 2018, players will surely make their voices heard and this will further erode the trust between PokerStars and the live poker community.

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