PokerStars has announced the first of its live-poker qualifying events for U.S.-based players as part of the buildup to the 2023 PokerStars Players Championship in the Bahamas in January. The first “Road to PSPC” qualifier will come to metro Baltimore’s Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, with a $360 multi-day qualifier and numerous $50 turbo satellites beginning on Monday, September 26.
Maryland Live!, which boasts the state’s largest poker room, has already published the schedule of events for the Road to PSPC visit. The $50 play-in turbos dominate the first three days, with the first of the $360 buy-in opening flights scheduled for Thursday, September 29. At least one such opening flight will be offered each day through Sunday, October 1. The Road to PSPC stop’s Day 2 is set for Monday, October 2.
It’s perhaps a mild surprise that the first American Road to PSPC qualifier is set to begin at a Maryland venue, rather than in any of the three states where PokerStars US has already launched an online site with casino partners in those states. Two of the three states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, are immediate neighbors of Maryland, though the third PokerStars state, Michigan, is several hundred miles away. While the Maryland-first stop is most likely just a matter of scheduling convenience, it’s a strong indicator that if Maryland does legalize and regulate online poker, a Maryland Live!/PokerStars partnership is likely to occur.
Prize package to Bahamas goes to event winner
The champion of the Road to PSPC event receives more than just the winner’s share of the prize pool. PokerStars has strongly promoted the return of the PSPC, which had been shelved for several years, by making plans to award several hundred Platinum Pass packages to the revived stop. Several dozen of those wll be awarded within the U.S. to both live and online players.
The Platinum Pass package is worth approximately U.S. $30,000 and according to PokerStars, includes the following:
- Buy-in to the $25,000 PSPC
- Six nights hotel accommodation for winner and a guest in a 5-star hotel
- Airport transfer
- $1,900 expense money
- Platinum Pass Winner experiences during the event
The $360 direct buy-in to the Maryland Live! Road to PSPC will be the standard entry fee for most of these qualifiers around the U.S. in the coming months. As seen with the Maryland Live! event, the Road to PSPC promotion is not limited to states where PokerStars itself is already regulated. The live Road to PSPC stops are a value-added promotion by PokerStars, not connected directly to the event’s cash payouts, so they are likely to be approved to run in several other U.S. states.
Featured image: PokerStars