As much as online poker was gaining traction during the lockdown and the closure of land-based casinos period, so much is live poker suffering from the ongoing health crisis, with events around the globe falling off the calendar.
No Live Poker for the Time Being
PokerStars announced last week its much-anticipated second run of the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) 2020 will be postponed. The tournament that was slated to take place in August, as part of this year’s European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona will now take place sometime during 2021, with the exact dates to be established later on. The EPT that had to take place in Casino Barcelona was also postponed.
To sweeten the news a bit, PokerStars said it will use the delay to give extra chances for qualification through satellite tournaments the poker operator called Platinum Passes. Extra 80 packages on top of the 320 provided last year will be available for grabs by players through the online satellites.
Regarding qualification through live tournaments, PokerStars will have to figure out another way of handing those Platinum Passes as it also cancelled the Road to PSPC Cannes, Road to PSPC Madrid Torrelodones, and Manilla Super Series 14. Though for the time all Platinum Pass winning tournaments have been suspended, PokerStars will announce new promotions, both online and live, as soon as the new date for the PSPC is confirmed.
EPT Barcelona Building Expectations
The Barcelona stop of the EPT series is one of the most anticipated, with the 2019 edition setting a record of nearly 2,000 entries. Postponing the event for 2021 will only build up expectations as live players will be eager to return to action due to the long period of suspension. In other words, PSPC is setting up the scene for another record of poker participation and excitement.
“Finally, we are currently working on many promotions and competitions. We will announce them as soon as they’re ready, so you can expect a variety of ways to get involved. Rest assured the PSPC will be well worth the wait and we aim to make it another history-making poker event.”Official PokerStars Blog
The first edition of the PSPC took place in January 2019 at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, seeking to replace the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA). The poker operator also wanted to provide an olive branch to the professional players mostly affected by PokerStars’ decisions to increase rake and scale-back rewards.
Electing to replace the Atlantis Resort with Casino Barcelona meant the second edition of the PSPC should switch to August, causing a 19-month period between the two editions. Unfortunately, after the second edition is now postponed, the wait period would be more than 2 years.
Meanwhile, PokerStars’ parent company, The Stars Group (TSG), has recently completed its mega-merger deal with UK-based Flutter Entertainment.