These Passes are worth a cool $30,000 apiece, including a $25,000 buy-in to the annual PokerStars Players’ Championship, plus:
- Airfare for the winner and guest to attend the tournament,
- A six-night hotel stay,
- $1,900 for additional expenses, and
- Exclusive experiences for Platinum Pass winners
So far this year, PokerStars has handed out six Passes in the US. Representatives for PokerStars didn’t clarify to Bonus precisely how many more are coming, but it is definitely at least 30 and possibly more.
PokerStars’s initial announcement said it would be awarding Passes based on monthly leaderboards running from Aug 30 to Dec 10. It provided details about how the first set of Passes would be awarded in conjunction with the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan Championships of Online Poker (NJCOOP, PACOOP, and MICOOP).
Still, we were left with questions about the specifics. With such valuable prizes on the line, it’s essential for our readers to be able to plan ahead. We reached out to PokerStars for clarification, and here’s what we found out.
Four Leaderboards in Total, Each Connected to a Tournament Series
One confusing thing about the announcement was that it referred to monthly leaderboards, but the date range is more than three months, yet less than four.
Bonus has received confirmation that there will, in fact, be four leaderboards.
- The first three leaderboards run for an entire month each, concluding towards the end of September, October and November, respectively.
- The final leaderboard will be part of a Last Chance promotion, which will run from Nov 29 to Dec 9.
That Last Chance promotion will be part of the 25 Days of Tournaments festival, which ran from Dec 6 to Dec 30 last year.
Each of the other leaderboards will also be associated with a tournament series. We know that the first is connected to the state COOPs, and the last will be for the 25 Days of Tournaments. That means we should hear announcements for other special series in October and November. The latter will probably be Fall Fest again, like last year, while October might be, for instance, a reprise of Bounty Builders (though that’s just a guess).
All Platinum Passes to be Awarded via Freeroll
PokerStars mentioned that the first set of Passes would be awarded to the top finishers in an invitational freeroll. Bonus has confirmed that this will be the case for all the Passes.
In other words, you don’t have to be number one on the leaderboard to win a Pass, nor does landing that spot guarantee you one. Instead, you just need to place near the top to get your chance to play in one of the freerolls.
How close you have to be to the top depends on your state, and this will be the same for all freerolls:
- PA: Top 500
- MI: Top 300
- NJ: Top 200
The reason for the difference is that PokerStars Pennsylvania has the greatest number of players overall, and New Jersey has the fewest. However, it means that if you’re a New Jersey resident who has made it into the freeroll, you’re more than twice as likely to come away with your Platinum Pass than someone in Pennsylvania.
Each state freeroll will award two Platinum Passes, meaning a minimum of six Passes each month across the three states. Multiplied by four leaderboards, that makes 24 Passes.
Additionally, we know that the COOP leaderboard will have two freerolls, so everyone will have two chances to win. PokerStars confirmed that the second freeroll follows the same format as the first, meaning another six Passes, bringing the total to 30.
One thing PokerStars did not clarify is whether any of the other leaderboards will have more than one freeroll. So, 30 might be the full total, or there might be a few more Passes still to come.