There will be no PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) in Barcelona in 2021. PokerStars has announced in a recent press release that the event will not go ahead this year due to ongoing uncertainty over COVID-19 in Europe.
This comes as a disappointment to a lot of players who have been itching to take part in the prestigious tournament, but PokerStars has assured everyone that the PSPC will return with a bang when the time is right.
Inaugural PSPC
The PSPC debuted in January 2019 and ran as part of the final edition of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure which took place at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. The tournament attracted 1,039 players, 181 of them took home a share of the massive $26.4 million in total prize money.
The inaugural event ended up crowning an unlikely winner in Ramon Colillas, a former fitness trainer who secured a seat into the $25,000 buy-in tournament via PokerStars’ Platinum Pass promotion. He bested some of the world’s best poker pros to become the first ever PSPC champion for $5.1 million.
PSPC 2019 went down in history as the biggest and richest $25K buy-in tournament. What made it more interesting was the groundbreaking Platinum Pass Promotion, one of the most ambitious promotions launched in live poker history.
The year-long promo saw PokerStars award a $30,000 package to 320 lucky players from around the world. Two of them ended up in the final table – Marc Rivera from the Philippines who finished 3rd for $2,168,000, and the eventual winner Colillas from Barcelona.
Live Poker in Europe Slowly Recovering
Live poker in Europe is still in the early stage of recovery. The region has yet to host massive events due to ongoing cross-border travel issues. COVID-19 also continues to pose a threat to everyone’s health and safety, the main reason why PokerStars decided not to proceed with initial plans to hold the event this year.
While the European live poker scene is still trying to get back on its feet, there are some positive developments. Some cities are beginning to host big events, such as Sochi in Russia, where both the World Poker Tour and PokerStars have recently run live events.
A brand-new poker series called “The Festival” is also scheduled to take place this June and September in Estonia and Slovakia. Add to that a Russian Poker Tour event slated for April.
PSPC Part Two – When Will It Happen?
Months after the PSPC made its debut, PokerStars announced that the tournament will return for a second edition in 2020, and that it will once again give away Platinum passes to hundreds of players across the globe. Barcelona was also chosen as the new host.
All hopes ended in disappointment when the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a standstill for almost a year, effectively closing the live poker scene. PokerStars rescheduled the tournament to 2021, only to be postponed once again.
In its presser, PokerStars said the good health and safety of its players and staff and the communities hosting its major events remains a top priority.
PokerStars also said it cannot yet provide exact dates for when the tournament will take place. Players are now probably wondering whether they’d ever get to see another PSPC happening. Well, they can take comfort in knowing that PokerStars remains committed to running the PSPC in Barcelona, and that it is keen on giving players the best poker experience. The online poker operator promised players “it will be worth the wait”.
PokerStars’ Severin Rasset said they’re looking forward to another great event and it will happen as soon as the situation allows. A sure sign that the PSPC is close to hitting the live felts in Barcelona would be when PokerStars start to ramp up its Platinum Pass promotions.
If conditions continue to improve especially with regards to cross-border travel, PSPC could finally take place sometime in 2022, fingers crossed. What players can do now is to stay safe while preparing for another history-making event.

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