In the Money in the PSPC: Scott Baumstein Leads Last 38

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The PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC), the largest $25,000 tournament ever held, had already seen a field of 1,039 shrink to 207 when play began today.


With 181 places paid, the start of Day 3 was a hard-fought battle to the money and beyond, the concentration and determination of the players – pros and amateurs alike – palpable. The first step towards the life-changing $5,100,000 first prize out of a total prize pool of $26,455,500 was to make it through the bubble, which ended up lasting over two hours.

The bubble finally burst when Paul Leckey busted in unlucky 182nd place, missing out on the prize money but surely consoled by his surprise bubble prize: a $11,600 EPT deluxe package to EPT Monte Carlo courtesy of PokerStars.

The overall chip leader going into the penultimate day’s play is New Yorker Scott Baumstein, who bagged up 4,240,000 chips, just ahead of the UK’s Yiannis Liperis (4.2 million). Baumstein ran deep in the PCA Main Event in 2015, coming 15th for $73,840 – less than his guaranteed prize tomorrow of at least $86,400. In total, 28 of the remaining 38 players have bagged up over a million in chips; six finalists will take home more than $1,000,000 in prize money. Click here for full Day 4 chip counts and seating information.

A $25,450 min-cash represents, for several Platinum Pass winners, the biggest result of their poker careers. Over the past 13 months, PokerStars has awarded free entry to this ground-breaking event to 320 players from 50 countries via a host of avenues. Whether winning their pass alongside PokerStars LIVE events, beating challenges set by Team PokerStars Pros or surviving freerolls or shoot-outs, every Platinum Pass winner has a unique background story of their journey to Atlantis.

Nine such stories are ongoing. Currently leading the Platinum Pass winners still in contention for the PSPC title is Ramon Colillas from Spain, who won his pass by topping the Campeonato España de Poker (CEP) Leaderboard. He is joined for Day 4 by Mikita Badziakouski, Joao Barbosa, Pedro Padilha, Adrian Echave Samu, Atanas Pavlov, Marc Rivera, Michael Robionek and Jacqueline Burkhart (in order of highest to lowest stacks). Robionek, who returns with 720,000, had never played anything but freerolls on PokerStars until he won his Platinum Pass in the Human Lie Detector competition. His lifetime poker earnings totalled €80, and tomorrow, come what may, he is guaranteed a prize of at least $86,400.

Congratulations to anyone who picked Felix ‘xflixx’ Schneiders as their longest-lasting PokerStars Ambassador (at 34/1 – the longest odds of the lot) in the PSPC in the special BetStars market. The Team Online member busted today in 40th place, winning $69,100.

Also amongst today’s in-the-money finishers were all three Greenwood brothers – Max (47th), Sam (49th) and Luc (98th) – a rare feat in a 1,039-runner live tournament. Click here for the PSPC payouts so far.

The first of several high buy-in one day events, the $25,000 single re-entry tournament, brought together a field made up of veteran high roller players from the live and online poker worlds. There were 75 entries (25 of them re-entries), and no easy tables. At time of writing, 12 remaining players, led by Igor Kurganov, are still vying for the trophy and $495,210 top prize from a $1,800,750 total prize pool. PokerNews features live reporting and chip counts from this event. Click here for the full PCA schedule.

- $25,000 PSPC (January 6-10, 2019)
- $1,100 PCA National Event, unlimited re-entry (January 10-11, 2019)
- $100,000 PCA Super High Roller, unlimited re-entry (January 10-12, 2019)
- $10,300 PCA 2019 Main Event, single re-entry (January 11-16, 2019)
- $25,000 PCA High Roller Event, single re-entry (January 14-16, 2019)