You have to be willing to get up early if you want to travel the always fun and exciting Moneymaker’s Road to the PokerStars Players Championship. Having GPS helps, too.
Case in point — today cards went in the air at the crack of 10 a.m. (!) for the latest stop on the Moneymaker tour, Moneymaker’s Road to PSPC 2020 – Seminole Hard Rock. Not only that, but we had to get up even earlier and consult Google Maps as the event is happening across two different venues at once!
As the clock struck ten, play began simultaneously at both the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek and Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood.
Your humble scribbler is staying at the Hard Rock — in that eye-popping new Guitar Hotel, in fact (will be sharing more about that soon).
That meant traveling about 20 miles north up I-95 this morning in order to be there when Chris directed dealers in the poker room at Coconut Creek to shuffle up and deal.
Chris is staying at the Hard Rock, too. He was busy late into the night in the poker room there as he managed to take fourth place in one of the preliminary events, the $200 buy-in “Quad Stack Double Green Chip Bounty.”
That meant a short night of rest for him, too. But the 2003 WSOP Main Event champ was wide awake and smiling as always.
I look good for 10am https://t.co/mTaAMUtfdw
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 13, 2019
Now that we’ve cleared our own cobwebs a bit, let’s sort out some of the particulars for this two-venue tourney.
It sports just a $360 buy-in and features a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. Oh, and also — the winner gets a PokerStars Platinum Pass Package and a trip to the 2020 PSPC in Barcelona, a prize worth $30,000.
Players start at 100/100 with big blind antes kicking in starting the second level. The starting stack is 20,000 chips and there are 30-minute levels. Late registration remains open until the start of Level 9, with unlimited re-entries until then.
There are two Day 1 flights happening today and Saturday, and for both they’ll be playing at both the Coconut Creek and Hard Rock poker rooms. In both places and on both days they’ll be playing down to 10 percent of the field before stopping, with all of the survivors making the money and returning for the final Day 2 where everyone will come together at the Seminole Hard Rock to play down to a winner on Sunday.
Last year the Seminole Hard Rock was the site of a lot of Platinum Pass happiness, with five packages for the inaugural PSPC in the Bahamas won at the venue over the course of the year.
Jorge Aristizabal won a pass via a drawing at the Seminole Hard Rock’s Rock & Roll Poker Open, which is also where Carlo Rodriguez won one. Esteban Garcia won a charity event to win his pass, while Ionut Merisescu played cash games at the Seminole Hard Rock to earn entry into a freeroll that he won to earn his way to the Bahamas.
Finally, Andres “Andy” Risquez is the defending champion of this event, as he won his Platinum Pass in a Moneymaker Tour event at the Seminole Hard Rock in November 2018.
That was a memorable event in part because Risquez made it to heads-up against none other than Moneymaker himself! That meant he was assured the Platinum Pass (as Chris wasn’t gonna get it), but Risquez won, anyway, to claim the title.
We hear Risquez will be playing Day 1B tomorrow, so we’re hoping to catch up with him then. Curious to ask him about his experience a year ago and in the Bahamas, as well as what it takes to topple Chris.
And if all this stuff is true about having to get up early to catch a Moneymaker.
Have a look below at both venues — including some spectacular shots — as Chris plays host to the proceedings: