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Winter Series surpasses $25 million guarantee and dishes out $150,000 worth of PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship Platinum Passes

ONCHAN, Isle of Man – January 12, 2018 – The PokerStars Winter Series, which ran from December 25, 2017 to January 7, 2018, far surpassed its $25.4 million guarantee with a total series prize pool of $38,013,576. The series attracted more than 1.3 million entries and close to 203,000 unique players, and also awarded five Platinum Passes worth $150,000 to the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC). This was the first online tournament series at PokerStars that awarded the packages.


The winners of each of the $2.20 Micro, $22 Low, $215 Medium, and $2,100 High Main Events all won a Platinum Pass on top.

Adrian ‘BadWolfOne’ Nica from Romania was the first Winter Series Platinum Pass winner. He saw off a field of 38,253 players in the Micro Main Event for $8,170.56 and the $30,000 package. Nica, who has been playing poker for nine years and often plays online qualifiers, said: “I only registered for this tournament because of the whole Platinum Pass added value. Never been to the Bahamas so looking forward to that.”

Germany’s ‘smir9david’, who has been playing poker for seven years, took down the Low Main Event for $68,263.06 topping a field of 24,670 players. ‘The Haamer’ from the Netherlands became the Medium Main Event champion, pocketing $221,965.04 for being the last player standing in a field of 8,218.

Philip ‘Freezeplay’ Elliott from Canada won the High Main Event beating a field of 868 players to the $363,177.75 first prize. The Canadian has been playing poker since Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker got him interested during the poker boom in 2003. Elliott, the first Canadian player to win a Platinum Pass, has attended the PCA in the past and says he’s looking forward to his return to the Bahamas in January 2019: “Feels awesome… Can’t wait to parlay that pass.”


Every player who participated in the Winter Series was also given an equal chance of securing a Platinum Pass in an All-in Shootout.

The lucky winner was Maksim ‘masik777325’ Zakharchenko from the Ukraine, who has been playing poker for just two years after a friend introduced him to the game. This will be his very first time playing in a PokerStars Live event.


Players who missed out on winning a Platinum Pass during the Winter Series can try their chances again online and live:

Online paths

  • Monthly Sunday Cashers Final winner February 3, 2018 - 1 Platinum Pass

Live paths

  • PCA Bahamas 2018 January 6-14, 2018 - 5 Platinum Passes
  • PokerStars MEGASTACK Ulster January 12 -14, 2018 - 1 Platinum Pass
  • PokerStars Festival London January 22-29, 2018 - 3 Platinum Passes
  • BSOP SAO Paulo January 25 -30, 2018 - 2 Platinum Passes

Platinum Passes are worth approximately $30,000, which includes the $25,000 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship buy-in, accommodation at the Atlantis Resort, and around $2,000 for travel and expenses. More than 300 Platinum Passes will be won throughout 2018.

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PokerStars operates the world’s most popular online poker sites, serving the global poker community. Since it launched in 2001, PokerStars has become the first choice of players all over the world, with more daily tournaments than anywhere else and with the best online security. More than 178 billion hands have been dealt on PokerStars, which is more than any other site.

PokerStars is the flagship brand of The Stars Group Inc. (Nasdaq: TSG; TSX: TSGI), which owns gaming and related businesses and brands, including PokerStars, PokerStars Casino, BetStars, Full Tilt, and the PokerStars Festival, PokerStars MEGASTACK, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, European Poker Tour, Latin American Poker Tour and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour live poker tour and event brands. PokerStars is the world’s most licensed online gaming brand, holding licenses or related operating approvals in 17 jurisdictions.

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