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PokerStars postpones Players No Limit Hold'em Championship 2021

The PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold'em Championship (PSPC) will remain on ice until at least the end of the year, the company announced in a Wednesday press release.

"We feel we cannot guarantee the safety of our players and our staff," explained PokerStars' Severin Rasset in a video accompanying the presser. "Of course, it's our responsibility to make sure that we can operate in the optimal conditions."

The second running of the PSPC — after the January 2019 bonanza that sent the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure out with a bang — had been originally scheduled for Barcelona in 2020 but was pushed to 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic effectively ended live poker for almost a year.

he news comes as little shock, considering live poker in Europe has yet to get off the ground to the extent large festivals are being run. While several big events have run stateside, the cross-border travel necessary to facilitate liquidity in Europe throws a large number of extra variables into the equation, variables that will need to be sorted out before anything the size of PSPC runs.

That being said, there have been a few indicators that things are inching in the right direction.

Both the World Poker Tour and PokerStars have run events in Sochi. In fact, the ongoing European Poker Tour Sochi marks the second running of the flagship PokerStars brand there since the pandemic, following one last October.

Sochi presents a bit of a special case because of the majority of the entries there come from Russian players, minimizing the need for cross-border travel.

Even though the EPT appears likely to take another year off aside from Sochi — it's currently the only locale scheduled to host a live event on the official PokerStars Live site — there are still some events planned to run in the coming months.

A new series dubbed The Festival has already announced upcoming stops in Estonia and Slovakia, with the first scheduled for June.

The Hendon Mob also lists a Russian Poker Tour event in Belarus on the upcoming schedule in April.