From Cash Games to the Players Championship: Rishva Iyer Wins PokerStars Platinum Pass

From Cash Games to the Players Championship: Rishva Iyer Wins PokerStars Platinum Pass

Philadelphia’s Live! Casino & Hotel recently gave local ladies a chance to win a seat in next year’s $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship.

The $200 tournament was not only a chance for women to compete in a female-friendly environment but win something more than cash. Thanks to a working relationship between Live! Casino and PokerStars, the event was an official feeder for the $25,000 Players Championship. 

PokerStars announced in August that U.S. players would have multiple chances to win $30,000 Platinum Passes this year. As well as giving the top Championship of Online Poker (COOP) performers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan prize packages, PokerStars U.S. is hosting special live events across the country.

PokerStars Opens Up American Routes to the Bahamas

The latest "Road to PokerStars Players Championship” got underway at Live! Casino on Oct. 8. 

Cash prizes were up for grabs, but the women who anted up $200 were also focused on the $30,000 Platinum Pass.

Winning that not only gets the holder a seat in the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship but an all-expenses paid trip to the Bahamas. 

The prize package was enough to make 120 women play through two days of action in Philly. The field was cut down to nine players on the first day. Denise Allen ended the session with a healthy chip lead. But, when play resumed on Oct. 9, it was all about Rishva Iyer. 

The Philadelphia native had six live cashes going into the final table, including deep runs at the WSOP this summer. She was able to parlay those performances into the biggest win of her career on Sunday.

From fourth in the chip counts at the start of play, Iyer rose up as those around her fell. She eventually got the job done with A-3 and, with that, Iyer booked her seat in the PokerStars Players Championship. And, just for good measure, she banked $5,814 to go along with her $30,000 Platinum Pass. 

Rishva Iyer Earns a Shot at Greatness

Speaking to chess champion and PokerStars pro Jennifer Shahade after the event, Iyer said she’s excited to play in a $25,000 buy-in tournament. 

She got into poker through her boyfriend and is now a regular in Live! Casino’s cash games. However, when she saw PokerStars was hosting a Platinum Pass tournament, she jumped into the mix. 

Iyer now has a chance to compete against the best poker players in the world and, potentially, win a life-changing sum of money. That’s what Ramon Colillas did back in 2019. The Spaniard had less than $15,000 in live cashes before winning a Platinum Pass in 2018, but all that changed after he anted up in the Bahamas. 

Colillas topped a field of 1,039 players in Jan. 2019 to win the inaugural PokerStars Players Championship and $5.1 million. The performance had shades of Chris Moneymaker winning the 2003 WSOP Main Event and, since then, Colillas has gone on to bigger and better things. 

He’s now a part of Team PokerStars and a regular on the circuit. As well as deep runs at the WSOP, Colillas has notched up multiple cashes in Europe, including a win in Partypoker’s Live Millions event. Iyer now has a chance to do the same. 

With PokerStars forced to put the Players Championship on hold for three years because of COVID-19 restrictions, the next event is set to be huge. Players from around the world will travel to Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure between Jan. 22 and Feb. 3, 2023. 

The Players Championship will run from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, but the series will also feature a variety of side events and high rollers. For Iyer though, her focus will be the Players Championship and what could be a career-defining victory worth more than $5 million.