Treating Different People Differently: PokerStars Creates The Richest $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em Event in History

Image by to Neil Stoddart
Credits to Neil Stoddart and PokerStars

The greatest marketers in the world know they have to treat different people differently.
How do you do that if you are PokerStars?
There is a man in a suit sitting on the crapper playing a Spin & Go, a grandmother in her seventies sits by the kitchen table, bacon & egg pie baking in the oven as she competes in a play money cash game, and the grinder sits behind cartons of used Pot Noodles multi-tabling 12-tables.
Different people.
Different reasons for playing.
The marketer needs to find the common thread that unites them all: emotion. People want what you make to change how they feel. The thing you create is merely a vehicle that drives you to the doorstep of belonging, joy, tension and a change in status. The PokerStars Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) is that vehicle.
For the past 12-months, PokerStars has created a compelling storyline that has resonated with the poker community so loudly, brightly, and snugly that 719 people paid $25,000 to compete in a poker tournament. Include the 320 people that PokerStars gave a seat for nothing (at the cost of $9.6m), then you have a record 1,039 player field for a $25,000 event. The largest ever held in the history of our game.
For one crazy week in January, PokerStars made it possible for the media to ask the valet at the Atlantis if he was playing. Suddenly, everyone was potentially a high stakes poker player. It’s proof positive that if you invest time and effort in a long term marketing strategy, and deliver what you promise, then your customers will find a way to play.
Have they delivered?
The feeling on the ground as Bruce Buffer grabbed the microphone and battered it like a rock star on Day 1 was incredible. The energy was incredible. It felt like being on the floor of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event for the very first time.

Image by Neil Stoddart
Credits to Neil Stoddart and PokerStars

It had everything.
Two days in, and there are 207 players left. The prizepool of $26,455,500 is the 18th largest ever, and the most significant outside of the WSOP Main Event and Big One for One Drop.
181 players receive a minimum of $25,450.
Players who make the final table pick up $509,000.
The top six finishers earn a minimum of a million dollars.
The winner emerges with $5,100,000.

Credits to Neil Stoddart and PokerStars
Credits to Neil Stoddart and PokerStars

Here are those payouts.
Final Table Payouts
1. $5,100,000*
2. $2,974,000
3. $2,168,000
4. $1,657,000
5. $1,304,000
6. $1,012,000
7. $746,000
8. $509,000
*Includes $1m added by PokerStars
Here are the top 10 chip counts.
Top 10 Chip Counts
1. Farid Jattin – 921,000
2. Mustapha Kanit – 888,000
3. Griffin Benger – 885,000
4. Julien Martini – 832,000
5. Athanasios Polychronopoulos – 797,000
6. Samuel Tsehai – 750,000
7. Martins Adeniya – 748,000
8. Marc Perrault – 725,000
9. Ramin Hajiyev – 720,000
10. Alexandre De Zutter – 700,000
And that’s how you treat different people differently.
You make them all feel the same.