Calling all recreational players: power your way to the Irish Open on PokerStars

PokerStars’ Power Path satellites give recreational players their best chance ever to win their way into the Irish Open. With free tickets for the first step available every day, the Power Path means players could be competing in Dublin this year without having to lay out a single cent.

The PokerStars Power Path is a four-step qualifying route beginning with a Step 1 $0.50 Spin & Go. Step 2 is either a $1 Sit & Go (with 16 players) or a $1.50 Multi-table Tournament (MTT). Step 3 is a $11 MTT and the final Step 4 is $109 MTT.

The crucial benefit for recreational players is that no one is allowed to buy in direct to the final Step 4 $109 MTT. This fences off the final Step and protects casual players from having to compete against a ton of multi-regging poker pros.

All real-money players on PokerStars will also receive a daily Rewards Chest containing a free ticket to a Step 1 $0.50 Spin & Go. Players are welcome to also buy in direct for Step 2 ($1/$1.50) or even the $11 Step 3. But Step 3 is the final stage at which players can buy in directly. To get into the final Step 4 – where the Bronze, Silver and Gold Power Passes are on offer – you have to win your ticket via a Step 3 event.

You can check out all the details for the Irish Open on the PokerStars client under Power Path > Home > The Passes.

Added €200 Mini Irish Open ticket for Silver Pass winners

Courtesy of the Irish Open, all players who win a $2,500 Power Path Silver Pass will also get a free, €200 seat for the €500,000 guaranteed Mini Irish Open. According to PokerStars, there are lots of players who have already won a Power Path Silver Pass and will now get a bonus Mini Irish Open seat if they redeem their Pass for the Dublin festival.

This year’s Irish Open festival runs March 25 to April 1 at the historic Royal Dublin Society. Last year’s Main Event was a record-breaker, with a staggering 2,491 entries to create a €2,428,725 prize pool. The Mini Irish Open only costs €200 to enter but guarantees a whopping €500k prize pool – the largest guarantee for a buy-in of this size in Irish poker history.

PokerStars created the Power Path with the sole intention of getting more casual and recreational players into big events and making sure their route to a live event isn’t crowded with pros who can afford – and anticipate making – multiple entries for the final $109 qualifier.

Another key difference is that the final Step 4 qualifier is single re-entry. No unlimited re-entries; no slew of pros hopping in at the last minute.

Giving recreational players a fair crack

Irish Open champion David Docherty, who won €365,000 in the Main Event last year after qualifying in a PokerStars satellite for just $109, believes the intimidating nature of tough satellites has put off many casual players. He said: “A lot of pros just late-reg the final step and fire off two or three bullets. It can be quite difficult to get through that if you’re a recreational player as people play well for the most part and you’re also up against players who can afford to enter that same $109 satellite two or three times.

“I won the Irish Open from a live satellite and I couldn’t be more excited for people to get that opportunity too. I’m sure there will be people who have never played a live tournament before winning their way into the Irish Open via PokerStars’ Power Path and going on to do well. I’m glad that PokerStars has chosen to mix up the satellite environment a bit because I think it needed a refresh and Power Path seems like an exciting way to do it. Most pros won’t play the lower steps to get into the qualifier; they would rather just play the final step. With Power Path, they’re not allowed and I think that’s great for the poker ecology.”

The Power Path prizes on offer are the Bronze Power Path (worth $109), the Silver Power Pass ($2,500) and the Gold Power Pass ($10,300). For Silver Power Pass winners, the pass means they can enter the €1,150 Main Event, a €550 side event AND the added €200 buy-in Mini Irish Open – with the remaining credit going towards expenses.

To help players even more, PokerStars has even produced a useful strategy guide to help players navigate the Power Path structure and play their best game.

Multiple seats and splitting your tickets

Traditional satellites are running on PokerStars alongside Power Path with a ton of seats and packages guaranteed. The satellite schedule, which runs right up to Sunday, March 24, guarantees 20 Irish Open seats every single week and special “16 seats guaranteed” mega satellites on Sunday, March 10, and Sunday, March 17. There are four ‘seat only’ satellites on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays plus qualifiers every Sunday guaranteeing eight ‘seat and expenses’ packages.

Players can also now win multiple seat-only tickets. This means recreational players who bust the Main Event can either re-enter and give themselves another shot – or buy into something else. The first €/£1,100 seat ticket won in an Irish Open online qualifier must be used for the Main Event but any seat tickets won after that become “Player’s Choice”. So, for example, you could use a second ticket to enter the €1,100 Mystery Bounty or combine three tickets to enter the €3,300 High Roller. You can also split any “extra” €/£1,100 tickets to play live side events – such as the €550 buy-in JP Poker Masters. Any tickets you haven’t used are credited as T-Money to your PokerStars account.