More Platinum Passes awarded prior to January PokerStars Players Championship. Check out these stories and more in the Monday Hit and Run.

Arlie Shaban receives Platinum Pass

PokerStars continues to award Platinum Passes for the PokerStars Players Championship with one of its latest ones generated a bit of controversy as it involved Poker Life Podcast host Joey Ingram.

Over the last few months Arlie Shaban, a Big Brother Canada contestant and Twitch streamer, has engaged in the “12 Labors of Hercules” challenge, an attempt to win the $30,000 Platinum Pass. The challenge is just one of the many ways that PokerStars has creatively marketed the tournament that will give away $9 million in packages for the January tournament.

For the 12 Labors challenge, Shaban was required to 12 tasks, with the tasks increasingly difficult as he moved through the challenge. With 11 passes completed by December 21st, Shaban was faced with his final challenge: convince Joey Ingram, a staunch PokerStars critic, to take a free $30,000 Platinum Pass and to play the event.

At the time of this writing, there is no word on whether Ingram accepted the offer, but PokerStars posted via their blog that Shaban has indeed won his Platinum Pass.

“Even if you had not been able to complete the challenge we set out for you as your final Labor, you would have exceeded our expectations, Arlie.”

The PokerStars Players Championship is set to kick off from January 6th to 10th in The Bahamas.

Quick hitters

– In other more heart-warming Platinum Pass news, Chris Moneymaker surprised Damon Ferrante, who gives 50% of his winnings to charity, with the surprise of a lifetime (h/t PokerStrategy):

– ICYMI: Darren Rovell from the Action Network interviewed Rich Alati about his 20-day stay in a bathroom<, which ultimately yielded the poker player $62,400, an interesting story to tell and hopefully no negative long-term effects from his three weeks in isolation. - It's that time of the year for 2018 retrospectives and PokerStrategy has an entertaining one in their review of the "funniest hands of 2018,” a look at some of the more humorous televised and streamed hands of the year.

Meanwhile, 2018 proved to be another big year for huge tournament prize pools. High Stakes Database takes a look at the biggest of the big in their feature on the largest cashes of 2018.

– Ourgame has announced a sale of the World Poker Tour and Alliet ESports International to Black Ridge Acquisition for a price tag believed to be around $150 million. WPT co-founder Lyle Berman, who has been away from the WPT, is Black Ridge’s current director and will become the new chairman of the new Allied eSports Entertainment company.

– Today’s featured Grinderschool video continues Carroter’s “Study and Grind” series. In this episode, Carroters talks about how he reviews hand histories before four-table $100nl 6 max.

Best poker videos on YouTube

Jaimes Staples with some deep runs over the weekend in his latest vlog.

Andrew Neeme is back in Vegas for his latest vlog and shares his top three tips for starting to play poker: