16 Premier League Playoff qualifiers will be in Las Vegas from 7th to 14th February. Only one of them will win a buy-in to the $100,000 main event and play against poker stars like JC Tran and Yevgeniy Timoshenko. Only one of them will get the TeamParty sponsorship.
Today we profile two of the playoff qualifiers, their stories and their hopes for the Las Vegas trip.
I bought into a speed qualifier for $52. I managed to place in the top 4 to get into the $480 qualifier.
In the $480 qualifier there were 35 players, so only one place in Vegas for the winner. I didn’t get great hands to start so my stack had dwindled to about 10,000.
Blinds were up to 300/600 I was in the Big Blind with A8o. A big stack limped in. I thought this was a good spot for a steal, so I pushed all-in. The limper called with A7 off and my hand held for a double up.
The next hand I got K4 suited in the small blind. Three players limped in so I completed. I then flopped the nut flush and managed to get all-in with the button who had a baby flush. Another double up!
My stack then fluctuated around the 50,000 mark without any major hands until we got to the final table. My stack hand dwindled to 30,000 with the blinds at 2000/4000 when I got A6 off in the small blind.
A passive player limped in and I thought it was another good place for a steal so I pushed all-in. The big blind called and the limper folded. The big blind showed 88, so I was in a tight spot. However, I hit the A high straight to survive.
That hand was the turning point and I started to get some good cards. I won two huge pots with JJ vs. AK and AK vs. A3. With five players left I had half the chips in play and knew if I didn’t make any mistakes I had a great chance. I played some controlled poker, picking my spots to put the pressure on the small stacks and eventually I was heads-up with a 4 to 1 chip lead. Again I was able to put a lot of pressure on my opponent and his stack shrunk. The last hand was my A8 off vs. his A4 off, and it was all over.
I’m a recreational player. To be honest I don’t have a lot of time to play. I generally play SNGs and MTTs with buy-ins around the $50 mark. My biggest win has been $8000 in a MTT. I haven’t played much live. I played in the Oxford Cup a few years ago, but didn’t manage to cash.
Obviously, I can’t wait to play the Premier League play-off. This is a huge thing for a recreational player like me. I don’t know what to expect really. I have two aims: to play as well as I possibly can and to enjoy the whole experience. I’m not trying to think about winning the play-off. Poker is just too fickle a game to think too far ahead. I’m playing a lot of SNGs and re-reading some favourite strategy books in preparation.
I see that JC Tran, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Mike Sexton are slated to play. All great players, it would be fantastic to play against them. I thought JC Tran was awesome in last year’s event, playing wonderful controlled poker.
But, if there is one player I would love to play against it has to be Phil Hellmuth. No matter what you think about his antics, he is great entertainment. The other player I’d like to play against is Daniel Negreanu. He has got such a great way of playing and a superb tournament record.
It has always been an ambition to play in a big live poker tournament. Just to be in with a chance is amazing. The sponsorship is a great idea, giving one lucky player a fantastic opportunity. I’d love to spend a year travelling and playing in different tournaments.
I won on my first try and I bought in directly. The keyhand was my AQ vs 1010 all in preflop when we were 6 player left. I got a nice A on the flop.
Then I was the chipleader for the rest of the tournament. It was 2 packages for the top 2 and nothing for 3rd place.
I have played 5000$ buy-in as my biggest offline tournament, but many around 1000-3000 Euro buy in. Was in the money in the last 2 in Portugal and Estonia, Bettson Estoril and Baltic festival (side event). No big cashes but in the money in a few.
My goal is to win against the other satellite players and get a final ticket. If I don’t do it, my goal is to have fun. It is my 4th time in Vegas and I really like the city.
Have played with a few of the famous poker player, it is hard to choose one I really want to play with.
It is expensive to do all the qualifying online and even more expensive to buy in directly. Then you have to be in the top 10 in the main tournament if you want any big cashes. So it is tough. Winning the sponsorship would change a lot for my poker career.
Premier League Poker play-offs and the final event will be filmed for TV and shown across the world. Also one of the 16 PartyPoker qualifiers will be chosen to receive a $100,000 Team Party contract and will be our new sponsored player. Lots of stuff to play for…