2019 Platinum Pass winners (A-F)

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The PSPC Class of 2019 (A-F)

James Ablott

Genting Poker Series Main Event winner

James Ablott made it to the final six of the Genting Poker Series Luton Main Event, and all of them agreed to an ICM chop. Left on the table? A Platinum Pass which Ablott went on to win, guaranteeing him a seat in the biggest tournament of his life.

Andre Akkari (Brazil)

Invitational - Team Pro

Andre Akkari, PokerStars Team Pro and one of the best known and most successful Brazilian poker players of all time, is going to represent his poker-mad home nation at the inaugural PSPC.

Samir Akhoulou (Germany)

BPC Namur Crazy Pineapple Hand-Draw winner

Ahkoulou played the Belgian Poker Championship at Namur, where he first learned to play poker at the Grand Casino, in early December. He walked away from the Crazy Pineapple Hand Challenge with the biggest tournament entry of his life: a Platinum Pass.

Benjamin Alvarado (Ecuador)

Lex Veldhuis #PSPCitFWD Platinum Pass Adventure winner

Lex Veldhuis chose Alvarado, a doctor, as the winner of his Platinum Pass Adventure because Alvarado cut off his long hair -- which he'd had for 17 years -- to make wigs for cancer patients who'd lost their own hair during chemptherapy treatments.

Arthur Stein do Amaral (Brazil)

November Selected Daily Tournaments All-In Shootout winner

Participants in selected daily tournaments during the month of November won a ticket to an all-in shootout. Amaral won that shootout and a Platinum Pass with it.

Christopher Michael Andler (Sweden)

EPT Prague VIP Tournament winner

Andler, who has a string of cashes in live events dating back to 2006, will get a chance to add a Bahamas score to his CV when he won an invitaitonal event for VIPs at EPT Prague.

Jorge Aristizabal (Colombia)

WPT Rock and Roll Poker Open - Play 2 Win Drawing winner

Aristiziabal won his Platinum Pass in a drawing for players at the Seminole Hard Rock's Rock And Roll Poker Open.

Blair Armstrong-Payne (United Kingdom)

Monthly Sunday Cashers All-In Shootout winner

Armstrong-Payne earned his Platinum Pass in an all-in shootout for players who cashed in selected tournaments during the month of September.

Yuka Asaka (Japan)

Manila Super Series 8 Main Event winner

Four years ago Yuka Asaka was trying all the games available on a long flight and came across Texas Hold'em. Then she tried live poker and decided she liked it. Now she's a Manila Super Series Main Event champion and Platinum Pass holder, headed to the Bahamas next year to take on the world's best.

Vitaly Avanesyan (Russia)

EPT Sochi Cup winner

Vitaly Avanesyan is an amateur, but he's not worried about the top pros at the PSPC. Why? "Their problem is, they don't know me, but I know them," he said.

Mikita Badziakouski (Belarus)

Macau Poker Cup High Roller Winner

Count Mikita Badziakouski as a proponent of the PSPC. "It's a very smart idea. It's going to be huge!" he said after winning his pass. The High Roller from Belarus is an early favorite for the final table, but there is a long way to go until January!

János Bakacs (Hungary)

Stars Rewards Players Championship Giveaway winner

János Bakacs found a freeroll ticket in his Stars Rewards chest this June. He entered the shootout. He won it. Now this martial arts enthusiast is going to the Bahamas for the PSPC!

Leandro Balotin (Brazil)

BSOP Iguazu All-In Or Fold tournament winner

Leandro Balotin considered himself essentially retired from poker. Then he won an All-In Or Fold tournament at BSOP Iguazu for a Platinum Pass. "Just when I thought I was out..."

Joao Barbosa (Portugal)

EPT Barcelona Event #28 Crazy Pineapple Hand Challenge

Portugal's second-winningest player is both skilled and fortunate -- he cashed in 11th place at Event #28 of EPT Barcelona, but he won his Platinum Pass in a Crazy Pineapple flipout for players who made Day 2 of the event.

Furkan Beg (Turkey)

Moneymaker PSPC Tour - Casino Talking Stick winner

Beg held out on a 13-way deal before squeezing a little extra from a three-handed deal when chip leader and tournament namesake Chris Moneymaker, who wasn't allowed to win, cashed out. Then he flopped a set with pocket kings against his remaining two opponents' pocket queens and pocket fours to score the Platinum Pass.

Andrea Benelli(Italy)

Italian Poker Open winner

Andrea Benelli, 36, is about to experience something new. Though he clearly knows how to win a poker tournament, he's bound for uncharted waters. "I have never played a High Roller," he said. "It's going to be my first one. I'm very happy to play against the best players in the world."

Oliver Biles (United Kingdom)

#VloggerInParadise Platinum Pass Adventure winner

Biles nearly woke up the entire hotel when Andrew Neeme and Jeff Gross told him -- live on Twitch -- that he was one of two winners of the #VloggerInParadise Platinum Pass Adventure.

Artemy Alexandrovich Borisov

Monthly Sunday Cashers AISO winner

Artemy Borisov cashed in a Sunday tournament during the month of July and earned a ticket into an All-In Shootout. Then he won the shootout and with it a Platinum Pass, booking his seat in the PSPC next January.

Anton Botov

PokerStars Collectibles Shootout

Anton Botov is a man up to a challenge. His most recent, the PokerStars Collectibles Challenge, is sending him to the Bahamas.

Peter Brankin (UK)

London Megastack winner

Peter Brankin spent £150 to enter a tournament and won a Platinum Pass. Afterward he said, "I don't have a girlfriend just now, but I've now got a great opening line to put on my Tinder profile".

Darren Brennan (Ireland)

PokerStars Megastack Dublin Main Event winner

Brennan overcame a field of 821 players at Megastack Dublin. He chopped the remaining prize pool heads-up and then defeated Stephen Meehan for the title and the Platinum Pass.

Jacqueline Burkhart (United States)

Maria Konnikova #MyPokerStory Platinum Pass Adventure winner

Burkhart won Maria Konnikova's Platinum Pass Adventure for writing the story "Shuffle Up And Deal."

Shuize Cai (China)

APPT Macau National Championship winner

One of the best ways to win sometime is for it to be a surprise. This stockbroker from China had to wait until nearly the end before realizing there was more on the table than the prize pool. "I only found out about the Platinum Pass when I made the final table!" he said.

Caio Calmon (Brazil)

Andre Akkari Platinum Pass Adventure winner

Nine years after starting of in small home games with his friends, Calmon won a drawing to play a single-table freeroll at BSOP Iguazu. Winning that earned him a chance to take on two other STT winners for a Platinum Pass at the BSOP Millions. One hour later he had earned his ticket to the Bahamas. "It's a very good feeling, a unique opportunity in my life," he said. "I want to go to the Bahamas and put into practice everything I've learned in these years playing poker."

Rolando Camardese (Italy)

EPT Barcelona Cup Crazy Pineapple Hand Challenge

Camardese mostly plays live poker tournaments in Belgium, though he's previous traveled to Portugal and San Remo. He might like Barcelona best of all now that he's collected two cashes and bagged a Platinum Pass in a Crazy Pineapple flipout.

Andrew Canfield (United States)

NJCOOP PSPC Entrants All-In Shootout winner

Canfield's Platinum Pass win came in an all-in shootout for NJCOOP PSPC satellite entrants.

Siyou Cao (China)

Macau Poker Cup Baby Dragon Winner

"When I found out the Platinum Pass was worth US$30,000 and not HK$30,000, I was very excited!" So said Siyou Cao who, when being honest, really had no idea he was winning a seat to one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Now that he knows...well, he's very excited.

Giuseppe Caridi (Italy)

London Festival National winner

What do you do when you try to win a Platinum Pass on your own soil and fail to do it? You go to someone else's soil and win it there. That's what Caridi did. He left Italy and his job as a drinks distributor, went to London, and picks up his Platinum Pass there. Now, he has to prepare himself to play across the Atlantic.

Leocir José Carneiro (Brazil)

BSOP Million Main Event winner

Carneiro won more than $300,000 when he topped the 3,240-player field at this year's BSOP Million Main Event in Sao Paulo. He also earned a Platinum Pass, giving him a shot at parlaying what is already by far his largest tournament cash into something even larger.

Jennifer Carter (Canada)

Stars Rewards Players Championship Giveaway winner

Jennifer Carter's July Stars Rewards chest contained a ticket for a freeroll to win a Platinum Pass. Fast-forward to today and she's the seventh woman to win a Platinum Pass and earn a spot in the PSPC.

Tenzin Chakdor (United States)

NJCOOP PSPC Entrants All-In Shootout winner

Chakdor, a full-time radio engineer for AT&T, might have won his Platinum Pass in an all-in shootout freeroll, but he isn't planning to sell any pieces of his action at the PSPC. "I love swings!" he says. "Max Pain or Pleasure!!!"

James Chen (Taiwan )

APPT Macau High Roller Winner

James Chen is already a High Roller, and he's a cash game guy, so winning a Platinum Pass wasn't a life-changing moment for him. Nevertheless, he's ready to play. "I think the Platinum Pass promotion is great for the game," he said.

Tom Chiarella (United States)

Consumer Media Draw winner

A writing professor and fiction editor, Chiarella won a Consumer Media draw for a Platinum Pass in December.

Stephen Chidwick (United Kingdom)

PSPC Online Satellite winner

Already one of the most successful tournament players in history with $18 million in winnings -- as one insider observed, "the 'end level bosses' of poker consider Stephen Chidwick to be their 'end level boss'" -- Chidwick booked his seat in the PSPC through an online satellite.

Florentin Dorel Chinezon (Romania)

PSPC Online Satellite winner

Chinezon earned his Platinum Pass -- and showed his mettle against a hungry field -- by taking down an online satellite for the PSPC.

Georgios Christou (Greece)

December R&R Road To The Bahamas All-In Shootout winner

"The first feeling was disbelief," Christou said of learning he'd won a Platinum Pass in the Road To The Bahamas promotion. "I honestly thought the email I received was a prank. I remember calling a friend of mine and forwarding the email to him as well to have a look if it was real. In a couple of hours after realising it was for real the excitement I felt was like no other. I feel this is an opportunity of a lifetime, a dream come true."

Ramon Colillas (Spain)

CEP Leaderboard winner

Finishing atop the CEP Leaderboard gave the 30-year-old Colillas a major opportunity -- the Platinum Pass is worth almost three times as much as he's ever won in live tournaments.

Jonathan Concepcion (Spain)

EPT Barcelona Main Event Live Qualifier Event #25 winner

Concepcion, who plays on PokerStars as "OMGjonyctt," won the added package in an EPT Barcelona live PSPC satellite to earn his Platinum Pass.

David Corkett (United Kingdom)

Liv Boeree & Igor Kurganov #NextGreatPokerBrain Platinum Pass Adventure winner

Corkett was surprised to make the final of the #NextGreatPokerBrain quiz -- he figured at least 10 other people got perfect scores on the previous quiz. But they didn't, and he topped the final round to win the Pass.

Neville Costa (Brazil)

BSOP Millions Mega Freeroll winner

Costa thought his BSOP experience was over. Then he played in the Mega Freeroll and scored a Platinum Pass. "I'm very happy that I won this on the last opportunity," he said. "I went to play the freeroll, things started going well and thanks to God I won."

Thiago Crema  (Brazil)

BSOP Brasilia Brazil's Top Players

Thiago Crema almost skipped his chance to win a Platinum Pass to go to a wedding. Somehow he found a way to fit the tournament in, and he made it worth his time. That pass in his hand is proof.

Quentin Jean Marie Maurice De Solere (France)

December .ES/.FR R&R Road To The Bahamas All-In Shootout winner

De Solere earned his Platinum Pass in December in an all-in shootout for French and Spanish pariticpants in the Road To The Bahamas promotion.

Alexandre De Zutter  (France)

PSF Lille Main Event winner

Chess enthusiast Alexandre De Zutter has been playing poker for 10 years. The PSF Lille Main Event was his first live PokerStars event -- and he won it to earn a Platinum Pass. "It's the best day of my life," he said of the win.

Christian Delacombaz (Switzerland)

PokerStars Live Qualifier All-In Shootout

Delacombaz is no stranger to qualifying for live tournaments, having previously traveled to Vegas and San Remo, among other destinations. But qualifying for the Bahamas has always been a goal for him. After winning a Platinum Pass in an all-in shootout for PokerStars Live qualifiers, that goal can be considered achieved.

Lucas Denis (France)

Monte-Carlo Webstream

Denis won a freeroll during the EPT Monte Carlo webstream in May to snag a Platinum Pass.

Adrian Diaconu (Romania)

November Monthly Sunday Cashers All-In Shootout winner

Adrian won the Big $11 for $10K on in mid-November, which also qualified him for an all-in shootout for Sunday tournament cashers. His victory there clinched his seat in the PSPC.

Adriano Dias Marques (Brazil)

SECOOP Challenge - 4 Stamps Freeroll winner

Players who entered events during the Southern Europe Championship of Online Poker received a stamp for every day they played. Dias Marques earned four stamps to qualify for a freeroll, then won that freeroll to book his passage to the Bahamas.

Guillaume Diaz  (France)

EPT Monte Carlo National Winner

He may look young and fresh-faced, but Guillaume Diaz is a French wrecking ball. His final day in the EPT Monte Carlo National was one for the books. It was one of the most volatile ways you can win a Platinum Pass.

Alfonso Mora Díaz-Oliver (Spain)

.ES/.FR SCOOP Main Event High winner

Back in April, the player known online as Sytoamd took down this year's Spanish/French SCOOP Main Event High. The €117,600 prize was great, but the Platinum Pass could end up surpassing it if things go well in the Bahamas.

Benedict Dier (United Kingdom)

ICE Challenge All-In Shootout winner

Dier didn't realize he had won his Platinum Pass in an all-in shootout for participants in the ICE Challenge. "Stars Security froze my account so I checked my email to see why... lo and behold it tells me I've won a 30K package!"

Franz Ditz  (Germany)

EPT Live Satellite Winner

Franz Ditz almost went home from EPT Monte Carlo early, but he decided to stick around for one more day to play the first live PSPC satellite. It worked out well for him, even if he did have to play 8-card Omaha to seal the deal.

Salvatore Donato (Italy)

PokerStars Megastack London Main Event winner

Donato topped a field of 601 players at Megastack London. He made a deal heads-up with Wenbin Chen and then won the title and the Platinum Pass.

Nicolas Dumont  (France)

EPT Monte Carlo Main Event winner

Driving instructor Nicolas Dumont usually doesn't play big EPT events, but his friend Julien Perouse, a Platinum Pass holder, staked him this year. Now the buddies are going to the PSPC together.

Pieter-Michael de Goede

Turbo Series $55 Main Event winner

Pieter-Michael de Goede got more than his first place prize when he won the 2018 Turbo Series $55 Main Event. He also won a trip to play in a tournament than could earn him life-changing money.

Adrian Petru Echave Samu (Spain)

October R&R Road To The Bahamas .ES/.FR All-In Shootout winner

Echave Samu's Platinum Pass came courtesy of an all-in shootout for French and Spanish participants in the October R&R Road To The Bahamas promotion.

Lester Edoc (Philippines)

Manila Megastack winner

When Lester Edoc won the Manila Megastack in March, the first person he thanked was God, or as Edoc said, his boss. Now he says he's praying for a good showing in the Bahamas next year.

Mikhail Elantsev

Monthly All-In Shootout winner

In January, PokerStars hosted an All-In Shootout for those people playing in select daily tournaments. Elantsev was one of those people, and it made him an early Platinum Pass winner.

Philip Elliot (Canada)

Winter Series $2,100 Main Event Winner buy-in

Philip Elliot goes by the name freezeplay on PokerStars, and he started the year off right by winning a Winter Series event for $363,000. It also got him a seat in an event that could make his hundreds of thousands look like chicken feed. "It feels awesome," Elliot said after his win. "I can't wait to parlay that Pass."

Clifford Ellefson (United States)

Moneymaker Tour Stone Gambling Hall winner

Cliff Ellefson learned poker watching Chris Moneymaker win the 2003 WSOP Main Event. Now, after outlasting more than 800 entrants at Stones Gambling Hall in northern California, he's the winner the first Platinum Pass awarded on the Moneymaker Tour. #fullcircle

Imar Vera Escorihuela (Spain)

.ES/.FR Selected Tournaments All-In Shootout

Escorihuela, a sommelier by trade, won an all-in shootout for cashers in selected online tournaments in France and Spain to earn his Platinum Pass. "You always think that these things only happen to others. I never imagined having the chance to play a tournament of such dimensions," he said. "This is the dream of my life; I feel super lucky!"

Anderson Fernandes  (Brazil)

BSOP Sao Paulo All-In or Fold tourney winner

Friends introduced personal trainer Anderson Fernandes to poker about two years ago. Since then he's won a BSOP Sao Paulo side event and finished second in the Player of the Stop rankings -- and now he's earned himself a Platinum Pass, too. "It's a dream come true," he said.

Damon Ferrante (United States)

Invitational -- nominated by PokerStars staff members

PokerStars sent Chris Moneymaker to chat with Ferrante via Skype. It was a ruse, one in which PokerStars had Moneymaker was supposed to interview Ferrante about his efforts and thank him for all his hard work and altruism working with the company to raise money for charity. What Ferrante didn't know was that the PokerStars staff had been given an opportunity internally to nominate someone deserving of the chance of a lifetime. Now he's headed to the PSPC to do what he loves best: play poker surrounded by people who love the game.

Cesar Alberto Ferre Ortega (Spain)

ES/FR ICE Challenge All-In Shootout winner

Ferre Ortega earned his Platinum Pass in an all-in ICE Challenge shootout for French and Spanish players during the month of September.

José Eduardo Galvão Bueno Ferreira (Brazil)

BSOP Millions VIP Tournament winner

A special tournament for VIPs at the late November BSOP Millions in Brazil ended with a Ferreira victory, awarding him a Platinum Pass.

Murilo Figueredo  (Brazil)

PokerStars Live Qualifier AISO

Murilo Figueredo is an unabashed crier. He's an emotional guy, and he's not afraid to show. "I opened my email and saw a message saying that I had won the pass in bold letters. I cried so much. I was so excited to celebrate this with my family and my friends," he said.

Filippo Filardo  (France)

.es/.fr Selected Tournaments All-In Shootout

Filippo Filardo didn't believe he'd won. His mother thought the winner's email was a scam. So, he went to Monte Carlo to find out for sure. When he got there, the chef from Cannes realized his life had changed.

Jean Rene Fontaine (France)

EPT Barcelona National winner

Fontaine has been playing poker for almost 15 years after learning from friends, but EPT Barcelona was his first time playing a PokerStars Live event. He's got at least one more in his future after earning a Platinum Pass for winning the €1,100 EPT National.

Lionel Michel Emile Foulquier (France)

.ES/.FR ICE Challenge All-In Shootout winner

Foulquier earned his Platinum Pass after dodging all the obstacles in an all-in shootout for ICE Challenge participants in Spain and France.

Miguel Angel Rocatin Foz (Spain)

October R&R Road To The Bahamas .ES/.FR All-In Shootout winner

Rocatin Foz won a Platinum Pass by topping an all-in shootout for French and Spanish participants in the October R&R Road To The Bahamas promotion.