PokerStars Festival Rozvadov: Qualifiers from around the globe
One minute you're sitting at home, settling in for a cheeky online poker session. The next thing you know, you've won a package to a big live event. A week or two later, you're in a different country, sitting down to try your luck in a record-breaking PokerStars Festival.
Oh, the beauty of PokerStars' online satellites. These tournaments offer players both fun holidays and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The chance to travel across the world and freeroll for a potentially life-changing score? That's not something you're likely to forget.
We had plenty of players satellite into the PokerStars Festival Rozvadov online; winning the €1,100 tournament entry plus travel and accommodation. But of all the qualifiers, there are two players who travelled further than most.
Meet our qualifiers from around the globe.
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All the way from Mumbai
Siddharth Jain lives in Mumbai, India, meaning he travelled 3,908 miles to play in this event. A few weeks ago, from the comfort of his home, the 35-year-old turned €20 into a €1,600 Rozvadov package in just a few hours.
"I've read about the Kings Casino in Rozvadov and it sounded like a great destination for poker and to visit," Jain tells us. "So I played some online satellites and ended up qualifying."
After telling his family and friends the good news, Jain turned his attention to preparing for the trip.
"My family were all happy for me, and excited that I was going to Rozvadov. I'm looking forward to playing live poker with the best European/international players and if time permits, try to do some sightseeing."
Jain is so stranger to live poker, having played plenty of EPT, Aussie Millions and APPT events in the past. His biggest career cash to date came back in 2006, when he finished 26th in the World Series of Poker Main Event - good for a staggering $494,797.
"I've enjoyed playing poker on PokerStars for about six years," he says. "Poker has picked up a lot in India and Mumbai since I moved here about six years ago. Everyone is getting into poker. It reminds me of the time when poker was booming in the US. It really feels like that."
PokerStars Team Online's Jaime Staples isn't the only Canadian in the field. We've also got Ciaran Carter, who won his seat to Rozvadov in a $33 qualifier.
"I just fired up PokerStars and checked what satellite locations were available and which dates would be compatible with my work schedule," Carter says. "I played in a $33 qualifier with the top prize being a guaranteed seat to Rozvadov. I was lucky enough to win it!
"Immediately after I won the qualifier, I texted my girlfriend and advised her that we would be going to Europe. She graciously accepted my offer. I then contacted a few co-workers to see if they could make some shift changes with me so that we could make a two week European vacation out of the trip."
Carter is a 37-year-old Immigration/Customs Officer with the Canada Border Services Agency, and lives in Sarnia, Ontario. That means he travelled 3,449 miles to play.
"Neither of us have been before to the Czech Republic before," he says. "We will fly into Paris and return home 14 days later from Prague. We will also be meeting up with some friends in Berlin and Prague."
You see? Poker trips don't have to be all poker. Carter and his girlfriend and now enjoying their trip.
"I could obviously use a poker win in Rozvadov for some added excitement though!" he adds.
We'll keep an eye on both Jain and Carter's progress here on Day 1C of the PokerStars Festival Rozvadov Main Event.
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Follow live updates of Day 1C of the PokerStars Festival Rozvadov Main Event via our friends at PokerNews.