Spin & Go to the Bahamas: How they did it

At 35 years old, it's rare for a man to experience something so out-of-this world that he can't even sleep.

By that point in a man's life, he's probably fallen in love, seen the best and worst in humanity, and experienced everything on the long list of things that will make him stare at the ceiling at 3am.

Serge Pouliot just found something new to keep him awake.

Originally from Montreal, Pouliot now lives Guatemala. He's played poker professionally for eight years. He's coached for the last two. He doesn't think about hobbies or free time. He loves what he does and he loves where he lives.

"I would have to say that it's still my favorite place," he said.

But even for a man who plays as a pro, the concept of turning just a few bucks into a potentially life-changing package...well, that's something else entirely.

"Hitting the Spin & Go for the package was pretty nerve-racking," he said. "First place was $10,565, and second was $0, so my heart was pounding pretty hard the whole way."

Pouliot won, and he'll now be playing in the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event.

"I've been having a great year so far in life and work, online and live," Pouliot said. "I've traveled a bunch. My students have started playing poker full time. I've gotten a contract with runitonce.com as a coach, and even running under EV a lot, I still have a great win-rate at the tables."

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Serge "Momess" Pouliot


Want to win your way to the Bahamas? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

Pouliot is among the first people to lock up seats in the Bahamas after winning a Spin & Go PokerStars Championship Bahamas tourney. He is not, however, the only one, nor is he the only Gen-Xer to be out-of-his-gourd excited.

"Funny thing is, I was about ten hands in before I realized I was playing for the package," said 41-year-old Peter Gianvanoglou. "When I won I started shaking and jumping and yelling. I actually went outside of my office into the parking lot and started jumping around!"

Gianvanoglou owns his own painting company and outside of winning some big jackpots on slot machines has never had a chance at a score this big. He's played a small Main Event here and there, but the PokerStars Championship is set to be his biggest event ever.

"I really enjoy the game, but I am not a fanatic nor do I wish to become a full time player," Gianvanoglou said. "I enjoy the ability to be able to play a major tournament once or twice a year and here and there on PokerStars. Needless to say, it would be really cool to be sitting at a table with some of the superstars of the game and even knock one of them out!"

Meanwhile, the Spin & Gos are hitting the younger set, too. Twenty-year-old Trace O'Connor was up late playing recently. It was past 4am, and everyone at his place was asleep. The university student lives with four other people who were all snoozing peacefully when O'Connor hit the jackpot.

"That didn't stop me from waking them up with a really loud yell and me running around the living room and kitchen!" O'Connor said. "They were excited for me but also called me some names cause they were jealous they didn't win it! When I told my mom and dad, they told how this must be a scam because nobody wins stuff like that. I had to explain PokerStars to them and how its a very reputable site. They still said 'I'll believe it when I see it.'"

They will see it this January when the event formerly known as the PCA turns into the first-ever PokerStars Championship.

If you'd like your shot at joining these three guys for some sun and sand, you might just want to give the Spin & Go tournaments a shot. You can find full details on them right here.


Want to win your way to the Bahamas? Click here to get a PokerStars account.
is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Follow him on Twitter: @BradWillis.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars Championship