A lot of players will be attending the PSPC in Barcelona in August after getting lucky. Many others will be there because it’s a natural step in their careers. Ante Jukić, however, will be there because he planned it specifically, and followed through on a clear intention to be there.
“Everything started last year  when I read about this big event in the Bahamas, but when I glanced over the buy-ins I was sure that all the satellites would be outside of my bankroll,” Jukić said. “Never in a million years would I have thought that you could qualify for such an event through $2 satellites. This year I finally started to win some bigger amounts so I started to read a bit more about the PSPC, so when I saw what you would need to do to get to it starting with something silly as $2 I told all my friends that I’ll be going to Barcelona in 2020.
“What’s even more funny, they didn’t laugh at all and had more trust in me than myself. It took me two tries to qualify to the third step [of the Mega Path] and then two tries to finally get that Platinum Pass.”
He makes it sound so easy.
Jukić started playing poker at a very young age, originally just for play money on Facebook. but as soon as he was old enough to open a PokerStars account he moved into the real-money arena and, in his words, “the rest is history”.
Now 26, Jukić is still a recreational player while he continues life as a student, who also enjoys fishing, football and tennis. But at the poker tables he is a perfect example of what a player can achieve if they put their mind to it and get on the right path to success.
“When it comes to prizes my biggest win would be winning a MicroMillions tourney with almost 7,000 people for around $4,400, but while it might sound funny at first, my proudest result is when I came fifth in a $16.50 tournament for about $200. That happened five or six years ago when I was still playing $0.10-$1 SNGs and barely made it to $16.50 which I then decided to use as my ‘big try in the big world’. That’s the tournament that showed me that dreams could become reality and after that tourney I started to read and watch strategy videos to further improve my game.”
Spurred on by watching poker’s greats — first Tom “durrrr” Dwan and then Lex Veldhuis — Jukić gradually became a much better tournament poker player. He still watches Veldhuis on Twitch and describes the Team Pro’s videos as “my ASMR before I get to bed”. Of course, Jukić will have the chance to play against Veldhuis in Barcelona, and intends to study even more conscientiously before playing the biggest tournament of his life.
As for who Jukic will take to Barcelona as his plus-one, that bit was easy. “I will be bringing my best friend Domagoj. He was the guy who believed in me even when I didn’t. I did not play a single tournament without him on the (virtual) felt shouting and cheering for me.”