As one of the first people to win a seat in the long-awaited second edition of the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC), Danielle Summer has had a long time to dwell on the magnitude of her Platinum Pass.
So much time, in fact, that she still questions whether the whole thing is actually real.
“It’s been pretty crazy, hasn’t it?” Summer tells us more than three years after she won her Pass at EPT Barcelona 2019 as part of Chase Your Dream, a promotion that saw five poker enthusiasts from around the world win a VIP trip to Spain. There, they played a sit & go with unknown prizes up for grabs.
When it was over, however, they all received one of the first five Platinum Passes to the PSPC, originally planned for Barcelona in 2020, but now taking place in the Bahamas in January 2023.
DREAMING OF THE BAHAMAS
Summer, like the other four winners, believed she had 12 months to prepare for her return to Catalonia. Then Covid happened.
“I thought it was possible that it may never happen,” she says. “At the time we just didn’t know. But at the same time, I felt like the luckiest person in the world. It was very strange.
“Even now, I still don’t think it will feel real until I get on the plane to the Bahamas. I’m so buzzing for it. The Bahamas is a dream for me.”
WHY POKER MEANS SO MUCH
Originally from Yorkshire, Summer now calls Tenerife home. She first learned poker from her friend Louise around 12 years ago, but actually, her poker roots go much further back.
“My mum passed over in 2014 and she was and still is a big part of my life,” says Summer. “She absolutely loved poker. We played a lot of online poker together until she got ill.
“Back in 1960–when my mum was 20 years old–she played poker in pubs and working men’s clubs. She was beautiful, and all the men fancied her, but my dad didn’t like the attention she got while playing. She didn’t want to stop playing but she did to keep the peace at home. It was a different time back then. But poker now means a lot to me because of that.”
Until recently, Summer worked as a carer, but an unfortunate incident resulted in her injuring her neck and being let go from the job she loved.
“It was devastating,” she says. “It was a bad time because I had this Platinum Pass but I was struggling to get work. But now I work in a theatre school as a teaching assistant and monitor for the kids, which is great.”
PREPARING FOR THE PSPC
To prepare for the PSPC 2023, Summer plays some form of online poker every day. And since winning the Platinum Pass, she’s discovered just how popular poker is in her home town.
“I didn’t realise how much poker is played in Tenerife because it’s quite underground,” she says. “You have to be invited into these kinds of games. But now, in any game, people think I’m a big poker player so everyone wants to invite me. They even try to get advice from me as they believe I’m a hundred times better than I actually am.”
Don’t let her modesty fool you. Summer has been putting in a lot of work to make sure she’s in tip-top poker shape come January.
“Over the past two years, I’ve realised that I knew nothing about poker in 2019 [when I won the Pass],” she says. “I thought I knew a lot. But the more you study anything, the more you realise you know nothing.
“Now I feel like I’m 50 per cent there. But I’m still in the learning process and there’s so much I don’t know. But at this stage, I feel like the more information I put in my head might take away from the building blocks I have already.”
As for live poker practice, Summer won a €1K regional tour ticket from a competition in the Platinum Pass winners’ Facebook group. She was hoping to use it at EPT Barcelona earlier this year but ultimately couldn’t make it. Now she’s hoping to attend EPT Prague.
“But if I don’t use it, hopefully, I can save the ticket and use it in Barcelona next year, so if I don’t do well in the Bahamas, I have that as a consolation prize,” she says. “In the meantime, I’m going to play in the biggest tournaments I can find in Tenerife!”