We’ve covered the step-by-step of what happens when you win a package to the European Poker Tour (EPT) before. It detailed the follow-up messages from PokerStars and the Player Liaison experience you’ll receive as a VIP.
But we should probably write another article from the player’s point of view, too, because here’s the first thing I’d do after winning a package:
Check the tournament schedule and see what other tournaments I can play while I’m there.
Here in Barcelona, you’d be spoiled for choice.
Not only was there the Estrellas Poker Tour (ESPT) festival that produced the largest PokerStars live event in history, but you’ve also got the EPT Barcelona Main Event to look forward to and dozens of side events throughout the trip.
But EPT Main Event qualifier Felix Van Beuningen didn’t need to plan any more poker.
You see, the 37-year-old Vienna resident is a rare double qualifier, having won packages for both the ESPT Main and EPT Main in Barcelona.
“I don’t play that many satellites online, to be honest,” he tells us. “But this festival looked amazing. So I got to come here for two weeks!”
THE RARE DOUBLE QUALIFIER
Although he’s not a professional player, Felix Van Beuningen is no stranger to the poker world.
Not only has he been playing the game for around 18 years, but he also works in the industry as the Head of Platform for the Pokercode training site.
“I usually play online poker around three to four days a week,” he says. “I work from early morning to late afternoon, take a short break, then get on the evening grind.”
Van Beuningen’s average buy-in is €55, and that’s exactly where his EPT qualifying route began. He fired some €55 satellites to reach the €530 qualifiers and got into three of them before eventually winning an EPT package.
Then he added an ESPT Package to boot.
“It’s obviously amazing,” he says. “In my opinion, Barcelona is the best stop on the EPT. I always love coming here whether it’s casual or for a poker trip like this. I love to battle in these fields with buy-ins that I don’t usually play.”
Van Beuningen might be eating those words by the end of the day. He’s currently battling in the €5,300 Main Event, but has some stiff competition on his table.
“I have Bruno “great dant” Volkmann on my left, which is pretty bad, and two more regs on my table. But it’s OK,” he says. “You expect that level of player in events like this so you have to deal with it.”
He didn’t have much luck in the ESPT Main (“It went well… until it didn’t!”) but seems to be having a better run of it in this event.
STRIVING FOR SOMETHING GREAT
In between the two Main Events he qualified for, Felix Van Beuningen is putting in some work hours on his laptop. That means he hasn’t had time to enjoy any of the activities PokerStars puts on for players and qualifiers.
“When I was here in 2019 I got to go on the Catamaran tour,” he says. “It was fun.”
Don’t feel too sorry for him, though. He loves his work.
“If I binked this tournament, obviously there would be less stress when it comes to money,” he says. “I’d have enough to buy a house or whatever. But I would still work in the industry because I love being in the poker community and spending time with the guys, striving for something great together.”
He has plenty of friends from the Pokercode community who travel for poker regularly, many of whom are here in Barcelona. That means that even if the poker doesn’t go as planned, he can always just chill at the beach and enjoy the city he loves so much.
“It’s just lovely here,” he says. “If it wasn’t for the tax situation and online poker regulations I would probably move here for six months to a year!”
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