Egidio Salandi wasn’t even paying that much attention to his computer screen when he was playing a low buy-in tournament on PokerStars a few weeks ago, with the vague knowledge that a huge win potentially awaited.
His favourite soccer team, Juventus, had a match on at the same time, and Salandi’s attention was mostly focused on that.
At 70 years old, Juve has been part of Salandi’s life for many decades. Poker plays only a much smaller part. But whether or not he expected it, Salandi was soon forced to wrest his eyes from the soccer and start watching the PokerStars window.
He’d just won a Gold Pass in the Power Path and could now pick between heading to the NAPT in Las Vegas or the EPT in Prague. Whichever he chose, he would get the full VIP qualifier experience.
“I don’t like Las Vegas, so I came to Prague,” Salandi, a Rome native, said. “I’ve been here many times before and I like the town, it’s always a pleasure to be back here.”
‘THE BEST OPPORTUNITY FOR PLAYERS WHO LOVE THE GAME’
To remind you, the Power Path offers the best way for recreational players to sample life on the prestigious EPT.
Anybody who plays a real money hand on PokerStars gets a daily entry ticket to a 50c Spin & Go. That’s Step 1 of the Power Path. Step 2 is a 16-player sit n go, from which players can win an $11 ticket to an MTT.
From there, Step 4 is a $109 MTT. Winners claim either a Silver Pass to things like the Eureka Main Event, or a Gold Pass to the EPT.
The most important thing to remember is that the highest level you can buy-in is the $11 tournament. You’re not permitted to buy in directly to the $109. That means most of the notorious online sharks will steer clear. It allows recreational players the absolute best chance of getting through.
Players like Salandi, for example, whose outlay to get here was €11.
“I definitely recommend the Power Path to other players,” he said. “This is the best opportunity for players who love the game to play these big tournaments.”
GRANDFATHER LEARNING NEW TRICKS
Salandi is retired now after a long career as a doctor. He is the proud father of two grown-up sons and two grandchildren — “Belissimo!” — who likely don’t yet know of their grandfather’s poker prowess.
Although he dabbles online, the EPT Main Event was actually Salandi’s first ever live poker tournament and he was keen to learn a few points of etiquette before sitting down for the first time on Day 1A. He wasn’t even sure of the correct way to handle his cards and chips, but thankfully PokerStars’ ever-efficient player liaison team was able to talk him through the basics.
He made it through Day 1, earning him the chance to return once more and potentially close in on the big money. “My experience is limited, but my ambition is not,” he said, hoping for some run good to take him even deeper. “My hopes are to win as many chips as possible and to go as far as I can.”
And even if the poker gods don’t play ball, Egidio is keen for this to be only the beginning.
“I have enjoyed it very much,” he said. “It’s a very nice experience and something that I’m keen to repeat.”