Wednesday, 7th December 2022 20:26
Home / PSPC / Three years later, Patrick Winterbottom is ready to put his Platinum Pass to use

It was almost three years ago to the day that Patrick Winterbottom won his Platinum Pass.

“It all feels slightly surreal,” he told us at Lex Live 2 in London back in October 2019, when he took down a Streamer Showdown Sit & Go to win a trip worth $30,000 to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC).

Winterbottom has been playing poker recreationally for some 20 years, but it’s safe to say 2019 was his biggest year to date. He won his seat in the Streamer Showdown from an online freeroll, then won the special event in London to bag himself the Platinum Pass.

But then the entire world felt surreal for a year or two. Live poker events were cancelled, and the Platinum Pass became a beacon of light on the horizon.

Time spent waiting

“We just kept telling ourselves, it’ll happen when it happens”, Winterbottom says. “So when they officially announced the PSPC 2023, it was quite exciting. That was one of the reasons I decided to leave full-time teaching for a year, just to give myself the best chance to prepare.”

Check out: Why all the fuss about the PSPC?

The last time we spoke, Winterbottom, who lives in Maidenhead in Berkshire, was working as a maths teacher.

“School kids have a habit of Googling their teachers and a few of them found your interview with me,” he says. “They thought I’d won $30,000 cash and I explained I hadn’t but that I’d won a ticket into a big tournament. At least it was a cool thing they found!”

He carried on teaching throughout the pandemic but left his position just before this past summer. “I planned to take at least a year out,” he says. “I’m now doing some tutoring on evenings and weekends and I’m spending more time working on my poker game getting ready for the Bahamas.”

“I’m spending more time working on my poker game getting ready for the Bahamas”

Originally set to take place in Barcelona, it was announced in April that the PSPC 2023 would be heading back to the Caribbean and would now play out in the Bahamas instead.

“I’d heard rumours it was being moved to the Bahamas,” Winterbottom says. “I’ve never been to that part of the world so it will be a fun trip. I actually saw a TV show about the hotel recently and it looks like an amazing place.”


His wife will be joining him, although, for obvious reasons, she hopes they won’t spend much time together during the days.

“In the PSPC group, we were asked what the person you’re bringing with you to the Bahamas was most looking forward to doing,” he says. “I asked my wife and she said hopefully not seeing you for five days, because that would mean I’m still in the tournament.”

Patrick Winterbottom has increased his poker study for the PSPC

Looking ahead to the Bahamas

Winterbottom, like many Platinum Pass winners, has been active in the PSPC Facebook group over the past three years, a social space for Pass winners to hang out and communicate.

“PokerStars have been absolutely fantastic with all the promotions they’ve run, it’s been very kind of them to reward all of us who have been waiting for so long,” says Winterbottom.

“As part of the PSPC Club, PokerStars has been very kind in running Home Games online and giving prizes away. The prizes have included a $1,000 buy-in [to a regional tour event], and I’ve actually won two of those now.

Some tough competition

“I played one event in London, sat down, and had [PokerStars Team Pro and PSPC 2019 champion] Ramon Colillas sitting directly to my left, so I didn’t do very well there. But I still have another ticket, so I’m going to go to Prague in December and play the Eureka Main Event there.”

In order to give himself the best chance of success come January, Winterbottom has upped his poker study since leaving his job and has even booked coaching sessions with highly-respected poker pro, Dara O’Kearney.

“In the mornings I go to the gym, then I do some work around my tutoring and work on my maths knowledge, then when that’s done I work on my poker studies.”

It’s been a long three years wait for Winterbottom, but now there are just three months to go. The surreal is about to get very real.

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