For most people, having to cut short a dream holiday in Thailand would be a chore. Not so for Stephen Dunnett, who did just that to jet over to the Bahamas to play the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Why was he happy? He got here for free.
Dunnett is one of 55 PokerStars players who bagged luxury packages to the PCA after winning various freeroll promotions in our recent 10th Anniversary celebrations. One of our earliest customers, Dunnett won his package in the Class of 2002 freeroll, which was open to all of those who opened their account that year.
"Yes, I was one of the early starters," he grinned. "It meant there were fewer in our freeroll, but I was very pleased to win this package, even if it meant I had to leave my holiday in Thailand to get here."
Dunnett is 55 and retired. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and enjoys playing on PokerStars, a hobby that has previously won him packages to UKIPT events. It was at UKIPT Dublin in 2010 where I first met him. A jovial chap, I found to my cost that age was no barrier to the amount of Guinness he could tuck away in the bar after the event ended; he left me standing (or wobbling).
Then, Dunnett finished in 19th place, cashing for €2,000. But here at the PCA, the potential riches could be so much bigger; Dunnett and our other package winners are effectively on a multi-million-dollar freeroll (with Atlantis accommodation thrown in).
If he is to do well in the $10,000 Main Event, he'll have to navigate his opening table carefully. Sitting with him, and on his direct left, is the formidable Shaun Deeb, while also at the table are Lucas Greenwood, who finished 21st in the 2010 PCA Main Event for $75,000, and the colourful Russian Andrey Lobzhanidze, who sports a fetching bandana today.
Here's Dunnett speaking at the UKIPT Dublin event; clearly a man who loves the way PokerStars goes about its business...
Good luck to all our freerolling players at the felt today and to those readying themselves for tomorrow's Day 1B. Here's their roll call:
Class Of Winners
Joseph Levy, Class of 2001 champ
Stephen Dunnett, Class of 2002 champ
Chi Tsun Chan, Class of 2003 champ
Warren Strong, Class of 2004 champ
Konstantinos Tsiotsios, Class of 2005 champ
João Paulo Fernandes Santos, Class of 2006 champ
Rudi Vanheeswijck, Class of 2007 champ
Ибрагимов Равшан Умматалиевич, Class of 2008 champ
Kirill Aleksandrovich Zotov, Class of 2009 champ
Anton Shamraevskii, Class of 2010
Other 10th Anniversary freeroll winners
Andrey Petrovich Romanov
Ignacio Diez Martin
Jean Sebastien Leduc
Fabio Makoto Sasaki
Пузенко Роман Николаевич
Мамаев Александр Александрович
Diego Lugilde Romero
Predut Andrei Elarion
Tiago José Azevedo Lemos
Brent P Richardson
Tomasz Jakub Horecki
Rodrigo Abellán Vivancos
Jean Marc Laflamme
Manuel Alvaro Brome Silva