PCA 2013: Akkari’s light at the end of a tunnel? A train.

January 09, 2013

It’s an expression everyone knows: “The light at the end of the tunnel”

André Akkari, at the beginning of each year, searches for the sun rays of the Bahamas. This year, those rays were tough to find.

Last Thursday, André went to São Paulo International Airport at 9pm to begin his journey to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Since he began his career as a professional poker player and a member of the Team PokerStars Pro five years ago, he’s made that trip with ease. But this time, everything that could have gone wrong actually did.


When he was trying to get his boarding passes at the American Airlines desk, he was told that Brazilians travelling to the Caribbean island must have a yellow fever shot certificate. André had his, but at home. And there was absolutely no way that he could get back to get it in time to catch the plane, so he had to reschedule his flight for Friday at noon.

He got back to the airport the next day, this time with the little yellow piece of paper in hand. André boarded the plane and travelled for almost eight hours, when he finally landed in Miami. Now there was only the last part of the trip to go, a 30 minutes flight to Nassau. But first he just needed to get through the immigration process with all his Brazilian friends travelling with him. The first three were admitted with no stress at all. André was the last one in line. He travels a lot, so he knows how it goes, but that time things were not easy as they used to be.

The US Customs officials held André in their office for almost seven hours, and we he was finally approved to get in, his flight was long gone. As a result, he had to spend a night in Miami before getting a plane to the Bahamas on Saturday morning.

It was the end of a 40-hour journey.

“After all this nightmare, I think I deserve to run good at the PCA. Maybe all those problems that I had were a sign that this will actually happen”, said the Brazilian.

It was false hope. Early in Day 2, on the last hand before the first break, Akkari went out with fives versus queens. That light at the end of the tunnel should’ve had a train whistle on it.

Now, he’s off to the side events where he hopes to find a reason to return the Brazilian smile to his face.


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