He has never yet played a live tournament, but Gideon Dietrich, from Meerbusch, near Dusseldorf in Germany, is heading to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) in Barcelona after becoming the latest player to turn a $2 entry into a Platinum Pass.
It was a a story of persistence for the 25-year-old electrician, who works for Deutsche Bahn, the German rail network. After losing heads-up during his first attempt in the Mega Path on PokerStars, he returned, returned and returned again until he got the job done.
Here is his story:
Congratulations on coming through the Mega Path. How did you do it?
I started with the $2 Spin & Gos (Step 2), won the second and qualified for the $50 MTT (Step 3). The same evening I also qualified for the $1,000 Platinum Pass tournament but there I lost heads-up against Simon Gilles.
But you had a second chance, because players who finish between second and eighth can have another go at the $1,000 tournament?
Exactly, but I actually needed four attempts to win the Pass. The next two Sundays I finished in the top eight again. Then another week later, I ran very good from the start. The whole tournament just went incredibly well. I got into the heads-up with a big lead and was just overjoyed when I won it. I just hope for that kind of run-good in Barcelona.
How did your friends and your family react? Are they familiar with poker?
Yes, two friends also play poker regularly. They had the table open at home, followed the tournament and were just as excited as I was. One wrote me after that and he couldn’t believe it. Of course they wish me all the best for Barcelona too.
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That means they know exactly what kind of opportunity you now have with the Players Championship (PSPC)?
I watched the first PSPC with a buddy who will come with me to Barcelona, and we also watch the EPT streams on a regular basis. So we are up to date and know what the Platinum Pass means. On the other hand, the next day I had to explain to my family exactly what it is about. Of course, my parents and my brothers are all behind me. They want me to win – otherwise I won’t be able to come home! But seriously, if I reach the final table everyone will fly to Barcelona. That would be cool.
Now you have 10 month to prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime chance. Do you already have plans?
I have been following the stream of Felix “xflixx” Schneiders for a year and a half now and he has already announced that he would like to invite the Platinum Pass winners to Cologne for a coaching weekend. We haven’t fixed a date yet, but of course I would be happy to meet “xflixx” and all the others and work with them. But first, after the Bounty Builder Series, there will be a little interview on “xflixx”‘s livestream and the winners. Then we will talk about preparation and coaching for the PSPC. I will also go to the Casino in Aachen a few times, because I have never played a live tournament before. Of course I will play smaller buy-ins, maybe €60 or €80, to practice. But I don’t want the PSPC to be my first live tournament, that would be a bit too big, I think. Away from that, I will continue grinding tournaments up to $22 buy-in online on the weekends, watching streams etc.
Apart from the fact that the PSPC is about huge prize money, what are you looking forward to the most in Barcelona?
What I would really appreciate would be to sit at the feature table, especially on the first day. But I am also looking forward to meet many well-known players. Lex Veldhuis, Fintan Hand, Spraggy and Liv Boeree from Team PokerStars or David Peters and Maria Lampropulos for example. It is just a real big deal and it is great that PokerStars is giving players like me this chance with the Platinum Pass promotion. Even if at the end no prize money comes from it, this will be an event that I will never forget.