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ONCHAN, Isle of Man, Feb. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Marking its return to The Bahamas, PokerStars announced today that Aliaksandr Shylko, 26, from Belarus has won the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC), and takes home a win of $3,121,838, after a deal was made between the final three before playing off for the trophy.
Four years in the making, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) and PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) took residence in the breathtaking Baha Mar Resort this week.
The PSPC saw 1,014 players take to the table in Nassau amounting to a total prize pool of $24,843,000 which was divided between the top 175 finishers. Day 5 was millionaire-maker day with the top six players entering the final table knowing they would be going home with at least $1,001,200 with the champion potentially taking home $4,053,200.
The champion, Alexander Shylko, 26, after starting out playing cash games, turned to hold’em tournaments and now has been playing professionally for six years. From Minsk in Belarus, Shylko has racked up a string of wins on the international circuit since 2016, including winning the €2,200 Eureka High Roller in Rozvadov last year for €75,332.
Shylko described his four-day journey to the final table as “smooth for the most part,” but the last day proved much harder. “I had some very tough spots against Sam Grafton and another English player – I made four hero folds which weren’t easy.” Without them, he admits he may not still have a shot at the PSPC 2023 title.
Champion, Shylko moments after his win said: “It’s crazy! I can’t believe that this is happening. It’s unreal what is going on right now. I’m going to celebrate by taking it all in and enjoying the ocean.”
Players from 63 countries took part in the PSPC this year including PokerStars Sponsored Player Bruce Buffer, who brought the drama from the ring into the tournament room by officially launching this year’s PSPC. He was joined by actors David Costable, Arden Cho, former National Hockey League (NHL) player Tomáš Kaberle and TV personality Robert Mariano (Boston Rob). American-Canadian chess player Alexandra Botez took part in the PSPC and went on to win $10,815 in the Hyper Turbo – Freezeout.
This year PokerStars awarded more Platinum Pass packages than ever before with over 400 people around the globe winning a $30,000 Platinum Pass package, giving them the chance to take home the final prize pool.
One such Platinum Pass winner was Max Menzel from Germany who came runner up at the PSPC, winning an impressive $2,859,990. Originally from Berlin, Menzel, 37 is predominantly a live cash game player and having moved to Asia over 10 years ago, won a Platinum Pass at the Road to PSPC event in Manila.
Brazil’s Philipe Pizzari came in third place, taking home an incredible $2,524,871. Originally from Sao Paolo, Brazil, Philipe now lives in Miami Florida and having left the world of online poker behind, he now plays live events more regularly.
Entering the final day of the PSPC, Pizzari said “Being at this final table is such a dream. I already had a very nice deep run at the WSOP Main Event and I thought that, as a recreational player, it would be almost impossible to get a great deep run again. For me this is one of the most important events of the year. It’s a big dream and I’ll try to have fun.”
2019 Platinum Pass and PSPC winner, Ramón Colillas handed over the trophy and said, “It’s an incredible feeling, I remember when I won it was one of the best experiences of my life. And now to be here again, as a PokerStars ambassador its very special.”
PokerStars Director of Partnerships, PR and Consumer Engagement, Rebecca McAdam Willetts said: “We’re so happy to finally celebrate this event, and to do so in The Bahamas, where we’ve made so many wonderful memories in the past. The atmosphere has been magical as we see players come together from all over the world, some waiting almost four years to take their seat. Their passion and enthusiasm, and the positive response we’ve experienced has made this event incredibly special.
“This year we awarded our community with more Platinum Passes than ever before and we’re very happy to see our wonderful debut champion Ramon Collillas now hand his crown over to Aliaksandr Shylko. Our Platinum Passes were key to providing more people with the opportunity to not only experience poker, but an event of epic proportions. We had so many wonderful stories, and truly enjoyed surprising and rewarding the PokerStars community each step of the way. Next stop EPT Paris!”
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