The PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em Players Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas has come to a close and it was a dream come true for one of the 320 Platinum Pass recipients. PokerStars gave out Platinum Pass packages each worth $30,000 to allow poker players from all over the world the opportunity to enter what was promoted as the biggest poker tournament in the world where the buy-in was set at $25,000.
Spanish poker pro Ramon Colillas who entered the PSPC via a Platinum Pass created history by becoming the first winner of the 2019 PSPC and took home a whopping $5.1 million in prize money.
Less Expectation Helped Colillas
Prior to entering the 2019 PSPC, Colillas had under $10,000 in overall prize money and hence there was no pressure on him to win the high stakes tournament. Colillas has been playing poker for the last 5 years and this win will put him on the poker map and the money will certainly change his life.
With a massive prize pool up for grabs, the PSPC attracted some of the best poker players in the world. High rollers were also there aiming to crush their rivals with millions of dollars on the line.  PokerStars pumped in over $8 million through the 320 Platinum Passes on offer plus threw in an additional $1 million to the overall prize pool.
Colillas flew to the Bahamas without expecting anything big – he just wanted to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience. He was excited, but he also knew he’d be up against some of the world’s best players. However, the experience turned out to be more than he expected. He not only ended up having fun and enjoying his stay but went on to best a huge field of 1,039 entries to bag the $5.1 million top prize – a dream come true for him.
Final Table Action
The competition was tight when the final day began, with all of the players neck a neck, except for Marc Perrault who went to the final table with a very short stack. Scott Baumstein slightly led with the chips, but he was aware he could not slack up for a moment as some of the top names in high-stakes poker such as Talal Shakerchi and Farid Jattin were also eyeing to get the lion’s share of the prize.
French poker pro Julien Martini was the early favorite, having forced Shakerchi and Jattin out of the game early. Shakerchi was eliminated in 8th place and took home $509,000 while Jattin exited next to take $746,000. For a moment it looked like Martini was going to own it, after Jason Koonce exited in 5th place taking $1,304,000, Baumstein took 4th place and $1,657,000 while took 3rd and settled for $1,012,000.
The final three players at the table were Martini, Colillas and Marc Rivera from the Philippines – who was also a Platinum Pass winner. Martini held most of the chips and things were not so favorable for Colillas during the initial stages as he was down to 12 big blinds.
Martini then sent Rivera packing with a monster three-barrel bluff. Rivera took home $2,168,000 for his 3rd place finish. With Rivera being busted, Colillas recovered with 40 big blinds which gave himself a fighting chance.
Martini’s flush did not work out against Colillas’ full house and then he snap-called, leaving Martini running dry on chips. The French player ended the game in second place, winning $2,974,000, with Colillas clinching the biggest victory of his career.
One of the moments that Colillas will treasure is having Chris Moneymaker reach out and congratulate him for his win. Colillas interest in poker started from a very young age and he watched Moneymaker create history when he won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event and took home $2.5 million.
Future Plans
While Colillas has won a life changing sum of money, he does not believe his life will change in any major way. He plans to continue to play small stake games when he gets back to Spain. However, he will now take part in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event which has a $10,300 buy-in. The 2019 PCA is also taking place in the Bahamas.
The 30-year-old Colillas, who formerly worked as a fitness trainer, spent most of his 5-year poker career playing smaller buy-in events across Spain. His dedication, hard work, passion and commitment brought him to where he is now. His win is a success for PokerStars who wanted to give unknown poker pros a shot at taking part in the biggest poker tournament in history and see if they can replicate another Chris Moneymaker moment in poker history!

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