Qualifier Daiva Byrne Hopes for Platinum Pass in PokerStars EPT Barcelona Women’s Event

Better late than never. That’s probably the thinking of several women heading to the European Poker Tour stop at Casino Barcelona next week. These female poker players earned a shot at a PokerStars Platinum Pass in 2020.

The promotion allowed for the women to play in a single-table tournament with the opportunity to win the ultimate prize, a $30,000 travel and tournament package to the PokerStars Players Championship (PPC). Then COVID got in the way.

Two years later, the event is now back on and set for Aug. 15. The original promotion saw poker players nominate inspirational women to play in the event as part of PokerStars’ International Women’s Day celebration. 

The online poker operator aims to spotlight inspirational women in the game. Daiva Byrne is one of those heading to Spain to play and is pleased just to receive the honor.

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“When I found out, I was so surprised and overwhelmed by the support,” she tells PokerScout. “To be part of the top nine, you needed to have so many votes and the kind validation from the community means so much to me. Knowing that people appreciate what you do encourages me even more to work harder to achieve more equality at the tables and higher female representation in the poker industry as a whole.

“I’m thrilled to be on that list with many amazing women who are all equally deserving and I’m very excited about finally playing together in Barcelona.”

Poker life

Originally from Lithuania and living in Manchester, United Kingdom, Bryne is a poker pro. She’s a regular in live games as well as hitting the virtual tables. She has $225,944 in live tournament winnings and also runs the Fantastic Ladies in Poker (FLIP) online community.

After two years mostly away from live poker, Byrne’s glad to be back and looking forward to the opportunity in Barcelona.

Now the pandemic has calmed down, I’m back traveling for poker events, most recently to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker and other trips planned this year to Malta and potentially the far east,” she says.

“Back home I’d generally be enjoying coffee, Netflix, playing online, studying, and interacting with my FLIP community members.”

 

Winning a PokerStars Platinum Pass

It’s no secret in the poker world that Platinum Pass has become one of the most sought-after prizes in the game. A $25,000 tournament buy-in as part of a nice vacation in the Bahamas in January has many players clamoring to land one.

In the lead up to the first event in 2019, PokerStars awarded numerous passes through smaller buy-in live tournaments, online events, and social media contests.

That made for an event with an interesting mix of recreational players and pros. Several pass winners scored some cash in the PSPC along with a nice trip to the Caribbean.

The  event ultimately brought in 1,039 entries for a $26.5 million prize pool. Spain’s Ramon Colillas, who won a pass to get into the event, took the title for $5.1 million. The Women’s Day promotion for the 2023 event is part of PokerStars’ efforts to get more women in the game.

“PokerStars tasked its community with nominating inspirational women who have had a true impact on the game, its players and at the poker table,” the company noted in a news release. “While poker has historically been perceived as a male-dominated sport, there is a strong contingent of women achieving great successes.”

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Taking her shot in Barcelona

Byrne now has her own shot at living a dream and scoring a seat in the next Bahamas PSPC. She recently brushed up on her single-table Sit & Go strategy in hopes to make that happen. She’ll have plenty of supporters back home cheering her on.

Winning any tournament feels great but to win a Platinum Pass would be extra special,” she says. “Every poker player dreams of battling with the best at higher buy-ins, and this would provide that opportunity. Plus, I’ve been to the Bahamas before for poker. It’s a fabulous place to play and relax, so I’d love to return.

My family and friends are very proud as well as excited about the event and will be supporting me back home watching the live stream. It’s going to be a fantastic event and I know they are going to enjoy it regardless if I win or not.”

No matter the outcome, Byrne is simply looking forward to playing the event. She’s pleased to see more women in poker given some special treatment.

I love seeing so many inspirational women in poker,” she says, “and hopefully this event will inspire more women to join the game and play.”

* Lead image courtesy Gema Cristobal

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