There was only one thing on Daniel Stancer’s mind when he made the roughly two-hour drive from his hometown of Hull to Newcastle for the Moneymaker Tour:

Win the thing.

“I pretty much came here for the Platinum Pass and the added value,” Stancer tells PokerStars Blog. “I was playing to win it more than anything else.”

Now here we are. Day 2 of the Newcastle leg is in the books, and Stancer–a 32-year-old professional £1/£2 grinder–is sitting with his mates clutching a Platinum Pass worth roughly $30,000 in his hands.

That prize (plus the £7,989 he won for winning the £140 Main Event) means he’s now heading to Barcelona next August for the PokerStars Players Championship 2020, where he’ll play in a €22,500 event with millions up top.

And it all started here. Of course, that doesn’t mean it has to stop here.

“I was probably going to go to the Milton Keynes Moneymaker Tour next week,” Stancer says. “I might still do actually. What happens when I win a second pass?”

Down in one! Stancer celebrates with his mates

The Newcastle stop of the Moneymaker Tour attracted 436 total entries across its four Day 1 starting flights, a strong showing considering last week’s London leg had just slightly more with 468. Moneymaker himself made it through on his first try, leaving him a couple of days free to play cash games before busting on Day 2. We spoke with Moneymaker as this event was coming to a close, so stay tuned to PokerStars Blog this week for that interview.

“I played Omaha with Moneymaker last night,” Stancer tells us. “It was fun until I got stacked by him!”

Stancer with his PLO foe Moneymaker

Back to today’s action, just 83 of those 436 returned for Day 2. Things got moving at a rapid pace right from the off, and they sailed through the bubble at 71 players (shout out to Elizabeth Cape who was the last player to fall without making any cash).

Stancer entered the final table fourth in chips, and just like his initial intention for the event, he had a simple gameplan:

“My plan was basically to get all of the chips,” he says. “I wasn’t really bothered about the pay jumps or anything else, I was just going for first because it’s so top-heavy.”

Interestingly, the payouts for the top two were identical, meaning they were only battling for the Platinum Pass. We say “only”–it’s worth $30,000, so needless to say both were gunning for the victory.

For a cash game player who admittedly hates tournaments, though, Stancer found the heads-up battle against local player Ali Ahmed a bit strange, for a number of reasons.

Stancer in action

“Heads-up was definitely a bit weird,” he says. “He was raising blind every hand so it was odd, but yeah, it worked out well. I don’t play much heads-up so it was pretty new. I was just winging it really. I was trying to keep pots small and play flops and streets, whereas he seemed to want to play a high variance style and just get it in.”

Eventually, it came to an end with Stancer holding pocket threes against Ahmed’s queen-jack suited. The pocket treys held, securing Stancer the Platinum Pass.

The £1/£2 Grinder

Stancer–a former ski instructor and, interestingly, a former falconer who owned his own hawk–left his job in IT support a couple of years ago to pursue poker full time. He’d pretty much been playing a full-time schedule at his local Hull casino anyway.

“I started playing online in my late teens, and I’ve been playing live ever since it got too hard online!” Stancer tells us. “I left my job because I was sick of it, basically. I knew I could make enough playing £1/£2 cash. The schedule isn’t great. It’s nocturnal and lots of hours, but better than the job I had.”

As for the cash game scene in Hull, we’ll have to let Stancer answer that one.

“It’s not bad,” he laughs. “We get cash games seven nights a week, but it’s not great. Not as good as Newcastle. I mostly play live cash games, £1/£2. Now that I’ve won this tournament I might try and play a few bigger cash games, but there are none in Hull.”

When we broach the subject of whether or not Stancer would ever leave his hometown for bigger games, he admits it would be quite a big jump for him. Still, there’s always Sheffield, if he fancies a flutter.

“Sheffield has a £5/£5/£10 game which is a big step up for me,” he tells us. “I went to play it recently because I thought it was going to be £5/£5. Then it turned out there was a mandatory straddle and £10 on the button too. It was huge.”

Now that he’ll be playing a €22,500 buy-in tournament, Stancer will have his hands full getting back on the tournament grind. “I’ll probably play a few tournaments now, yeah,” he says. “And I’ll get back to playing online for the practice!”

It’s not as hard as you think, Dan. Just stick to your gameplan and win the thing.

See you at the PSPC, Dan


Have Platinum Pass events on the Moneymaker Tour inspired you to start playing poker? Click here to open a PokerStars account.


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