Playing in the $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event is a universal dream for poker players, but given the prohibitive buy-in one only a select group can afford.
But if you want to win a seat in the greatest poker tournament in the world, there’s no better chance than the one 888poker offers.
The Steps system on 888 gives players a chance to qualify for lots of poker tournaments – from the online majors to huge live events – and that includes the grandest tournament of them all.
In fact the lowest Steps level is just one cent, giving access to even the smallest of bankrolls.
Last year, one 888poker player did just that. And not only did he play the WSOP Main Event, he finished in the Top 500 to cash for almost $20k.
Every Journey Begins with First Step
His name is Tommy Yates and he’s a 58-year-old bar owner on the Greek island of Rhodes. As an interesting side note, Yates was even busted by the eventual winner, Joe McKeehen.
Enjoying every minute last year.
So not only has Yates proven it possible to qualify for the Main Event for 1c, he's back to try it again this year.
"All my games are from Step 1," Yates says, "as I'm trying to prove it wasn't a fluke last year. I normally play every day, and I already have a Step 4 and Step 5 to play.
"It's easy to win seven events, but to win seven events in a row is very difficult. I have been as far as Step 6 this year, but then I flopped a straight and got called by a guy who hit a boat on the river.”
“That same guy went all-in with pocket nines against my aces, and he hit another nine on the flop to take me out. It happens, but that's what makes poker such a great game, I suppose."
"I Felt Like I Had Finally Made It"
When Yates won $19,500 at the 2015 WSOP he didn’t go crazy with it. Instead of playing higher buy-in tournaments, he invested some of the money in his bar and the garden surrounding it.
Also, he spent time with his wife who was actually railing him in Vegas last year. Apparently, she wouldn’t mind another trip to Sin City.
"She loved it," says Yates. "She gambled a little on the slots, but loved the hotel and the excitement of just being in Vegas. She never missed any of my play, bless her."
But it wasn’t only his wife that made the journey unforgettable. When they were in the money Yates got the attention of all the players in the room by an official announcement.
“When the public announcer told everyone that I had got there for one cent and told me to stand up, I was gobsmacked to see almost all the room standing and applauding me, even noted players.
"I felt like I had finally made it as a poker player."
Your Turn to Win a $12,500 Package
While Yates is still trying his luck there is already a player who’s achieved a similar feat.
Maximilian BienDeCampo Zubeldia won his 2016 WSOP prize package on 888poker starting at Step 3 for just a $1 buy-in.
That prize package is worth $12,500 and includes the main event buy-in, 5-Star hotel accommodation plus travel expenses.
Get started by creating your personal 888poker account. Players who register through PokerListings are eligible for an exclusive $888 bonus and weekly and monthly freerolls.
Last week a PokerListings player won a $1,700 Costa Brava 888Live event package in a freeroll with fewer than 40 players!