Friday, 21st June 2024 01:12
Home / Power Path Interviews / EPT Barcelona: Paul Jurcuta’s golden Power Pass run

Four players cashed in their Gold Power Passes to play the European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event in Barcelona this week, but none has done better so far than Romania’s Paul Jurcuta.

The 30-year-old from Oradea‎ bagged a stack of 130,000 from the opening day’s play, and pushed past 200,000 in the early stages of Day 2. With it, he has taken a significant step in his journey from the online tables to the live arena, following in the footsteps of many others who have emerged as a tournament star after learning the game online.

“I’ve just started to play live,” Jurcuta explains during a break in play. “I’m learning. Coming from online, it’s a bit different.”

The PokerStars Power Path was designed with low buy-in players in mind, offering a way to the biggest events for a tiny original outlay.

PokerStars players get a ticket every day for a Step 1 Power Path qualifier, and can build up through more Steps to a $109 buy-in event. Win that and there’s a package worth $10,300 — a Gold Power Pass — on offer, allowing passage to the top table at the EPT.

“It was amazing when I won the Gold Pass,” Jurcuta says. “It was a very good run. For me, it gave me the chance to be here, to play the main event. I only really play satellites. I cannot register directly.”

Paul Jurcuta: An online beast finding his feet in the live arena

AN ONLINE PRO MAKING THE SWITCH

The former engineering student is not exactly a poker rookie, however. Although his live results are meagre so far, he has been an online pro for several years with a string of excellent cashes.

“I won the Sunday Million in 2018, last year I was second in the Sunday Million and two years ago I was at the final table of the WCOOP Main Event,” Jurcuta says, revealing in one sentence a longer list of successes than many manage in a career.

He expressed huge support for the Power Path, however, and was more than happy to grind his way up from an $11 buy-in. It brought him to Barcelona, where he gets a hotel room and expenses as well as his Main Event buy-in.

He says he has not managed to partake in many of the off-the-felt activities because, well, a poker pro needs to play poker. But he has started well in this Main Event and hopes to continue.

“I’ll take it day by day,” he says. “But it’s a great experience. The Power Pass is very nice. It’s great.”

MORE FROM EPT BARCELONA

EPT BARCELONA COVERAGE HUB
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EPT BARCELONA OFFICIAL SITE
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FULL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
The full EPT Barcelona schedule is available here.

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