Thursday, 23rd May 2024 15:25
Home / Poker / Path to Cyprus is lined with gold for qualifier Maciej Kowalczyk

One of the most amazing things about the PokerStars Power Path is that even if you play several of the lower buy-in events, your ROI is still enormous if you bink one.

Maciej Kowalczyk stands as testament to that, taking his seat in the EPT Cyprus Main Event today having won a Gold pass online through the Power Path.

“Honestly, I played about 10 of these $11 satellites,” Kowalczyk said, perhaps attempting to downplay his achievement in qualifying to play this $5,300 buy-in tournament. However, he then won a package through the first $109 tournament he played, meaning his total investment is less than $200.

A min-cash here would multiply that by around 30, and even if everything goes wrong, Kowalczyk still has a seven-day trip to sunny Cyprus, including accommodation in this spectacular resort, and a pretty decent holiday.


“This Merit stuff is pretty amazing,” Kowalczyk said. “I haven’t been on the beach yet because I played a lot. But today my girlfriend is coming so tomorrow we will go to the beach, that’s for sure. I hope that I play every day of the main, but we’ll see. I have a few days left, so I will have time to do some sightseeing.”

Kowalczyk is 29 years old and comes from Krakow, in Poland. Originally from the smaller city of Jaworzno, he learned poker in a bar when he and his friends found a set of poker chips there.

He quickly grew more interested in the game and started playing online more, hitting a high note when he finished third in the Sunday Million on PokerStars and banked more than $40K.

He now favours heads-up Zoom Total KO events on PokerStars, but says he is aiming to become a more accomplished MTT player. This trip to Cyprus represents the first major live tournament of his career, and he hopes it can be the beginning of something even bigger.

Maciej Kowalczyk is playing the biggest tournament of his career

“I have played a few times in Slovakia and the Czech Republic because we don’t have many tournaments in Poland, but nothing like the EPT,” Kowalczyk said. “They were much smaller…For sure I want to play more live after this. But it’s going to be hard to play such a good tournament in a spot like here.”


Kowalczyk admitted that he didn’t even really know what the gold pass would earn him when he first entered the tournament. As an online grinder, you don’t always stop to figure out precisely what tournament you’re playing — especially when the entry fee is so low.

“I thought it was only going to be tournaments online,” Kowalczyk said. “Then I realised that I could use it here. That was a pretty nice surprise when I realised that.”

After only a couple of days sampling the high life, he is now an enthusiastic advocate for the EPT — and for the path he took to get here.

“For sure this Power Path is good,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s only for now or will continue into the future, but these live events that you can win into is pretty nice. It’s definitely a good thing for players.”


Official EPT site
EPT Cyprus coverage hub
EPT Cyprus activities guide

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