Unless you’re a Platinum Pass holder (and if you are, get those bags packed!) you might know just how strong the community of winners has become over the past few years. Whether it be through Facebook groups or virtual get-togethers, PokerStars live events or special meet-ups, real friendships have been made among the lucky few.
But it makes sense. PokerStars began giving out Platinum Passes for the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) 2023 way back in August 2019, with the event itself planned for August 2020 in Barcelona. And we know what happened next.
The event was postponed. The world temporarily shut down. And Platinum Pass winners were left twiddling their thumbs, waiting patiently for the PSPC to be rescheduled.
Over the past couple of years, plenty of people within the Platinum Pass community have helped keep spirits up, but none more so than Nikhil Segel.
His Ultimate Sweat
In 2018, Segel won a Platinum Pass for the first iteration of the PSPC by winning former PokerStars Team Pro Jaime Staples’ #MyUltimateSweat competition.
Staples–who had recently completed ‘The Ultimate Sweat’ by shedding a large amount of weight–put out a challenge to those who wanted to challenge themselves. The sweat in question was down to the participant. Some chose to learn a new language. Others wanted to learn magic or yoga.
“My sweat was around getting back into good health because I was really in a bad way at that time,” Segel told Nick Walsh on the PokerStars Twitch channel. “My weight was out of control, my sugars were out of control. I’m a diabetic so it’s a struggle to keep healthy. I decided to try and fix these things in three months.”
He also gave up smoking cigarettes as Staples announced he’d be quitting smoking throughout the challenge.
Segel worked hard to build a community among participants, with nothing to gain but some friendly support. He began following every single #MyUltimateSweat participant on Twitter. “We all started motivating each other,” he says. “There was a lot of interaction.”
Looking back, he believes it was his community spirit that led to him winning the competition. “It gave me that little edge,” he said. “So many people were doing wonderful things, you can’t compare someone learning Japanese to someone losing weight.”
To all the #MyUltimateSweat participants, without you & your support this would never have happened!
My life had changed forever. ♥️ https://t.co/MBHWCYqtCi
— Nikhil Segel (@NikhilSegel) October 23, 2018
Four years on, Segel remains smoke-free, something he’s very proud of, and he’s managed to maintain good health. “I can’t start to tell you how much [the competition] changed my life,” he said. “I’ve put a little bit of weight back on since but I’m healthy.”
He then had an incredible time in the Bahamas. He might not have cashed in the $25,000 buy-in event, but he got to meet up with all of the Platinum Pass winners he’d grown close to.
“It was awesome, one of the best experiences of my life,” he said. “I remember it with great fondness.”
The community champion
In the years since, Nikhil Segel has continued to build on the community he helped create back in 2018.
He didn’t manage to win a Platinum Pass for the 2023 edition of the PSPC, but that didn’t stop him from helping others by answering questions and offering advice.
“You’ve really been a champion for Platinum Pass winners, even before you won your first Platinum Pass, and you’ve really been a champion in the community ever since,” Walsh told him.
“So I have one last question for you: what would it mean to you if we were to send you back to the Bahamas?”
Yep, for his selfless work among Platinum Pass winners, Segel has become one himself for a second time.
“Oh my God, I can’t believe this,” he said upon hearing the news. “I’d given up [trying to win one]. I played all of the games available to us in India. You’re serious, right?”
Walsh told him: “It’s for all of the work you’ve put in behind the scenes without reward.”
For Segel, it was never about reward. But now the ultimate sweat is back on as he’ll once again be playing for millions in the Bahamas.
“This just blows me away,” he said. “I can’t thank you enough. I’m floored!”Back to Top