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The Qualifier

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Qualify for an event by playing a smaller buy-in event; the first one to come up with the idea must have gotten a pretty big raise. Or he or she should have, at least. It's brilliant because of the simplicity. Players that would normally never have the chance to play a big event because of their bankroll being too small, now sit shoulder to shoulder with the big names in the game.

The one at PokerStars to come up with the Spin & Go qualifier should've even gotten a bigger raise. The luminous idea resulted in an unparalleled EPT Grand Final last year where everyone seemed to be happy. The Sporting, the location in Monaco where the event was held, was buzzing. Players that satellited in via a €10 Spin & Go couldn't believe their eyes; they were starstruck with the players and amazed with the exterior and interior of the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel. The other players, call them the regulars if you want, were equally excited as the level of play had gone down considerably with so many inexperienced players.

Chris Moneymaker may be the most famous qualifier in the world, but Asan Umarov surpasses that celebrity status in his home country of Kazakhstan. He finished fourth in the EPT Grand Final last year, turning a €10 Spin & Go ticket into a €305,660 payday!

Qualifiers are a good way for players with a smaller bankroll to get a chance to play big events. But more seasoned players like to play them as well, they won't say no to a little discount, on top of playing less experienced players.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that some of the names of qualifiers for the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event sound very familiar. Players like Andrew Chen, Daniel Dvoress, Dylan Linde, Mike McDonald, Steven van Zadelhoff and Steve O'Dwyer are household names but they do have the "PokerStars qualifier" tag behind their names.

A total of 51 players have won a package for the PokerStars Championship Panama in regular satellites. Nine players won a seat and 40 players won a package for this event in a Spin & Go. That makes for 100 qualifiers altogether.

Qualifying for the PokerStars Championship Panama is no longer an option, but there are plenty of other live events you can try to get into. The PokerStars Championship Macau is up next, and there's still plenty of qualifiers there. Fancy a Spin & Go chance? PokerStars Championship Sochi Spin & Go's are just $8!