Many poker players would love to be in Lexi Sterner’s position. The part-time poker player is one of eight female players heading to the European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona. On Monday, the group will be battle it out for quite a prize – a PokerStars Platinum Pass.
The opportunity comes two years after Stars announced the women as the winners of a special promotion. Poker players were asked to nominate inspirational women in the game as part of an International Women’s Day celebration.
Those selected were to play in a single-table tournament with the Platinum Pass on the line. Unfortunately, COVID delayed the event, but finally the event is now set for Monday.
The prize includes a $30,000 tournament package to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas in January. Sterner now has a big event scheduled that’s been two years in the making.
“Participating in EPT Barcelona is an incredible honor,” she tells USPoker. “Sometimes I have to take a second and take in the fact that my dreams are a reality now and think about how far I have come in my poker journey. This opportunity and platform is amazing and something that I could have only dreamed of.”
Hospital operating room to poker-playing nurse
Sterner, who lives in Florida, has had a poker life has with some unique twists and turns. She may be a part-time player who works as a nurse in her day job, but still gets plenty of hours at the poker table.
“I work in neurosurgery regularly as part of complex spine and brain surgery,” she says. “I am a part of awake craniotomies and life saving and advanced brain surgeries every day. And then a day later I fly out and play poker in Las Vegas or play the WSOP main event. To me I think that is a pretty interesting life.”
In a way, poker also led Sterner to becoming a nurse via some difficult circumstances. Her father Patrick was battling pancreatic cancer and was in the hospital over a month. Sterner introduced him to poker to take his mind off dealing with such a serious disease.
“They only gave him a five percent chance to live past five years, and now he’s almost 10 years cancer-free,” she told WPT.com. “So we always say he hit the one-outer.”
Seeing how her nurses care for her father inspired Sterner to enter health care. She’s now been in the job for seven years. And when not in nurse’s scrubs, Sterner can often be found at a poker table.
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, PokerStars asked the public to nominate women from around the world who have been inspirational in poker & made an impact on the community.
Now, 2 years later, 8 finalists are headed to EPT Barcelona to play for a Platinum Pass.
— PokerStars Blog (@PokerStarsBlog) August 8, 2022
Heading to Barcelona with PokerStars
Like many, Sterner first began playing the game while in college over a decade ago. Scrounging up $70 just to play some $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em was a regular part of her routine. She’s now in a prime spot to land one of poker’s ultimate prizes.
“I would have never thought this could be a reality,” she says. “Over the past 10 years poker has had a massive impact on my life and being considered as one of the women to play for a Platinum Pass makes it all even more worth it.
“I can’t wait to share the incredible impact poker has had on my life and hopefully encourage more women to play this unique and amazing game.”
A shot at poker glory
The PSPC first ran in the Bahamas in 2019 with PokerStars awarding numerous passes through smaller buy-in tournaments and online contests. A Platinum Pass includes a $25,000 tournament and a complete travel package for two.
The tournament ultimately attracted recreational players and numerous pros as well. Spain’s Ramon Colillas came out on top for $5.1 million after entering with a Platinum Pass himself. Overall, the tournament attracted 1,039 entries for a $26.5 million prize pool.
Sterner is now hoping she’ll now grab her own Platinum Pass for a shot at poker glory. The entire single-table tournament will be streamed live by PokerStars.
“I would just like to thank PokerStars for the amazing opportunity,” she says. “I can’t even put into words how grateful and honored I am for this opportunity. This is an absolute dream come true for me. And for anyone out there with a dream, no matter how big or small, you can make it happen!”
* Lead image courtesy World Poker Tour
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