Yesterday marked the official start of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas series. It was not only the first major tournament series of 2017 but also the first time the world was shown PokerStars’ new Championship branding. While most were focused, understandably, on Day 1 of the $100,000 Super High Roller, PokerStars Championship history was being made across the room from that big buy-in event, in a $1,000 NL Hold’em Turbo pre-lim. 

Pedram Sheraf flashed ‘7-2 off-suit’, picked up a stack of chips, waited for the signal and then threw them across the table. Event 3 was well over but it wasn’t official until after the camera flashed. Ped had become the first person in the world to claim a PokerStars Championship Spadie. A handful of other trophies would be awarded throughout Friday night but ‘Ped’ had picked up the first.

The San Diego, California native, who was recently accepted into medical school, is regular cash player on the West Coast but tournaments have never really sparked his interest. A few friends decided to play the series opening event and he was convinced to join them, even though it was his first time ever encountering blind levels, table breaks and a payout structure.

“I was never really into them but following High Roller events, like the Super High Roller Bowl on Poker Central, over the last year made me realize that the best poker players in the world play both cash and tournaments.” Sheraf said, adding, “It inspired me to up my game and the PokerStars Championship seemed like a great place to start trying tournaments.”

That’s the beauty of the PokerStars Championships. Every day there could be upwards of a dozen tournament options, with a wide variety of buy-in levels and structures to choose from. The schedules give everyone from new comers, to High Rollers and everyone in between, something to play and something to try. Poker aside though, Sheraf is enjoying the PCB.

“I’ve never been before but I decided to come because my good friends came last year and loved it. The best part is just being with them.” said Sheraf, while explaining all they’ve done outside the casino.

“We went swimming with pigs, jet skiing and took the yacht to a few islands. Everyone is having a good time and it’s beautiful, it’s really hard to be disappointed here.” he confessed.

Sheraf is certainly not disappointed, as he has already told his poker playing friends back home about his victory. They were obviously excited and the win has potentially turned this primarily cash game player, into someone who now has high hopes for his poker tournament future.

“Hopefully I can just keep making my way up the ranks. Being in the same room as the $100K yesterday was so cool. I’ll be there one day; I’ll be playing the Super High Roller Bowl instead of watching on my computer.”

Over the next week, over 90 events will run at the Atlantis Casino & Resort. After some celebrating, Sheraf will get back on the felt, hoping he can be the first person to ever win two PokerStars Championship Spadies, after making history on Friday night.