Jonathan “fuzztacular” Newman Plays 17 Days Straight to Win PSPC Platinum Pass

Jonathan Newman

The PokerStars’ Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) will take place from January 30–February 3 at the beautiful Baha Mar Hotel and Resort, in Nassau, Bahamas. The PSPC will be welcoming high-stakes pros and amateurs alike, with a special group that won their entrance into the $25,000 buy-in event, with life-changing money for whoever comes in first.

The PSPC has been on hold for the past three years, with some Platinum Pass winners waiting for their chance to play the event of their lives.

PokerStars Ambassador Ramon Colillas won the first PSPC, which was first held in 2019 during the PCA Festival. The now 35-year-old Colillas won a staggering $5.1 million after beating a field that boasted 1,039 players. The inaugural PSPC was also a unique event, combining Platinum Pass qualifiers and satellite winners with $25,000 high-roller regulars. This will hold true for the 2023 PSPC as well.

Jonathan Newman won his Platinum Pass as the winner of PokerStars ONCOOP (Ontario Championship Of Online Poker) Leader Boards promotion. His Platinum Pass package is worth $30,000. It includes:

  • Buy-in to the $25,000 PSPC
  • Six-nights hotel accommodation for winner and a guest in a 5-star hotel
  • Airport transfer
  • $1,900 expense money
  • Platinum Pass Winner experiences during the event

19+. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly. For more information and support, visit

Click here for more on the 2023 PCA & PSPC!

Q&A w/Jonathan Newman

PokerNews: Can you tell us a bit about yourself (i.e. age, location, family, education, work, etc.)?

Jonathan Newman: I’m a 30-year-old poker player from Toronto, Canada. I was lucky to grow up with a great family - my dad was a doctor, and my mom was a teacher and professional musician. My family mostly consists of professionals with degrees, and I decided to follow a similar trajectory by getting a BA in Political Studies from Queen’s University as well as a Master’s in Teaching from the University of Toronto. I taught full-time for about six years before transitioning towards poker last year.

PN: How’d you get the mental and physical stamina to make it 17 days in a row online to end up clinching the title of winner of ONCOOP Leader Boards promotion and the coveted Platinum Pass?

JN: A strength of mine is being able to stay calm and level-headed while playing. From the beginning, I approached it like a marathon, not a sprint. I tried to remain even-keeled day to day. I was also constantly checking in on my mental state. Was I feeling frustrated, tired, or unfocused? Was that because of my diet, exercise, or sleep? When things were tough, I thought about how playing poker was much easier than teaching during the pandemic. Every day I just felt grateful that I even had this opportunity to chase the leaderboard.

PN: When and how did you learn to play poker?

JN: I learned to play poker when I was 14 at summer camp. We would play poker in the cabins and bet our tuck (candy), which was tons of fun. I was a massive whale back then and I punted off more than a few kit-kat bars! I was always fascinated by the game, but I only started taking it more seriously when I was working full-time in 2017 and felt like I could risk small amounts of money more comfortably. My game took off the most when I reached out to some very good players willing to study with me.

Jonathan “fuzztacular” Newman
Jonathan “fuzztacular” Newman and other Ontario platinum pass winners at a Toronto meet up.

PN: How long have you been playing on PokerStars and what inspired you to join in the first place?

JN: My first recorded tournament cash was in 2017 on PokerStars. The main reason I joined was because I started watching a lot of Twitch and learned from those players. My favorites at the time were Kevin Martin, Parker Talbot, Jaime Staples, and AllinPav. I gravitated toward the streamers who explained their thought processes. A lot of my favorite players were Stars Pros, and the software always looked the most visually appealing so that’s where I put most of my volume!

PN: Is this your first tournament outside of Canada? What does this opportunity mean to you?

JN: This is my first tournament outside of Canada. The opportunity means the world to me. I always dreamed about playing in a big live event, and honestly, I never thought I would be playing a 25k buy-in. Getting to go to the Bahamas is incredibly fortunate, I have run well in so many areas of my life for that to happen.

PN: Have you ever played in any other major poker tournaments?

JN: As far as live poker, my experience is limited. I played a few local tournaments in Ontario before the pandemic. That said I’ve played a ton online!

PN: How and when did you decide to transition from being an elementary school teacher to playing poker full-time?

JN: Teaching during the pandemic was getting very grueling, and my dream was always to try playing poker full-time. I’m 30 now, felt like I had my finances in order, and thought that if I didn’t give myself the shot right now, when would I ever take that risk? Luckily things have worked out well so far.

"I spend most of my time playing and studying the game, so being around people who are just as obsessed with poker as I am is really exciting!"

PN: What’s your proudest poker accomplishment to date?

JN: My proudest accomplishment was winning the ONCOOP leaderboard. That showed consistency, dedication, and mental toughness. I was able to win six events overall and four within the span of two days. Even though I ran well in important spots, I managed to close out events and compete with the best players in Ontario. It was a great feeling.

PN: Aside from maybe winning, what are you most looking forward to about your upcoming PSPC stop? Any poker pros you would like to meet? If so, why would you like to meet them?

JN: I am looking forward to being in an environment surrounded by high-level poker players. I spend most of my time playing and studying the game, so being around people who are just as obsessed with poker as I am is really exciting! There are so many players I would love to meet, but I’m not sure who will be in the Bahamas.

The player I most look up to in terms of style and approach is Patrick Leonard. I would love to meet some high rollers and pick their brain. These players are at the top of the game for a reason – people like Kevin Rabichow, Jason Koon, Nick Petrangelo. I also want to meet “tonkaaaaP” (Parker Talbot), Spraggy (Ben Spragg) and Sam Grafton. They are amazing poker players and also incredibly funny people.

I got to hang out with Arlie Shaban at the PSPC winner's meet-up at Jenn Carter’s house, which was an amazing experience. There are so many great people in poker!

PN: Will any friends or family be joining you in the Bahamas?

JN: Two of my closest friends Mike and Ian are joining me in the Bahamas. I’m so excited that I get to share this amazing experience with people who mean a lot to me!

*Images courtesy of Jonathan Newman.

Ontario iGaming

Eligible iGames conducted and managed by iGO are only available to those physically present in the Province of Ontario. PokerStars Ontario operates pursuant to an agreement with iGaming Ontario.

For more information, visit the Ontario Players Homepage

  • Newman won his Platinum Pass as the winner of @PokerStarsON ONCOOP Leader Boards promotion.

Name Surname

Christina is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer who discovered poker at the age of twelve. She's been a contributor to PokerNews since 2022.

More Stories

Other Stories

Recommended for you

Wife Thought Rakesh Ramdial's ONCOOP Platinum Pass to PSPC was a Scam! Wife Thought Rakesh Ramdial's ONCOOP Platinum Pass to PSPC was a Scam!