Monday, 20 February 2017

Online Players off to Europe for Winter Poker Championship in Seefeld, Austria this Week

Our friend Tim O'Keefe is on his way back to Austria this week for the Winter Poker Championship in Seefeld. Tim was with us when we were there last February and he'll be posting pics vids and stories here on Living the Dream blog again later this week.

Tim and Douglas Klein -- a recent online satellite tournament winner -- will be in Seefeld for the Main Event. Vegas vlogger TheTrooper79 will be with them.

On his 2Fit2Fold blog this weekend, Tim talked about how he's been "fine tuning" for this week's big event, re-living hands he's played at WSOPc events in LA and Choctaw over the last few weeks.

"Hopefully I can learn from these tough lessons, redeem myself from last year's performance and take it to those uber aggressive Europeans!" he said from his home in Texas before setting off for Europe.

The Winter Poker Championship (formerly CAPT Seefeld) Main Event takes place at Casinos Austria, Seefeld February 24th to 26th. Follow Tim, Doug and TheTrooper here beginning Thursday.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

LA Financial Analyst is On His Way to Austria


Intertops Poker is sending another online satellite winner to a big poker tournament in Europe next month!

Douglas Klein, a Financial Analyst from LA, won an online satellite tournament last weekend where he was awarded a $4000 prize package to travel to Austria and compete in the prestigious Winter Poker Championship (formerly CAPT Seefeld). Douglas is a regular in his local casinos but this will be his first overseas tournament.

The Winter Poker Championship takes place at Casinos Austria, Seefeld February 24th to 26th.

Video: Online Satellite Tournament Player Wins Trip to Austria

Intertops Poker and Juicy Stakes Poker currently hosting satellites for TKPT St Maarten.

Tim O’Keefe, who won his way to the Austrian ski resort the same way last year, will be with Douglas. Since meeting Tim in Seefeld last winter we've also followed him to St Maarten where he'd won his way to the TKPT Caribbean tournament.

Sunday’s Final, the last tournament in a three tier tournament series, was a nail-biter for Klein.

“With three players remaining, I flopped a set of 9s against AA and won a huge pot,” recalled the champion.  “I had the chip lead going into heads up so I felt like I would win.  I lost one big pot but then crippled my opponent shortly after.  I ended up by putting my opponent all-in with 88.  He had A7.  That was it.  The most exciting moment I've had playing poker – and now I’m going to Europe!”

Klein won a $4,000 prize package that includes €2160 buy-in to the Winter Poker Championship Main Event (February 24th to 26th), premium accommodation in the Tyrolean ski resort, and travel expenses. The online satellite tournaments were co-hosted by Intertops Poker and Juicy Stakes Poker.

The winner has a strategy for winning online tournaments that certainly worked for him this time.

“I try to play pretty tight for the first few levels while maintaining at least an average stack,” he explained.  “As the blinds increase, I play more aggressively, opening with a wider range and bluffing more.  In the middle levels, I feel like you have to take chances to get chips. If I have 15-20 BB and it’s close to the final table, I lower the amount of my opening raises and play aggressively in position.  This strategy seems to work well.  I have a decent win rate.”

“I’ve never played in an event as big as the Winter Poker Championship in Seefeld,” he said.  “The biggest tournament I ever played in was a $500 buy-in with about 100 players.  I finished on the bubble.  Aside from that, I've played in several small tournaments in Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Commerce Casino in Los Angeles.”

Douglas will have his wife with him for moral support, and O’Keefe will be there to help him get the lay of the land.

“My first time over there I couldn’t believe how differently they play in Europe!” said O’Keefe.  “Maybe all that schnitzel makes them so aggressive? I don’t know, but I’m more ready for them this year, that’s for sure!”

Douglas is Intertops' latest satellite tournament winner travelling to a big live tournament -- but not the last! A new online satellite tournament series that will send the winner to the $75K TKPT Caribbean tournament in St Maarten begins next week at Intertops Poker and Juicy Stakes Poker.

Friday, 6 January 2017

We've Been to Tropical Islands 3 Times but Just Once to an Austrian Ski Resort!

Over the last year or so we've been to the Caribbean 3 times with online satellite winners. Tropical islands are great -- but one of our best trips was to poker tournament at a ski resort in Austria last winter! Seefeld is where we first got to know Tim O'Keefe and Chris Perkins. Daniel Montagnolli, who we'd met in St Maarten, lives in nearby Innsbruck and was with us again too.

This video episode was shot in the car as we drove through the mountains on the way back to Salzburg.



Larry aka TheGamblogger

 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

My First is Still a Favorite

Since starting this blog I've been to four major poker tournaments and produced 20 or so videos featuring players that have won their way to poker tournaments in exotic locations by winning online satellite tournaments.

This episode from my first Living the Dream video series and is still one of my personal favorites:



It was fun travelling to the Caribbean Poker Tour with Daniel Montagnolli, Derek Scallon, Neil Slade, Steven Loney & Phil Cardella.

Until our next poker adventure...

Larry

Monday, 31 October 2016

If These Guys Can Do It, So Can You!


There’s some serious money to be won at a big tournament like this, and that attracts lots of professional players, like “Homeless Millionaire” Faraz Jaka, Twitch poker wiz Doug Polk and Josh Beckley, the second place finisher in the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event.  But since so many players won their trip to Punta Cana in online satellite tournaments, there’s a lot more recreational players living the dream at their very first live tournament.  I talked to a few of them at the beach party Saturday night.


“It’s been great, you can’t beat it!” said a tournament newbie Scott McKenzie from California.  “For just $50 I won a $4900 package playing The Beast tournament one Sunday night.  I cashed out my buy-in and hit forty-first place, so it’s just been a great overall experience."

"This is my first big tournament so I was really nervous.  Everyone told me I was playing way too tight  -- but I think that’s a great thing to hear from the best in the world!”

 “Anyone can do it! If I’m here, I’m living proof. It’s a great time – you’ve got to come!”


This was also a first for John and Raquel from Pittsburgh.

“I played a tournament, The Beast” said John. “Every Sunday, for $50, you’ve got a chance to win it. I figured, let’s give it a shot!”

“This is a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve always wanted to go somewhere to play a big tournament like this.  I wasn’t thinking here though! I was thinking maybe Denver or somewhere like that.  This is just out of the world for me!”

“I actually got into the Caribbean ocean!” said Raquel.  “All the way up to my chin – that’s a first for me!

Congrats to the winners -- hasta la vista!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Faraz Jaka on His Life as the Homeless Millionaire


One of the most interesting players we've met at the Punta Cana Poker Classic is Faraz Jaka, nicknamed the Homeless Millionaire by CNN.  He's a professional poker player who's really living the dream.  He’s travelling the world from tournament to tournament so much that he gave up his home entirely years ago. Now, even with more that $8 million in career earnings, he lives from a suitcase with just the essentials: a few pieces of clothing and a laptop.



Sounds great. But is there's got to be a catch, doesn't there?

“I’ve just been playing all week. There’s a high roller event here today too so I haven’t even got to the beach, haven’t been in the pool.  I’m on tour hardcore for the rest of the season – I’m going to Macau, I’m going to Prague… where else… oh ya, I’m going to Florida…  I’ve got a lot of poker in front of me so I need a beach day. I might make that a priority today!”

“I obviously love being on the road. That’s why I do it, but there’s definitely some things that you wish you had. It can get frustrating sometimes."

“Even just, you know, I do a lot of my shopping on Amazon, just everyday shaving needs, all the right organic products I need, and sometimes it’s really hard to do that when you’re abroad and don’t have an address for them to deliver too!”

“On my way to Macau I have eighteen hours in Chicago. So I’m, like, messaging my Chicago friends – hey, want to meet for dinner? And can I send like five Amazon deliveries to your place? And can you bring them to dinner!?”

I asked him what advice he’d give a some he said to just be careful about getting caught up in the jet set poker lifestyle. First class flights… fancy restaurants… five star hotels… If you want to last, better to stay grounded.

Apparently Twitch poker guru Doug Polk hadn’t heard that advice! After indulging in the lifestyle the night before he slept through the first three levels of Day 2!

Neither of these pros made it to the Final Table, but they’ll be there to cheer them on and  to see who walks away with nearly $150 grand.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Tyler from Missouri is Living the Dream at the Punta Cana Poker Classic!


If ever we've met someone who’s living the dream, it’s Tyler, a young player from Missouri that we met outside the tournament hall yesterday.  Tyler won his way to the Caribbean in an online tournament and, after Day 1, he’s got over 70,000 chips and is in the Top 20 heading into Day 2.




Tyler’s never played an action packed live tournament like the Punta Cana Poker Classic. In fact, he’d never even been on a plane before!

“If I just place, that’s good enough for me.  But if I win I guess I’ll buy some stuff for my car,” said Tyler.  “Folks back home won’t be surprised to hear that!  I guess I’d invest a lot of it – and set some aside to go to the WSOP and try my luck in Las Vegas!”

Tyler’s got to be about the youngest player here in Punta Cana.

“I guess if I start to feel too intimidated I’ll just put on my sunglasses,” he laughed.

“This next day could be a little difficult, since the antes and the big blinds… But as long as I play good – not too tight and not too aggressive – I should be fine.

Good luck Tyler! Hope your dream comes true!

UPDATE: Tyler ended up placing 41st in a field of over 160 players, winning about $4500. He returned to Missouri a very happy guy -- already planning to win another one of Americas Cardroom's Sunday "The Beast" tournaments come back to Punta Cana next year and win it! Great hanging out with you Tyler. See you again soon!