Celebpoker.com Player Goes from Online Satellite to the Big Money at the World Poker Tour

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Online poker player Oliver H. has won an astonishing $43k from his recent World Poker Tour experience. He was involved in an online qualifier which he won at CelebPoker.com Later on he received a prize package worth $30k from the celebrity poker room. This was only the beginning to the success that would stem from his online play.

CelebPoker.com has finished its online qualifiers for this years World Poker Tour. On the site there were daily satellite events happening daily along with cash prize pools added to each tournament. The value to the player is very appreciated and noticed as they are playing for both real money and the chance of a lifetime to be involved in the WPT. For poker players this is a serious event that really determines much of the professional poker year. A prize package from CelebPoker.com was valued at $30,000 for this year’s event.

Oliver H. has an incredible story to tell and the cash to back it up. He was one of the players who became involved in the online qualifiers CelebPoker.com held for the World Poker Tour. He couldn’t believe when he won the satellite that was destined to change his life. Poker players love to hear stories of success from other players. As the World Series of Poker grows closer there will be more amazing winners coming from CelebPoker.com and the affordable qualifiers help online daily. His account of the success and experience is documented below from his own words.

It all started with a $150 satellite at CelebPoker.com where I finished in the top 10% and got a seat for the $1,500 online final for the World Poker Tour package. With a lot of luck and maybe also some skills I ended in the top 4 and a dream came true: I won a $30,000 package ($25,500 buy-in + $4,500 spending money) for the WPT World Championship from April 18 to April 24 2006 at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas!

I am quite an experienced online player and also have some live experience, but this was the first time I had to play against all these famous guys that I only knew from TV like Gus Hansen, Dave “The Devilfish” Ulliot, Doyle Brunson etc.

So on the first tournament day I was tired and nervous at the same time. I was tired and jetlagged because of the 18 hour flight from Zurich to Las Vegas and nervous of course because of all the famous players. My plan was to play cautious the first day because my primary goal was to reach the second day. It all went well for the first few hours. I got some cards and was able to pick up some smaller pots. Then finally there was a key-hand: the table was quite tight and I decided to raise with K9 clubs in late position. I got called from the button. Flop came Kxx with two clubs. I bet the flop and get raised by the player on the button. I knew that I was probably beaten but with top pair and flush draw I decided to re-raise him all in. I didn’t want him to call, but if he did, I knew that I had some outs. After about five minutes he decided to call and turned over his pocket rockets, AA. This could have been the end for me but lucky enough there was another club on the river and I doubled up. This put me in good position: after the first day I turned the 50,000 starting chips into 107,400 and placed 30th.

On the second day I was on a very strong table including Ram Vaswani and Jennifer Harman. Again I had some card luck and managed to win bigger pots with QQ and KK. But I also made two big mistakes which cost me some chips: once I lost too much with 99 against a pre-flop re-raiser where I had to fold on turn and another hand where I bet small on the river with straight and got raised by flush. All in all I still managed to win some additional chips and ended the day with 121,100, around 110th from the remaining 180.

My goal for day 3 was quite clear: now that I had gone this far I wanted to finish in the money! Out of the 606 players, 100 placed got paid with $43,935 for 100th place. I had a new strategy for this deciding day and wanted to play more aggressively now, especially against small stacks. It worked very well: almost none of my raises got called and with the ever-increasing blinds I was able to reach almost 200,000 chips. And it came even better: I was dealt AA in the big blind and there was action before me: An early position raiser and the player on the button re-raised to 70,000. I immediately announced “All-in”. The re-raiser on the button called with QQ and again I doubled up. Now with 400,000 chips I was in really good shape. Unfortunately then my luck was over. First I lost 150,000 chips with AK against AQ and another 150,000 on a coin flip with AK against JJ. Now there were only about 105 players left and of course the play was very tight on all the tables. Everybody was waiting for the next five players to go out and it took almost two hours until I finally was in the money! I lost my last 100,000 chips when I hit top two pair on flop with QT and called an all-in from AQ. Unfortunately there was an ace on the turn…

Anyway, I didn’t care too much and was more than happy with my 96th place out of 606 world class players and $43,935 prize money.


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David Donovan
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