Imagine playing in the MILLIONS Online event for free. Taking a shot at a massive $20 million guaranteed prize pool having won your seat from the Million for MILLIONS promotion. Five partypoker players are doing exactly that having won a M4M ticket for free, turning that into a $109 MILLIONS Online satellite ticket before navigating their way to a $10,300 MILLIONS Online seat!
One of those players was Mikhail, a 32-years-old Ukrainian who lives in Moscow, Russia. By day, Mikhail works in the restaurant business, but he devotes his spare time to improving his skills at the poker tables.
He first discovered poker back in school when he and friends played five-card draw, although it wasn’t until he graduated from university that he delved into the online poker world. Mikhail’s poker career started with a free $50 offer.
“By chance I was browsing the internet and stumbled across a website giving $50 for passing a poker test. At first I started playing NL0 cash games and beat them before moving to NL25 six-max tables where the game started to punish me. I’m from a poor family so it was very painful for me to lose $100 in a session.”
Moving from cash games to tournaments
Mikhail enlisted the help of a poker coach to help him through his losing spell and began to improve. A friend told him about the a series of live events taking place in Sochi where partypoker LIVE has stopped off previously, and Mikhail fell in love with tournament poker after finishing in the money places a handful of times.
Now Mikhail is preparing to play in the biggest tournament of his life having won his seat to the $20 million guaranteed MILLIONS Online, online poker’s richest single tournament.
“To be honest, winning a ticket to MILLIONS Online turned out to be quite easy in my opinion, it just went really well in the qualifying satellites. The final phase was pretty tight, but I managed to triple my stack early and went on to win the $10,300 seat.”
Play, play, and play some more!
At first he couldn’t believe he’d won a ticket but Mikhail quickly composed himself and is keeping himself calm. “I understand that this is still just a ticket, a chance to win a lot of money, and the tournament is still to come.”
Mikhail now plans to watch some training videos and play as much poker as possible in the run up to MILLONS Online, which also happens to be his advice for any budding poker players out there.
“Play as much as possible. Try new things and if they don’t work don’t be afraid. In poker, the main thing is perseverance and with perseverance, you will succeed. Of course, playing within your bankroll, especially if you’re a tournament player.”
While Mikhail tripled his stack early in the final phase to win a MILLIONS Online ticket, Jakob Schmidt had to battle with a short stack in all three phases. The 23-year-old German student from Munich discovered poker all the way back in school where his friends used to play, although he only started taking poker seriously in the last year.
“I didn’t play for several years until I started playing micro stakes cash a little over a year ago. I play NLH almost exclusively although I sometimes play some casual PLO. I’m interested in draw games like deuce-to-seven, but I’m not interested in Short Deck.”
Short stack ninja
Jakob won used his M4M ticket for one of the daily freerolls. Although he managed to eventually get his hands on a $10,300 MILLIONS Online ticket, it wasn’t plain sailing for Jakob.
“I was below 10 big blinds in all three stages and somehow I made it. I never ran hot, except for the start of the freeroll. During the last stages I was card dead the whole way and I had been nurturing a short stack. There was a lot of folding, which is good, because as a NLH micro stakes player the preflop fold has become my go to play.”
Jakob’s preparation for MILLIONS Online is taking a backseat as he has a university paper due at the end of November, but he is brushing up on his skills with the book “Modern Poker Theory”. While it isn’t ideal not being able to play as much poker as he’d like, Jakob says it could work to his advantage.
“I don’t pressure myself. I’m a huge underdog and will have to run really well to have a shot at a six or seven-figure score, but it will be an amazing experience regardless. I’ll be playing against legends like Isaac Haxton after all!”
Should Jakob go all the way and win the 2019 MILLIONS Online, he plans to invest the majority of his winnings but will splash out on a new computer in time for the release of the eagerly anticipated title Cyberpunk 2077.
Learn to fold
What is Jakob’s advice for those of you wanting to succeed in satellites?
“Have good short stack fundamentals, they’re crucial. Overall, playing tight can never be too bad in a satellite because ICM is quite sick here. I turned down tons of marginal spots and it worked for me.”
Good luck to Mikhail and Jakob in the MILLION Online event and to everyone attempting to qualify for the $20 million guaranteed tournament. The Million for MILLIONS promotion concludes on Sunday 3rd November, so you’re rapidly running out of time if you want to follow in the footsteps of Mikhail and Jakob. Do not miss out!
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