A few words on 55Lucky55

The thing about blogging, and, in particular, tournament poker blogging, is that it's a lot like playing the tournament myself--mundane hour followed by mundane hour followed by the coolest things I've seen in poker in ages. That is, tons of boredom spiked with the fantastic adrenaline that keeps us all coming back for more.

More than that, though, it's the people you meet on the road. There are the tournament rounders, the one-timers who are just happy to be there, and the collection of motley people that just seem to appear at poker tournaments out of nowhere.

In the past couple of years, one of the greatest poker people I've met is Spiro "55Lucky55" Mitrokostas.

The first time we crossed paths was the 2005 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. I was fairly new on the tournament circuit and was still learning the names and faces of a lot of players. Toward the end of one day, I watched a guy as he flopped the nut flush, played it slow until the river, then got some poor guy to go all in with a six through ten straight on the board. I thought for a moment the winner was pretending to be Gus Hansen. As it turned out, he was showing his tablemates the source of some nerve damage that causes his hand to shake when he places out his bets. I snapped a blurry photo at what I thought was a big bicep flex.

It wasn't long before I learned I had just met Spiro.

We would continue to cross paths both online and live, including at this year's PCA. It was then, during a marathon blogging session, that my boss Dan Goldman got me on a walkie-talkie and said, "You gotta get in here. Spiro and his wife are heads-up in an SNG."

Something blog-related kept me from making the run into the poker room, but later I ran into Spiro in the hotel lobby. I was having a post-tournament drink with my wife and some friends when Spiro walked in with his laptop.

"How did that SNG with your wife turn out?" I asked.

A huge smile spread across Spiro's face. "She beat me!" He then went on to say how the win had inspired his wife to learn more. Before long, Spiro was playing a PokerStars SNG on his laptop while his wife sweated him and he gave her a lesson.

In short, Spiro is one of the nicest guys you'll meet in the poker world. He's a loyal PokerStars players, and you'll find dozens--if not hundreds--of people who will say that Spiro introduced them to PokerStars.

Just last weekend, Spiro tore up the Foxwoods Poker Classic, finishing seventh, just short of the WPT televised table. While it was a nice payday for the nice guy, it would've been nice for the world to see Spiro at the televised table. That is, the poker world could stand more gentlemen stars like Spiro. He's the type of poker ambassador that makes us all look better.

Nice work at Foxwoods, Spiro. Hope you keep running well.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news