World Cup of Poker: Meet onasis16

Among the fascinating stories coming out of the World Cup of Poker finals is that of onasis16. His background is as international as the World Cup of Poker itself. With the Barcelona live finals still several weeks away, it seems like a good time to start introducing you to some of the key players. Here is Mexcio's Team Captain, onasis16, in his own words.

My name is Tony. I am from Greece. I was born and raised in Germany. I am a world traveler who likes to see different cultures and countries. I have lived in several countries and this helped me to speak five languages fluently. After school in Germany, I started my own business--a video club rental like Blockbuster. Then I got involved in import export business and started exporting cars from Germany to Greece and motorbikes from Italy to Germany. I did that until I was 25 years old. Then I decided I needed a break, so I called the airport and asked for the next available flight. I gave them three destinations--Thailand, South America, or Caribbean. They called me back saying tomorrow morning 6am to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Arriving there it was like a shock for me. Summer all year around, not like in Germany--all gray and rainy all day, hot chicks, turkise blue water. Man, did I fly to paradise? How come I never have heard of that island?

My two weeks vacation became eleven years in the Caribbean. It was not hard to trade 30 degrees minus Celsius to 30 degrees plus Celsius all year long. People there a very friendly and have a great mentality. So after three years of hanging out beaches, casinos, discos,and so on, I got bored of doing the same day in day out. So, I decided to get a job and see what I could do here. Meanwhile, I had learned the Spanish language perfectly, so I got introduced to the vacation ownership industry.

After a fast start, I skyrocketed to the sales manager position in nine months. I was very exited and had a lot a fun with my work. I started getting offers from other companies. I did that for eight years in the Caribbean. After meeting my future wife there and five hurricanes, I decided it's time to move.

So, I came to Mexico and went to Cancun. I stayed there five months but I didn't like it very much so I moved to Vallarta. There, I started working and met one of my managers. One day he said, "Do you now how to play poker?"

I answered, "Yes, but only five-card draw." I had played a lot of five-card in Germany. I was actually a decent player.

He answered, "No, I mean poker. No-limit hold'em."

I said, "No."

He said, "You want to try?"

I said, "Sure, why not."

So, we went to my house and opened an account at PokerStars. I registered and started donking off in some small buy in MTTs. A couple of days later, I came third in a rebuy for $2,400. Three days later, another final table for almost $2,000, so I decided to take it more seriously and study the game of poker. This friend who introduced me to online poker is coronabeach [Editor note: Coronabeach is also a member of Team Mexico.]

I'v played online poker for two years and four months. I usually make my living off 5-card draw high stakes games. I multi-table them and do quite well. My biggest achievements have been the 12,000 WSOP seat I won on PokerStars this year and a couple of wins and cashes in MTTs. The World Cup of Poker qualifier is also an achievement. Last year we lost in the playoffs versus Costa Rica.

The World Cup experience has been great so far. I am very exited about that. We are looking only to one direction in the finals and that's winning the whole thing and bringing the title to Mexico.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in