PokerStars 10th anniversary: From unemployed to millionaire
In Toronto, Canada, Kyle Weir sat unemployed. He was 24 years old and paying the bills by playing poker. Meanwhile, he had college loans hanging over his head It was a life, but not necessarily a rich one.
"I've always played cards to scrape together money," Weir said.
A lot of people might be satisfied with that way of life. Still, the idea of scraping to get by isn't one that appeals to many. Before this weekend, Weir--known as First-Eagle on PokerStars--had never cashed for more than $40,000 in one online tournament. Though he's been playing on PokerStars for four years, his success has been somewhat limited.
That changed early this morning when Weir won the biggest-ever Sunday Million--the biggest-ever online tournament in history!--and became an instant millionaire.
"The feeling after the win was unbelievable," Weir said. "I still feel like I'm dreaming and can't believe it's happened. It's an incredibly fortunate experience."
As you likely know by now, Weir was one of more than 62,000 people who signed up for the PokerStars 10th Anniversary Sunday Million. Before yesterday, the biggest Sunday Million prize pool was $12,215,000. Now the standing record is $12,423,200, and Weir got the lion's share of it. His cut of the final table deal earned him $1,146,574.
"I plan on paying off some loans I have built up over the years paying for college. Its a huge weight off my shoulders getting rid of those," Weir said.
At one time just a friendly homegame player, Weir spent a lot of time over the past several years honing his online game and working to support himself with his talents. It's not always easy on him, nor is it easy on the people he loves. Now that it's paid off in spades, Weir is looking for a way to pay back some support to some important people.
"I would definitely like to send my parents on vacation for a few weeks. Playing poker so much doesn't only take effect on a player itself, but parents and friends as well," he said. "It's going to be a great feeling giving them a few weeks off to enjoy themselves."
As for whatever else is next? That's still up in the air. Weir hasn't even had 12 hours to process the fact that he's now a millionaire. He's going to take a couple of days off to celebrate and relax, and then it's back to the grind.
"Tournament leaderboards are still out there. Why stop after such a great run?" he said. "I just hope it continues. I would love a chance to play some live events soon. We'll just see where the next few months take me."
Congratulation to Kyle "First-Eagle" Weir for a stellar performance. Thanks for helping PokerStars celebrate its 10th anniversary in style!