Meet Isidora 'microulis69' Panagiotopoulou, winner of the 100 Billionth Hand and $103,800
Last Thursday evening, Isidora Panagiotopoulou met up with her sister-in-law at her husband's store to take a shot at the Million Dollar Hand. A $100,000 bounty was being given out to the winner of PokerStars 100 billionth hand and both wanted to win. They were not the only ones, just two players of more than 400,000 online chasing the dream as the hand counter clicked towards 12 digits.
Playing under the name 'microulis69', Panagiotopoulou fired up 18 tables, which was more than she would usually in order to maximise her chances to win. It proved to be a winning strategy. At around 9.25pm local time, some 90 minutes after she logged on, hand #100,000,000,000 hit her table. The action froze and after a tension-filled wait all six players players at the $0.02/$0.05 six-max No-Limit Hold'em table got their chips in and turned their cards on their backs. microulis69's J♦5♦ was close to favourite in what was a line-up of very marginal hands, an above average 21.02% chance of scooping the pot.
After flopping middle pair and fading a myriad of outs on the turn and river (she had only increased to 37.84% percent on the flop), Panagiotopoulou collected an incredible $103,800 as the table was splashed with $169,260 thanks to the Million Dollar Hand promotion. I don't think Panagiotopoulou will be complaining about losing flips any time soon! The remaining $830,740 (from the $1,000,000 giveaway) was spread amongst players playing the same game and stakes. That hand made a lot of micro-stakes players very happy. None more so than Panagiotopoulou.
"I couldn't believe that I won. Actually I still can't believe it," Panagiotopoulou told PokerStars Sponsored Player Stavros Kalfas.
Kalfas had taken flowers and champagne to congratulate Panagiotopoulou on her win (as if $103,800 wasn't enough!).
"The way things are with the financial crisis the money is extremely important. This money came out of nowhere and it will help us accomplish lots of our goals. We have lots of financial obligations to settle and this money will help a lot. It also gives us time to think about our options. I would like to use some of it to start playing poker professionally," she said.
Panagiotopoulou has been playing for about a year at PokerStars, usually the 0.10/0.25 six-max tables. This win could be life-changing in more ways than one.
"I am a housewife trying to become a part-time professional poker player. My sister-in-law is also in the same situation as I am and we will try and make it as professional players! I have been playing poker for a long time with friends and my husband, but only recently I decided to take it seriously and try to make some steady profit from it," said Panagiotopoulou.
Well, that seemed to work out pretty well. Apart from the fact that a million bucks is given away in one hand, what attracts her to playing at PokerStars?
"I like playing on PokerStars because it offers a great variety of games and has very many players at any time in the day. It is a safe and reliable site. I also enjoy watching well-known players while they play. It's like an online school," she said.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.