Keeping a $100,000 secret is hard, especially when you're the guy who just won it.
There's this guy in Toronto. We're not going to tell you his name because he's sort of private. He goes by magnum123524, he's 49 years old, and he's engaged to be married. He needs a new truck. He has two kids and another on the way.
Oh, and he just won $100,000 in one of the weirdest poker tournaments PokerStars has ever hosted.
His chances of winning the 56,656-player tourney were somewhere in the neighborhood of .00177%. During the entire tournament, he made exactly one decision: the decision to enter.
Some background may be in order here.
As you might know, August was VIP Club Month at PokerStars. Part of that celebration was offering entries to a bunch of so-called flipaments. Players who had earned SilverStar and above status on PokerStars could get in. After that, all players simply sat back and watched the 4-max shootout play out on autopilot. Every surviving player was all-in every time. In all, it took eight rounds and ten hands for magnum123524 to win.
It was a tense time, to be sure. More than 16,000 places got paid, but the prize jumps at the toward the end of the event were just silly. Fifth place got $100. Fourth place got $25,000. When magnum123524, a SilverStar VIP Club member, saw things coming to an end, he couldn't help but lose it a little.
"I know what a final table looks like," he said, "and I was like 'BOOM! My son was sleeping, and I woke him up. He came down and saw the screen and just said 'wow.' I mean we were jumping up and down!"
He called his fiancee. She was in the car driving home. She didn't believe it either. So he had to show her this when she got home.
So, how did it he win? Well, let's just say he ran good. As magnum123524 sat back and watched, this is how he won $100,000 without clicking his mouse more than once.
BOARD #1: J♣3♦7♦5♠9♥
magnum123524: shows 5♦T♠ (a pair of Fives)
BOARD #2: J♣9♠6♣2♥4♦
magnum123524: shows Q♣J♦ (a pair of Jacks)
BOARD #3: 8♦8♥6♥T♥J♥
magnum123524: shows A♥A♠ (a flush, Ace high)
BOARD #4: 4♦T♣3♣T♠ T♥
magnum123524: shows 4♠J♠ (a full house, Tens full of Fours)
BOARD #5: 4♥8♦5♣K♠6♣
magnum123524: shows 7♦T♠ (a straight, Four to Eight)
BOARD #6: 2♠T♦8♣J♥8♦
magnum123524: shows 5♣J♦ (two pair, Jacks and Eights)
BOARD #7: A♣3♠A♥2♣5♠
magnum123524: shows J♥5♥ (two pair, Aces and Fives)
BOARD #8: 4♥J♠3♥4♦J♣
magnum123524: shows A♠5♠ (two pair, Jacks and Fours)
BOARD #9: 8♥5♣T♥A♣8♣
magnum123524: shows A♥J♠ (two pair, Aces and Eights)
BOARD #10: 5♣9♣4♦2♦T♦
magnum123524: shows 9♦9♠ (three of a kind, Nines)
Within just a few minutes, magnum123524's PokerStars account had six figures in it.
"I've won a few things in my life but nothing this big," he said. "With a wedding and new truck and with a baby on the way, it really helps."
Lest you think magnum123524 made it through the day without any bad beats, you should know that when the tourney was over, the Toronto liquor stores were closed due to a holiday. He had to wait until today (!) to buy a celebratory bottle of wine. So, you have to feel sorry for the guy.
While magnum123524's win may be a bit of a secret (he's not telling anyone except his family), the way for you to follow in his footsteps is public knowledge. There are still four VIP Giveaway tournaments left this week, don't forget to register in 'Tourney' > 'VIP' > 'All'.
Congratulations to magnum123524 on his big win. And don't worry, buddy. We won't tell a soul.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging