Meet Eric 'AceQuad' Brix, your SCOOP Leaderboard champion
Eric Brix grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul called White Bear Lake in Minnesota. It was a typical middle class town in which Brix spent a lot of time fishing, waterskiing, quad biking and wrestling, a sport in which he competed at school for nine years. Anytime during that idyllic upbringing it's doubtful it would have occurred to Brix that a few years down the line he'd be living in Cancun, a 28-year-old furiously clicking the refresh button on his computer, sat next to his Mexican wife, desperately hoping to see confirmation that he'd been crowned the best player of a 16-day, 132-event tournament series which had paid out more than $75 million.
Brix, who had moved to Mexico after Black Friday, had been contesting for the Player of the Series crown of the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) but had, he thought, just been beaten to the trophy by George 'GeorgeDanzer' Danzer. Brix, playing under the name 'AceQuad', a homage to his earlier love of quad biking, had made an astounding 19 cashes, seven of which were final table finishes. Danzer had scored more cashes but less final tables. He had, however, bagged two SCOOP bracelets, one at the death. It was certainly feasible that Danzer had won enough to claim the leaderboard.
"On the last day of SCOOP I cashed in three events for 65 points and I thought for sure I had won the overall (SCOOP Leader Board) until I looked up George Danzer and saw he was heads-up in the 4-max. I knew then I had lost the overall leader board because he was making 90 points in that minimum, which put me in second place. About one week later, my friend Cal42688 (Calvin Anderson) wrote me a message," explained Brix.
That note from Anderson suggested that there had been a mistake in the calculations and that Brix had, in fact, actually come out on top. Anderson himself was invested in checking: he finished fourth on the Overall and third on the Medium leaderboards. An email was sent to PokerStars.
"So the waiting began. I was checking my email ten times a day for a response. I understood this was a big issue and tried not to bug them. On the second day of waiting, I contacted a friend that works for PokerStars and he talked to the card room manager. One week later they figured it out and contacted me to let me know I'd won. Any doubt that I had went away and I began calling all my friends and family to tell them the news," said Brix.
Put simply, the point calculations had gone awry. Click here for a more in-depth explanation. While the plaudits and sense of achievement are hard earned, the not-so-small matter of a PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT10 Grand Final package - which includes entry into the €10,000 Main Event - is certainly worth celebrating.
"They (friends and family) all want to come to Monte Carlo. It's going to be amazing. I can't wait to see the city with my wife. I have been to the PCA and to an event in Estonia. They were amazing trips but I expect this one to be even better."
While the discovery of the mix up brought joy for Brix it also rained on Danzer's parade. Don't feel too bad for the Team PokerStars Pro, his excellent SCOOP performance was still good for the SCOOP High leaderboard and a PCA 2014 package.
Thankfully Brix had plenty of things to keep his mind off what he thought was a near-miss at the top of the leader board. He was getting married the day after SCOOP finished (always the consummate professional grinder, it seems), which is why you won't be seeing his face at the WSOP this summer.
"This year is the first I am not going to Vegas for the WSOP in five years. Only because I want to be in Mexico with my wife and I have been doing a lot of travelling. I had my sister's wedding and my cousin's wedding is coming up soon," said Brix.
Mexico isn't such a bad place to be, even if a certain level of naturalisation can't entirely erase homesickness.
"The one thing I miss the most is family and friends. I do travel back and forth as often as I can to see them. Materialistically, I really miss cable internet. The internet down here is so slow and not very reliable. Nothing tilts me more than being disconnected or having a hand fold because of bad internet. During Christmas time I miss the snow. It just doesn't feel like Christmas without snow."
But Brix has found plenty of other reasons to like Mexico (not just his wife). His friends back home now needle him about his choice of beer: domestic Mexican. If that's all Brix, who counts Anderson, Nick 'Rounder63' Carrillo, Danny 'THE__D__RY' Ryan and Phil 'Ca$hmanBrian' Diehl among his closest friends in the poker world, has to worry about then life can't be too bad. Bookmark the name 'AceQuad' for the next time you play any of the COOPs. Keep your fingers crossed he's not at your table.
And here are the tournament reports of all seven of AceQuad's SCOOP final tables:
Event #19-M $109+R PL 5-Card Omaha [6-Max]: 5th, $11,560
Event #26-M $109 1R1A PL Courchevel Hi/Lo (Turbo): 3rd, $15,000
Event 30-H $2,100 Razz: 5th, $13,580
Event #33-H $2,100 8-Game: 6th, $11,520
Event #37-H $2,100 HORSE: 5th, $14,980
Event #38-H $2,100 NL Omaha Hi/Lo: 9th, $6,490
Event #39-L $55 PLO [6-Max]: 3rd, $15,948.22
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.