TCOOP: Easing into the champion's role

13996-TCOOP-thumb.pngThe Turbo Championship of Online Poker revealed a lot about the nature of today's game. Of the many things we learned, it's that the series can produce champions from the ranks of relative unknowns.

Just a few days removed from the end of the first TCOOP, we asked a few of the new champions to tell us a bit about themselves and what the TCOOP title means to them.

Here's what they had to say.


Name: Cejakas14
Location United Kingdom
Age: 26
Title 2012 TCOOP Event #11 $100 Heads-Up NLHE
Winnings: $38,290

In his own words: "I lived in a village of less than 1,000 people until I was 16. it was a village with agricultural-economy. I came from a modest family. When I was 17, I went to Soria and then to Segovia in order to study. I could not do it with the help of my parents. I left my degree to play poker and luckily, I managed to succeed, so now I can live with the money I raised and I can pay back the money my parents gave me.

I had to leave home due to study purposes. During the following years, I studied Advertising and Public Relations. The degree was okay, but I did not find it fulfilling. So, when I started to move up in poker, I left my studies aside untill I completely gave them up to become a professional poker player.

Football is my hobby. I like to visit football stadiums and enjoy games either with someone else or alone. I have visited many Spanish 1st division stadiums and now I that live in UK, one of my ideas is to travel around the country enjoying Premier League.This week i was watching Manchester United against Stoke city in Old Traffor."



Name: phatlat
Location Canada
Age: 31
Title 2012 TCOOP EVent #14 Event #14 NL Omaha Hi/Low 6-Max 2R1A
Winnings: $22,326

In his own words: "I love poker, but it's not my central focus in life. I'm an easy going 31-year-old Canadian with parents from South Africa (originally India). I grew up with an east-west balance and loving travel. I am a lifelong vegetarian (born and raised Hindu). I enjoy writing to the point where I do it for a part time living at the moment as well. Winning MTTs helps with that. I love reading, music, and people. Part of the reason being a full time online grinder doesn't seem to be my eventual goal. In life, I'm very interested in areas of intersection between nutrition, health and fitness and agriculture.

I just believe that a lot of today's challenges are best-served by plant-based solutions, and we're slowly moving in this direction. So, after doing a masters in international economics, I went to work for the federal government in Ottawa - Department of Agriculture, then our equivalent of the Department of Commerce (Industry Canada) - as a strategic policy analyst. Not completely satisfied in the line of public policy work (as a junior, anyway), I returned to school for a PhD in Food Agriculture and Resource Economics (FARE). A year and a half in, I decided to withdraw and re-assess. Since then I've been working on a blog, playing MTTs part time, crushing some, donking some of that back to the online ring community, and note taking for deaf and hard of hearing students, a job I love because I effectively get paid to go to school. The big question is whether to complete the PhD in a different degree (political economy) or to pursue an entirely different field/line.

The TCOOP championship means a lot since it backs up some decent o8 performances (online) with another. After winning a SCOOP PLO8 event and nearly final tabling a WCOOP NLO8 event, taking down a TCOOP O8 event, gambly as it is, feels like it's helping me slowly sustain the confidence I should have in my O8 game at higher levels.

As for what I'm doing with the money, between being a formerly broke PhD student and now a part time online grinder, I'll probably save most and use some for my online roll. I should probably learn how to play ring properly one day, too. I get too bored and distracted with it but, if you're managing your roll properly, ring's where the money's at."



Name: Mcolombo
Location Brazil
Age: 34
Title 2012 TCOOP Event #27 $22+R NLHE 2x-Turbo
Winnings: $82,562

In his own words: "I'm 34 years old, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I love soccer and often go to see my soccer team Flamengo (it´s flag is my avatar). I'm happily married, and I love to travel. Recently we went to New York and Vegas, and believe or not a didn't play poker. With so many places to visit and my wife always by my side, I couldn't find the time.

I'm a lawyer, but I'm studying a lot of poker. Who knows? This could be the first tournament win in my future career. At first was only a dream, but when I reached the final table, I knew it was possible and I tried to play my best game ever. I think i will reinvest a bit on my poker games, and the rest I will use to improve some things in my professional life.

Also, I'm a magician as a hobby, and I love to entertain my friends with several tricks--mostly with cards, of course."



Brad Willis
@BradWillis in TCOOP