It's not always about the professionals: ludd£90 on his TCOOP victory
If you were thinking TCOOP titles were the exclusive domain of the serious professionals putting in 14 hours days at the screen, then you'd be mistaken. It's not just for the diehards. In every COOP festival amateurs take their share of the spoils. After all, they make up the vast majority of PokerStars players. That includes Event #24 winner Martin Lundin.
It means a different mind-set to the typical ambitious poker pro, using success as a building block to greater things. Here Lundin recounts his win in Event 24,in terms that might be more familiar to the amateur player:
"It was really funny and a big experience for me. It was a special tournament, I have never played "win the button" before."
Lundin, who plays poker for fun in his free time away his career as a carpenter, won Event 24 and a first prize of more than $37,000, his biggest ever win. That's not money that will be going back into the poker economy any time soon. Instead, it'll fix up the house and take him and his family travelling.
Lundin started playing on PokerStars when he turned 18. Now 27, he has a wife and two children, and when not playing online spends his time watching hockey, and doing the usual family things, including looking after his eight month old daughter, easily the highlight of the last 12 months.
It's a question we ask most COOP winners: "What was your reaction when you won?" It's invariably the same - there are traits that poker players, whether professional or amateur - share equally.
"It was in the middle of the night in Sweden. I call my brother directly and also my parents. My Dad is my hero. If you should meet him you would understand why. Everyone was shocked and really happy for me."
And then life returned to normal. Well, almost normal.
There's still time to win a TCOOP title ahead of the Main Event this weekend, and, as Martin Lundin demonstrated, you don't have to be a professional player to do so. You can sign up for a PokerStars account here. In the meantime check out the TCOOP homepage for all the Championship details.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley.