Swapping bad for good - Tekelsen221 on a TCOOP win and turning pro

For Tekelson221, 2016 was in no way a good year. In fact it was one of the worst. On top of a difficult time in his job, and health issues, there was bereavement in his family and the loss of someone close. It's easy to see why he wanted the year out of the way.

But while he was down he wasn't beaten. "Every thunderstorm has some end and I am really happy that I have so much good friends and family in my life which supports me every day of my life."

With their backing he developed a plan, one that would turn things around, starting with his career.

And so three months ago he packed in the day job and decided to follow his passion for poker. He turned pro and set about making this a year he would remember for the all the right reasons. The early signs are encouraging. He won Event #13 of TCOOP for a start.

"It was pretty nice feeling, because it was first final table from some of major series ever. Finishing at first place is always great no matter which tourney it is. But this time it was pretty special because I played my last two tables after a session on my phone next to my friends in local restaurant. All of them were cheering for me, so it was nice."

The support of friends and family at home in Slovakia is invaluable when you're setting out on a difficult task, in this case a career not usually spoken of in glowing terms by career guidance counsellors. Luckily tekelson221 has that backing, close friends and a closer family supporting him.

tekelsen221_teammates_27Jan17.jpgThe Support Network: When tekelsen221 is not at the tables he plays Florball in the highest league in Slovakia

As for now, his win earned him $26,000, money that will fund a bigger bankroll and some travel here and there. But mainly his focus is back to the new day job.

"I think poker is so complex game that we all are learning every day," he said. "Like Dough Polk love to say, 'we are all just bad MTT regulars!'

hometown_slovakia_27Jan17.jpgHome for tekelson221 in Slovakia

"I did not see myself as a poker player in my whole life," he added. "I hope that as long as I live I will help as much people as I can, change the world around me to a better place and make my parents proud."

Tekelson221, now at the start of a much better year, seems to be well placed to make that journey.

If you're looking to start your own TCOOP campaign there's still time, with three more days of play to go. For all the details of the remaining event check out the TCOOP homepage.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. Don't forget to follow the Blog on twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in TCOOP