WCOOP: One year on, PlayinWasted recalls Main Event win
There were countless highlights to the World Championship of Online Poker last year, but undoubtedly one of the most memorable was the Main Event itself, won last September by German player PlayinWasted, who earned a $1,493,499.15 first prize in the process.
Back then PlayinWasted preferred to remain anonymous, at least to the wider poker playing community. Since then, while preferring not to perform any big reveal just yet, he has explained his reasoning, saying that his main goal had been to remain anonymous to those in his close environment who didn't know anything about poker.
But, he admitted that many people within the game already know who he is, and he never hides his identity when playing live. As he put it: "My main goal was that people do not find anything about it when putting my name into Google."
Prior to WCOOP we caught up with PlayinWasted to ask how that Main Event win feels 12 months later, what he remembered most, and how it affected him both personally and at the poker table. He also talked about his plans for this year's WCOOP and the prospect of defending his Main Event title.
Q. What moments stand out when you think back on your WCOOP Main Event win last year?
PlayinWasted: If asked for single moments, definitely the moment where I won the last all-in. But I also remember the tension of the whole day when waiting for day 2 to start (I couldn't really sleep that much) and me trying to mentally prepare for day 2. Also some key hands come to mind of course where i made big steps towards being able to win it in the end
Q. Did remaining anonymous help you in any way?
I think this a is a quite big advantage... I really do not see any upside or advantage for myself when revealing my identity in a public and "easy to find for everyone" way.
Q. How has your game changed in the year since your win?
I think the main difference is my bigger confidence. I don't care if "the standard reg" plays certain spots different than me and I trust my own game. Overall I play less poker now, so I am not really sure if my game has improved or not (I am definitely better in certain spots, but probably quite rusty in others). In general my style stayed quite similar, I guess I play more patient and less "crazy" in a couple of spots.
Q. You mentioned you played EPT Barcelona last year and that was your first live event. Have you been playing more live poker since then?
I played a Poker Tour in the Caribbean last year and also played EPT Vienna. I really love EPTs and I'm quite sad to miss so many of them. But sometimes the schedule simply doesn't allow it. But I will play more EPTs every time I am free.
I unfortunately couldn't go to Vegas for WSOP this year, but I plan to go in 2015. I also play cash games in local casinos more often than before.
Q. You said last year that you hoped it wouldn't be life changing money, as you liked your life as it was. Is that still true? Have there been any changes?
There have been a couple of (positive) changes in my life, but none of them were connected to money in any way. So my "hope" kind of worked out there. You could also say that I did not let money change my life.
One difference is that I am more relaxed when thinking about my career because my financial situation gives me some "extra time" to find my place. Also I don't care much about prices in restaurants, supermarkets etc., but I guess that's the same with everyone who owns too much money too early.
Q. What about poker, do you still play the same games you used to or have you moved up in stakes for example?
I play far less cash games now, simply because the motivation to "grind" really became lower. As far as MTTs are concerned, I also play less. But I definitely moved up in stakes. I mostly play on Sundays and when there are any big series or specials. And when I play, I usually play the high buy-ins as well (played SCOOP Main, EPT Vienna HR for example). That is mostly because I love to challenge myself and I love the competition. Having people who trust your game and who are willing to invest obviously helps as well when taking these kinds of shots.
Q. How so you spend your time now? Poker? Work? Studying?
I'm still studying. I also put a lot of time into sports. Poker is one of my bigger hobbies, so I still spend a bunch of time reading about it, watching it and playing it.
Q. What are your plans for WCOOP this year?
I'm really looking forward to WCOOP and want to play as many NLH events as possible (and some others). I would also love to defend my title in the Main Event, but I am not sure yet if I am going to participate.
Q. Did you have plans for the money outside of poker?
I did not have any plans and I don't have them yet. I did not buy anything big or something like that. The money is mainly waiting for me to find a great way to put it to use.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.