EPT11 Grand Final: Jose Carlos Garcia - the man in Pole position
We've become accustomed to seeing the Polish flag at the top of the chip counts on the EPT over the last season and a half. If it's not Dominik Panka then it's been Dzmitry Urabanovich and when it's not Urbanovich it's his roommate Jose Carlos Garcia. "We have really good players in Poland it's not just been the last two stops," he said. "Over the last two or three years we've built a really strong community. There are only a few of us in Monte Carlo as we have to pay taxes outside of the European Union so most of the good players didn't come. Poker is Poland is growing."
As is Garcia's chip stack. Tournament rails are littered with start of day chip leaders who crash and burn but that's not been the case here in the Main Event. Garcia started the day with the chip lead and two thirds of the way through Day 2 he's still got it. His stack of 370,000 is, as we type, some way clear of Ole Schemion and he told the PokerStars Blog about two key hands from today that have helped to keep him in, ahem, pole position.
"The first was against Ivan Demidov. He opened from early position and I was on the button with T♠5♠. I three-bet and he called. The flop was [A] with two spades. He check called, the turn was the 8♠, I bet again and he called. The river was an off-suit four, I bet and he paid me off. That was a big pot, I won about 80,000."
He got a decent flop in the second too. "I had deuces in the cut-off and the button and big blind called. The flop came  so pretty nice! And the board then came . I bet twice the pot on the river and my opponent called. I checked the flop, I wanted to see another card to keep the other players in and think there's more value that way than betting the flop."
Garcia is a valuable member of a close knit group of Polish players who he says all bring something to the table. "We have a group of eight of us who talk about hands on Skype or in real life, everybody has something they bring. I've been playing live poker for three or four years so I have good experience in reading people and I'm disciplined when playing in live events. I'm not as good at calculating and the maths as some of the others."
Although Garcia is only 22 he's already transitioning away from online poker to live poker. "Lately in the last two years I've only really played live poker. I enjoy it way more than online poker, I look forward to it more. Three years ago, I liked live poker but still online was very nice for me. But then I felt like I burned out a little bit playing online and my main game was heads-up cash and there wasn't much action at high stakes. So I decided to play tournaments and it's a lot of fun."
As we all know poker is more fun when you're winning and Garcia's biggest result came at this year's PCA when he finished fourth in the LAPT Bahamas Main Event "The LAPT was nice but I don't know I'm still waiting for that moment."
The way he's going here in Monte Carlo he might not have to wait much longer.
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