"Enjoy the moment!"
"Enjoy the moment!" That was the number one piece of advice that Felipe Mojave bestowed upon Donatas Vlasovas before the start of Flight 1C of the PokerStars Cup event tonight, and solid advice it is.
To the casual passer-by Don (as we now call him) may look like just another regular guy entering a tournament, and yes, he is just a regular guy. But his path to the Dublin event was not your regular 'stump up the entry fee' sort of thing. You see, Don won a package to the tournament courtesy of a special promotion run by PokerStars official poker school, PokerSchoolOnline last month.
The climax of that promotion was taking down a 'winner-takes-all' satellite tournament with more than 2,250 players, so the kids' got some skills right?
"I was so lucky to win that tournament," Don said modestly before the event. "I just ran so good."
Well, every experienced tournament player will tell you that you do need a bit of luck to win a large field multi-table tournament, but luck alone is not enough to get your hands on a trophy.
Don also got the opportunity to meet Team Pro Felipe Mojave before the event kicked-off which he was delighted with. He's a big fan of football and of Neymar Jr - and of course, Mojave is Neymar's poker coach, so they got to swap a few stories.
Mojave just couldn't stress enough the importance of simply enjoying the event.
"For sure, take it seriously, but also take time to soak in the atmosphere around you. Don't rush your decisions and if you have to make a fold where you're not sure that's OK too," said Mojave. "Especially in the early stages of the tournament, take your time and study those around you at the table, see what you can learn from them".
This will be the first major live tournament for this 23-year-old University graduate, originally from Lithuania but living in the UK for the last two years, so it's a big deal for him. His normal online grind would consist of firing up some cash game ZOOM tables on PokerStars but lately he's been taking a break from the game.
"I did not play online poker for about two months", Don told us earlier. "Then one day I decided to play this PokerSchoolOnline freeroll to get back into the swing of things and just over four hours later I'm on my way to Dublin. It's just unbelievable and I thank PokerSchoolOnline and PokerStars for the opportunity!"
Check back to PokerStarsBlog over the weekend to see how Don gets on in the PokerStars Cup and follow @PokerStarsPSO for live updates.