EPT10 Barcelona: Going a long way on a little
The first four levels have been rough ones thus far for PokerStars Online Qualifier Tom Gallagher of Ireland. Returning from the break, he's found himself in the position of fighting an uphill battle, his stack down from 30,000 to start to just 6,000 to begin Level 5.
But Gallagher is used to playing long shots and succeeding. His very presence here is proof of that, as he explained to us during the last break.
Inspired by seeing other Irish and English players playing various PokerStars tours in Europe, Gallagher made a small deposit back in June to see if he could perhaps join the fun.
"I decided to put in €20," Gallagher explained through a grin inspired by the knowledge of the story's happy ending. "I managed to spin that up to €390, then I played a €109 satellite to UKIPT Galway and I won a package."
"That was a Thursday night. Then on Friday I decided to play another UKIPT Galway event and I won that as well. So I emailed PokerStars and they said that I couldn't use both tickets, so they credited my account with €1,100 worth of tournament dollars."
He continued to play satellites after that, eventually whittling his roll down to €216. That's when Gallagher eyed a €215 EPT Barcelona satellite and clicked his way into the event.
"There were 62 players entered," he recalled. "With 12 re-buys it awarded one package and I believe second through fifth won €1,100 and sixth €200... and I ended up winning the package! So I got here -- and to Galway -- starting with just €20!"
As mentioned, the rewards aren't coming as quickly or readily for Gallagher thus far today. We asked him to describe his Day 1A thus far.
"I had kings cracked once versus king-queen -- two queens came on the flop. I had to lay down jacks to a ten-high board once. I had queens lose to king-queen after a king came on the flop. It's not exactly going according to plan... you could say everything went right to get me here, but everything's going wrong so far!"
There has been at least one bright spot amid a stormy day for Gallagher. Just before the last break Gallagher found himself all in and at risk after having turned the nuts against an opponent drawing to a full house with two pair, but luckily Gallagher's hand held.
Despite the difficulties of the day, Gallagher remains upbeat, the small expense of his getting here likely contributing to his easy-going mood after losing with kings, queens, and jacks.
"I'm just a casual, recreational player," said the former property developer/contractor, who added that he enjoys playing on the local circuit in the west of Ireland and in fact has won entries into major events before on other sites, including once starting with a freeroll and getting all of the way to a Main Event seat.
"You could say I've made a habit out of getting these tickets very, very cheap," he added, still smiling.
Such practice may serve Gallagher well here in Level 5 and beyond as he tries once more to go a long way on a little.
Click through to live coverage of the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller and the EPT Barcelona Main Event. Check out all the festival results here. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action and check out the EPTLive webcast.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.