EPT10 Prague: Glen Cymbaluk, the Canadian cowboy

If it was up to Glen Cymbaluk, no one would be writing this article and no one would be reading it.

"I don't need the glory, the pictures, the trophies, anything," Cymbaluk said, when PokerStars Blog cornered the man from Edmonton, Canada, during the first break of play in Prague. "I'm happy to take the money and go to the next event...I don't really tell too many people my business."

The problem for Cymbaluk, 55, is that he cuts quite a distinctive figure amid the seas of identikit EPT poker players, and that will always make him an attractive interviewee. Dubbed the "Canadian Cowboy" for his characteristic snakeskin stetson and western-style shirt, Cymbaluk has also had a few deep runs over the past couple of seasons to bring him even further into the spotlight.


Glen Cymbaluk, standing out from a crowd

He won a side event here in both 2011 and 2012, one in Deauville and one in Barcelona, and he also made his deepest Main Event run in the sleepy Normandy outpost of the EPT, where his ninth place last season earned him €48,000.

That was just as well, according to Cymbaluk, as "if you're not playing poker, there's nothing to do in that town."

Cymbaluk finds it even more difficult than most to find places of interest in the cities visited by the EPT. While many others are happy to their hotel room to play online, or hit the nearest bar to drink their fill, Cymbaluk never plays on the internet and has a very specific requirement of most bars.

"If I bust out of a tournament, I either go back to the hotel or I go find a place to go dance," Cymbaluk said. "Very few places have country dancing, but I try to find a country bar, a swing bar, and do some dancing."

More than poker, country dancing is Cymbaluk's passion. In addition to running a small car dealership, where he is a licensed auto mechanic, he also teaches dancing and is a member of a group that used to perform about 200 shows a year.

He only really took up travelling to poker tournaments when the dancing schedule cut back a couple of years ago, but still admits to asking bemused concierges in hotels across Europe if they can point him in the direction of the nearest saloon.

"You don't see so many country bars here in Europe, but back home it's big," Cybaluk said. "Canada is even ahead of the Americans, by far, in ability, participation, everything."

As for poker, it is quite clearly only a pastime for Cymbaluk, which he indulges once a week at a casino near to his home, and then offers an excuse to travel the world. "It's just a fun thing to do," Cymbaluk said. "I've no time for that [playing online poker], I've got too many other things to do. But I enjoy it, so I make my holiday these poker trips. Once a week back home is plenty for me and then ten days every time I come to these events is lots. You get a lot of poker in ten days."

Even if his good form on the EPT took him all the way to a title, Cymbaluk said he would most likely not change very much.

"I'm not going to quit dancing, I'm not going to quit the car business. It's fun. I enjoy it. I work at my own schedule."

For Day 1B of the Main Event, head to the EPT Prague Main Event page. There's hand-by-hand coverage and chip counts in the top panel, plus feature pieces below the line. All the information about event can be found on the main European Poker Tour website.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in EPT Prague