There are many paths to victory in a “knockout” tournament. Just ask Romania’s “PufuMiu,” winner of the 2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker Event No. 11-L.

An $11 buy-in no-limit 5-card draw event with progressive knockout bounties, “PufuMiu” had survived a huge 3,623-entry field to the last three tables, yet with 18 players he had only collected $17 in bounties!

“It was a little bit strange,” he told us after his win. Like any deep tournament run, there had been some harrowing moments along the way — “I had ups and downs,” he says. But while he’d preserved himself chips he had yet to eliminate that many opponents, and thus was missing out on the bounty half of the prize pool.

That’s when the “ups” began to predominate, and the “downs” to disappear.

“In the end, I made the final table as the chip leader,” explains “PufuMiu.”

“The final hand was the most important,” he describes, noting how unlike most final hands, this one involved three players.

It was a brilliant spot — having the chip lead, being dealt a huge pat hand, and having your opponents both ready to commit their chips.

“I was dealt a straight from the start,” he says. “And both players pushed all in! With that I won the tournament and two big bounties.”

On that final hand, “PufuMiu” had a big lead when he was dealt K♠Q♦J♥10♣9♥, and he was more than happy to keep all five cards.

He then watched “farmerpei” raise and “Philych_085” shove all in, making him even happier.

As it happened, “farmerpei” had been a pair of kings and “Philych_085” two pair, aces and queens. Neither improved on the draw, however, and “PufuMiu” won.

Indeed, that last hand not only netted him the title and the $2,115.02 first prize, but pushed his bounty total up to $1,281.20 for a $3,396.22 total score. Not bad for an $11 buy-in — and in fact “PufuMiu” had only entered a single time!

“This was my biggest prize until now, both online and off,” he says. “I’ve been playing poker for around 15 years. The first five were with my friends and others, mostly playing five-card draw.”

He’s a freelance web designer and programmer, but says “poker has always been my dream.”

He did take fifth place in the $11 Bounty Builder just a week ago for around $1,400, which means “PufuMiu” is on a bit of a rush at the moment.

“I was playing more live events than online,” he says, “but given the current situation, I had to adapt.”

Congrats to “PufuMiu.” Here’s hoping he can further adapt to his recent winning ways to keep the dream going.


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