After Martin “SthImHero93” Eriksson topped a massive 12,922-entry field to win 2021 SCOOP Event #36-L, we were curious to hear from the 27-year-old Swedish student just how he’d done it.
Starting with a $5.50 buy-in, Eriksson had needed just over six hours to take down the turbo PKO event, spinning that paltry sum into a whopping $5,228 payoff including bounties.
How’d he do it?
“I really didn’t do anything different this time,” he said.
In fact, much as many poker players do, when reflecting on the tournament his first thought was of a hand he had lost.
“The deeper you get in a tournament like this, the more you start questioning your decisions,” Eriksson explains. “I go through hands again in my head, trying to see if I could have made a better choice.”
Winning doesn’t prevent that impulse. In Eriksson’s case, he finds himself focusing on a hand he played with K-J, a notorious starter that has upended many.
After calling a preflop raise and watching the flop come king-high, he check-called a continuation bet from his opponent. A six on turn paired the board, and he check-called again.
“The river is a queen,” he says. “I bet out and get raised. They way he had played said that my pair of kings was no longer any good, but I called, anyway.”
“Sure enough, he hit a full house with Q-Q.”
To Eriksson’s credit, he got over that momentary disappointment and refocused. The cards started going his way, too, and he mentions winning “some important flips.” Before long, he was at the final table. And not long after that, he began to realize he might even win.
“When we were at four players left and I had almost half of the chips in play, that’s when I started thinking it was really possible,” he says.
Thanks to the turbo format, Eriksson didn’t have to contemplate the situation very long. Soon it was over, and after claiming the last bounty he’d won himself a SCOOP title.
“SCOOP is always something I look forward to,” he says. “To be able to say I’ve won an event is really awesome.”
For Eriksson, poker remains a hobby. Winning an event likely won’t change his approach, although he says he may now play a few more SCOOP events than he’d originally planned to do.
“I started playing poker with my grandmother and cousins when I was like 6 years old,” he says. “I spent some of my summers with them in the northern part of Sweden and that was something we did as a social thing.”
“We played our own version of five-card draw,” he continues. “Then at around 15 I started playing Texas hold’em with some friends. I think I signed up on Pokerstars a few days after I turned 18.”
The more he played, the more he realized patience was key. Good cards and situations would come. You just have to be selective, and be ready to act when the favorable spots arise.
Now Eriksson spends most of his time studying at Lund University in the southern part of Sweden. Poker provides a nice break from those studies.
“My ambition when it comes to poker is just to enjoy it as a hobby,” he says. “I want to keep it something I do for fun for many years to come.”
That sounds like great advice for anyone. It’s the kind of advice that if followed ought to assure players can continue to enjoy the game, even during those times when you call a river raise with king-jack knowing full well you might be crushed.
Then again, winning a big one every now and then can be a lot of fun, too, as “SthImHero93” can attest.