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Florida man wins All In Energy tourney
Some might call it fate, some might call it luck, but Michael Gaetjens is calling his encounter with the All In Energy drink booth an event that turned into his biggest poker win so far.
Gaetjens, an accountant from Kendall, Fla., was in Las Vegas to play in one of the 2008 World Series of Poker events when he happened to walk past the All In Energy Drink booth set up at the Rio. The company was offering entry into its July 1 Invitational Poker Tournament to its customers.
All it took was purchasing some drinks and Gaetjen had his entry into the tournament, which he then turned into a $100,000 payday and a seat in the WSOP Main Event.
"This is my biggest win by far," said Gaetjens.
"I'm very proud of the lay-down I made of two jacks that cost me 20% of my stack, but I knew the other guy has aces. It left me alive to come back and win. I look forward to having that big $20,000 chip stack to start the Main Event! And I am very grateful to All In Energy Drink for this opportunity."
The invitational freeroll included 1,200 players who received an invitations from All In Energy Drink. All In Energy Drink fronted the $500,000 prize pool, which was split among the top 300 players.
Gaetjens, 26, is known in the Miami poker rooms as The Great White Shark. He learned to play poker with his family and got into the game more seriously during his college years at the University of Florida.
Working full time for Ernst & Young, Gaetjens plays cash games in his spare time at the local casinos.
It was through Ernst & Young that Gaetjens also learned about the United Way and his company's program to support the organization. He has been a regular contributor ever since and plans to donate part of his tournament winnings to the organization as well.
"We are pleased that Michael Gaetjens is the first of our patrons to win an All In Energy Drink Invitational Tournament and that he will be making a contribution to charity," said Rod Jao, All In Energy vice president.
"And we are thankful to all of our other loyal and enthusiastic customers. We look forward to our next event later this year."
Gaetjens' story is just one of many among players who have won their way into the 2008 WSOP Main Event. He will join thousands of players from around the world who've bought in directly, won their seats at online poker sites or won their seats through local leagues.
Poker fans can check out all the action of the 2008 WSOP in the Live Tournaments section.