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'Gardener of Poker' Turns $1 into $30k, Deep Run in Berlin
Yasar Guden is just one of hundreds of recreational players in the EPT Berlin main event. Or is he?
A week or so ago, Guden just missed the final table of the first-ever WSOP APAC main event. Now he’s 12th in the chip counts - sandwiched between luminaries Calvin Anderson and Olivier Busquet - with 55 players left at the EPT Berlin main event.
The German-Turkish player from Hannover, Northern Germany, even found himself at the top of the leaderboard at one point.
What's the secret to his incredible, out-of-nowhere success? PokerListings Germany's Christian Henkel found out right before the bubble burst today on Day 3 in Berlin.
PL: So, first off. Why do all the journalists call you “the Gardener of Poker”?
YG: Funny story. My company deals with landscape gardening, and Wolfgang Fuhrmann, owner and CEO of the German print magazine Pokerblatt, is one of our clients.
I found that out by accident when I happened to read the editorial. The world is a village.
PL: And the poker world?
YG: Yes, particularly so. I’m only a recreational player, but still I’ve met quite a few people who I had seen on TV before.
PL: You’ve actually had quite a remarkable result recently. 15th in the WSOP APAC main event. Not bad for a hobby player.
YG: To be honest, my run to even get there was even more amazing. I invested a single dollar to win a package. I used the money to play a $1 satellite on 888poker, which is the only site where I play.
I survived five steps, and suddenly I had won a ticket to go to Australia.
PL: Did you feel ready to play poker against some of the best in the world?
YG: Well, I wasn’t exactly afraid, but I did get myself a lot of advice. One of my strongest supporters was PLO Championship winner and Pokerblatt chief editor Jan-Peter Jachtmann, but the most important person for me was a private tournament organizer and personal friend of mine.
He helped me with some strategic planning, but the one thing I can tell you about these big tournaments is: There is much less bluffing and miracle play going on than you think.
Most of it really is just ABC poker.
PL: You won $30,000 dollars in Australia. Enough to buy in for the main event here?
YG: No. I’m a satellite man. I paid €500 for a live satellite at the Spielbank and won it.
PL: You don’t seem to be an amateur. How much poker do you play?
YG: I have an agreement with my wife. I can play Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday night.
Visits to casinos are rare, and if I’m there, it’s more about having some fun with friends.
PL: The prize money here in Berlin is pretty sizeable. Which payout level would make you nervous?
YG: Don’t know. €200,000? €500,000? Actually, no money here would change my life.
I have a big house, I’m leading a happy life, and I love my job. Why would I change this, only because I won at poker?