'Gardener of Poker' Turns $1 into $30k, Deep Run in Berlin

The "Gardener of Poker" Yasar Guden

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.

WSOP APAC Panarama
Turned $1 into a once-in-a-lifetime experience at WSOP APAC.

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.

Jan-Peter Jachtmann
Tips from a WSOP bracelet winner don't hurt.

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.

Pretty much has life figured out.

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?

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