Even though poker has become a superstar sport with televised events and pros becoming familiar names to regular people, online poker players are still cashing big under the radar of the public eye. With Bodog.com's Tournament Leaderboard (TLB), though, now some of the Web's most prominent players are getting some notice.
Jose Severino, known as head2782 at Bodog.com, is one such player. He had the distinction of being the February Tournament Leaderboard winner to earn 2,000 tournament credits.
The 24-year-old talked to PokerListings.com about himself and what it takes to make it to the top of the Bodog.com TLB.
What is your profession?
I just graduated from Florida State University with a degree in industrial engineering. I'm still undecided as to what I'm going to do with my life.
Where do you live?
I was born in Panama City, Republic of Panama. I have lived the past three years in Tallahassee, Fla., because of college.
How long have you been playing poker?
I used to play live poker back in Panama since I was 16 years old. I started playing online poker when I was in Tallahassee in spring 2005.
What attracted you to poker in the first place?
I loved it since the first time I played it. I just loved the fact of messing with people's head. I won like $5, and I was so excited. Then I started playing a lot with my friend, and I ran into an absurd streak, not losing, like for a year, playing low stakes with my friends.
How often do you play?
Last year I used to play almost every day, but never seriously or consistently. In November I was almost done with college, and I decided to play the entire month. I did awesome even though I skipped like a week, and I won a $20k profit and finished fourth on the Bodog.com TLB.
How often do you play at Bodog.com?
Since I graduated, I play almost every day. I would say five days of poker and two days of partying in a regular week.
Was it your goal to top the Tournament Leaderboard, or was it something that just naturally happened while you were playing?
Yes, it was my goal. In January, I wasn't into the leaderboard or nothing like that, but after I returned from a trip, I had an incredible streak on Bodog.com. I moved from like 60 on the TLB to two in eight days or so, and suddenly I had a shot for the month.
I had three days left, and I was like 300 points behind from first place. I tried my best, but I was short for 19.54 points. I was frustrated but it was ok. I had an incredible month and nothing to be angry about.
My only goal then in February was to win the month even though I missed a couple of days.
Do you have certain tournaments you plan to play with the tournament credits you won?
The tourneys I regularly play on Bodog.com.
What is your biggest ever poker win?
If we are talking about online poker, the biggest win was when I won the $100k guaranteed last year at Bodog.com for $25k. I won a little bit more in a live tournament, a World Poker Tour event where I won $27,208 on October 21, 2007.
Do you play much live poker or live tournaments?
I haven't played live poker that much since I went to college in 2004. In 2005, I went to Las Vegas and took third in a $300 buy-in World Series of Poker Circuit event at Paris Bally's Hotel.
Last year I won a Main Event package with Bodog.com, and I played four events of the WSOP. I cashed in two of them, 106th in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event with around 2,200 players, and 29th in the $2k No-Limit Hold'em event with around 2,100 players.
And, as I said in the last question, I won a WPT event last October.