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Pacific gives WSOP seat to PL.com player
The latest PokerListings.com player to pick up a free seat to the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event is Michael Killenberger from Germany.
The 33-year-old, self-employed management and financial consultant has been playing poker for about three years.
Killenberger said he was first attracted to poker because of the "competition, the strategic approach and complexity of the game and, of course, the possibility to win money." Now he plays online at Pacific Poker about four times a week.
All that play translated to earning enough player points to get into the WSOP freeroll staged last week at the poker site. Killenberger had signed up at Pacific Poker through PokerListings.com, so he was eligible for the WSOP freeroll after collecting 50 player points during the qualification period.
He was among 151 players who took advantage of the freeroll, which turned out to be a very international event.
"The top eight finishers came from Germany (me), Canada (two guys), Romania, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia and Britain," Killenberger said.
In the end it was German ingenuity that won out as Killenberger took down a player called Honeyel in heads-up play. Killenberger describes the final hand like this:
Blinds were $2,000/$4,000
Chipstacks: me $129,264; Honeyel $21,736
Me SB: Ad-Qd
Just limped in to trap. Hoped he will go all-in pre-flop.
Flop came: 6d-Th-4c
I checked. Honeyel went all-in. I called with the two overcards.
Honeyel showed 6s-5s
Turn came Kh. Finally, river came Qc and made me higher pair.
And with that, Killenberger had won a prize package to the 2008 WSOP Main Event that includes the $10,000 buy-in plus money for travel and accommodations.
It's not the first time Killenberger has had some good fortune at Pacific Poker either.
"At Pacific Poker about 1-2 years ago, the room hosted a few tournaments with German bracelet winner Michael Keiner, which were called Michael Keiner Bounty," Killenberger said. "The guy, who took him off the table earned a bounty of $50. I was the one who took him off in the first hosted tournament, and therefore was the first guy who earned the bounty on Pacific Poker."
Perhaps that experience will come in handy when Killenberger heads to Vegas to square off against thousands of players, including some of the world's top pros, at the Main Event.
This will be his first trip to Las Vegas, and it's always been a dream of his to visit the city and play in the Main Event.
"I'm a little bit nervous of course," Killenberger said. "But the pleasant anticipation weighs stronger."
He's also got a healthy mix of nervousness and excitement at the opportunity to play some of poker's star players. He said some of the pros he's excited to play against include Doyle Brunson, "because he is a living legend, and I read Super/System 1 and 2."
The big question, of course, is what will Killenberger do if he turns his free seat into a Main Event win?
"I would try to do the same as former winner Joe Hachem," he said. "Just further improve my game and prove that [I am] no one-time-wonder. I would take a big part of the money to make a living for me and my family - just use a part of it as a poker bankroll. And, of course, trying to go pro."
There's still plenty of time between now and the Main Event for Killenberger to hone his poker skills at Pacific Poker and pick up some tips at PokerListings.com.
Killenberger is a regular at PokerListings.com, which he says he visits weekly as well as subscribes to the newsletter.
"It's a very good site with a lot of useful information, e.g. poker toplists and poker strategy," he said. "It's my favorite poker site on the Web."
Another player also recently took advantage of what Pacific Poker offers PokerListings.com players and walked away with a trip to Spain to see Sevilla (sponsored by 888.com) take on Barcelona in a soccer game. French player 78clem won the all expenses paid trip worth $2,500.
These are just a few of the many exclusive promotions Pacific Poker has to offer PokerListings.com players. For more information, check out the Pacific Poker review on PokerListings.com or head to the poker site itself and get in on the fun.