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PokerListings player wins WPT seat at Full Tilt
A little more than a year after starting to play poker, coralreefers registered one of his biggest online poker wins last weekend by taking down the Full Tilt Poker World Poker Tour freeroll for PokerListings.com players.
The 24-year-old resident of San Diego, Calif. will get a $12,500 prize package to the WPT event of his choice, which will include the event buy-in plus money for travel and accommodation.
All it took for coralreefers to qualify for the freeroll was signing up at Full Tilt Poker through PokerListings.com and then earning 300 Full Tilt Points in the month prior to the freeroll.
It sounds simple enough, but more than 1,700 players qualified for the tournament this month, giving the relatively new player a chance to truly test his poker skills.
"I took fifth or sixth in a 24+, 900-person tourney for $985 a few weeks ago," coralreefers said. "But this $12k package, on top of winning a tournament with such a large field, ranks high on my poker accomplishments."
coralreefers first got started playing poker a year ago after moving to San Diego from Maine.
"My roommate at the time (props to James Grattelo Jr., jgrattz) had been playing poker professionally, and actually finished sixth in the Sunday Million a few weeks after we got out here," coralreefers said. "I was always a gambler, blackjack mostly, but he started to get me into poker. After that I was drawn to the money and the competition."
He began playing more often and said he now tries to play about three times a week.
"Right now I'm trying to focus on live cash games to build my bankroll for the WSOP circuit event coming to San Diego in January," coralreefers said.
The WSOPC events will be some of the biggest live events coralreefers has played in.
"I haven't played in any major events. The biggest buy-in was $100, and I took fourth in that for $700," coralreefers said. "Not huge, but tournament variance is still too frustrating to play the bigger buy-ins right now."
His Full Tilt Poker freeroll win should help give him some confidence tackling the playing field at the events, even if he attributes his victory over the large playing field to a little bit of luck as well as his skill.
"I got lucky. With all the whining I've done about bad beats in the past, it was nice to play well and get lucky for once," coralreefers said about his win.
"I was supposed to go to a local casino for the day, but I opened up my FTP account and noticed I was registered for this tournament. There were 1,700+ people, and it was a freeroll, so I didn't really think I had a shot until we were down to the final table. But, overall, I was happy to beat out 1,700 people, freeroll or not."
While he hasn't put much thought into which WPT tournament he'll choose to go to yet, aside from that it'll probably be an event at the Bellagio or Mirage in Las Vegas, coralreefers did say he'd be excited to play against Phil Hellmuth if he gets the chance.
"I don't think anyone is a real poker player until they put a bad beat on Hellmuth and get ripped apart because of playing Q-J on a raise," he said.
He may have amassed much more poker knowledge and experience by the time he takes on some of the top pros in a WPT event, considering he said he heads to PokerListings.com two or three times a day.
"I think it is set up really well, and I enjoy the hand examples," coralreefers said. "The articles are also well-written."
He also heads to Full Tilt Poker about five times a day to either play or watch the action.
"I like Full Tilt; they do a good job offering MTT and cash games for players at all levels," coralreefers said. "I am a pretty tight player, so I don't play many of their SNGs, because I think the six-minute blind levels are too fast. Overall their software is crisp, and the site is easy to use."
He isn't the only player benefiting from the PokerListings.com freerolls at Full Tilt Poker this week. The weekly $3,000 freeroll also played out on the weekend with Komodo777 taking down the event.
The Top 10 players in the freeroll were: