Online poker’s richest single tournament, the partypoker MILLIONS Online, costs $10,300 to enter but for one Canadian partypoker player, it is free.
You see, “iceberg32” of Tornoto, Canada won their $10,300 seat for free in the MILLIONforMILLIONS promotion and is now vying for a slice of the $20 million guaranteed prize pool plus the additional $1 million cash prize for finishing Day 1A as the chip leader and going on to win the whole shebang.
By day iceberg32 is an accountant and analyst but by night they like to play online poker at partypoker. They first discovered poker back in 2004 when some friend at work introduced him to this crazy game.
“I come from a chess background and being an accountant, I was always good with math. So, poker was a very interesting and fun game that was also very challenging to be successful at. I came across online poker and started playing for small dollars,” said iceber32 to the partypoker blog.
The Canadian has previous good form in satellites having won a $1,500 seat at the 2006 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The experience gained from playing in such a prestigious tournament will stand our hero in good stead come December 1st when Day 1A of MILLIONS Online shuffles up and deals.
Our MILLIONforMILLIONS promotion proved extremely popular thanks to giving away so many MILLIONS Online satellite tickets that the site was awash with them. Iceberg32 got their hands on a freeroll ticket, used that to progress to the $109 Phase 1 before winning their $10,300 seat in this gargantuan event.
From Zero to Hero!
“Initially, I received a free first ticket that I believe every player also received. It seemed like quite a good promotion to be able to progress past the first round directly into a $109 level round. So I tried it and almost made it to the second round. Then after a couple of days, I received another ticket to the M4M satellite based on meeting the challenge requirements while playing.”
“It was a tough first round but I managed to make it through finishing 47th where the top 50 advanced. In the $109 round, there were 19 players and we were down to two of us that made Sunday’s final round. I barely made it with only 277k chips where the top player in the final round was near 2 million in starting chips. In the final round I just played tight and focused on maintaining my position. I had a key hand where I was all-in with AQ up against 88. I spiked an ace on the turn to double up to approx. 1.2m chips.
The other huge hand was later when I held KQ suited diamonds. I hit a king on the flop with one diamond. The turn was also a diamond and then the ace of diamonds river gave me the nut flush. The other player then bet 1 million, I went all-in and the player folded. This pot put me up to approx. 5 million chips and 5th place overall with top 15 getting the MILLIONS Online entry. At this point there was only about 22 left so the strategy was to not play many hands and let other shorter stacks knock each other out. This is exactly what happened and soon we were done and I finished in seventh spot to secure the seat.”
Hoping to emulate last year’s MILLIONS Online stars
Winning your way into the MILLIONS Online for free is a remarkable achievement and icebrerg32 is, obviously, delighted. They have drawn inspiration from last year’s event where the third-place finisher won more than $1.3 million from a $22 satellite. Our Canadian friend is hoping for a similar result.
“It feels really amazing to make it this far and actually secure a MILLIONS Online seat. I still can’t believe it given my buy-in was quite small at zero dollars! I have seen that the player coming 3rd place last year turned a $22 ticket into $1.36m score. So, that gives me a better appreciation of the possibilities for going deep in the tournament.”
iceberg32 is under no illusion that MILLIONS Online is going to be a tough tournament, especially as they consider themselves to be a recreational player. Thanks to the satellites and Mega Sats running around the clock, the MILLIONS Online field will be packed with similar recreational players with a sprinkling of elite pros, including members of Team partypoker.
Having fun is the key
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is a motto many people live by in poker and outside of the game. This Canadian has been preparing for the biggest tournament of their life.
“I have not done much special to prepare. Key was to continue playing tournaments to stay focused. I have watched many live streams of $10K events so I have a good idea how the play goes. I’m just going to enjoy the tournament.”
Winning MILLIONS Online should come with a prize in excess of $2 million plus an additional $1 million if the champion finished Day 1A as the chip leader. It is a life-changing sum of money, but iceberg32 is not getting too far ahead of themselves when it comes to planning on what to do with a monster-sized haul.
“I haven’t given that any serious consideration since I haven’t actually won any money and I also don’t want to jinx myself. All I can say now is that if I won, I would definitely play some large live buy-in tournaments like the MILLIONS Live events.”
We asked iceberg32 for any tips they have when it comes to playing online poker satellites, particularly the ones for MILLIONS Online.
“As I mentioned earlier, the key tip that worked for me is to be patient and wait for opportunities. Watch how others are playing given their table position and chip size at different times. A little help from the poker gods also doesn’t hurt!”
“The key for me has been to have fun and I have played with a lot of great and fun people. I know that it is also possible to play well and have a combination of some luck that can lead to a big score. We have seen it happen to many recreational players over the years.”
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