Have you competed at one of the World Poker Tour National events during the past couple of years because, if you have, it is likely you’ve bumped into Alex Jäger at the tables. You see, Alex has a penchant for satellites tournaments at partypoker and has qualified for five WPT National Main Events at a fraction of the cost.
In April 2014, Alex qualified for WPT National Campione and a few days later bagged himself a seat to WPT National UK London at the excellent Aspers casino in Stratford. Alex didn’t have long to wait before he was riffling WPT-branded chips again because in August he turned a small buy-in into a seat for WPT National Valkenburg in the Netherlands before securing his seat to the recent WPT500 in Nottingham.
More recently, Alex found himself in the winner’s circle once more when he navigated his way to another WPT National event, this time earning a return to Aspers casino in Stratford for the latest leg of the WPT National UK Tour.
Alex, a devoted husband and father of one son, first discovered poker in 1999 while he was a student.
“I took part in a home game a few times which was run by an American guy, but at this time I had no clue what poker is all about. Although I played without any skill and knowledge at this time, I at least was fascinated by the game.”
Alex, despite his early fascination with poker, didn’t return to the game until a decade later.
“I actually got into poker in 2009 when I was searching for new challenges in my life. At school and university I’ve always been interested in stochastics and statistics and for many years I had taught other students as a tutor in these subjects. And there I suddenly saw the link to poker: a strategic game with a mathematical foundation, in which it’s always helpful, maybe even indispensable, to have a “statistically informed mindset.”
Like many of his peers, Alex jumped into the poker world after reading a poker strategy book. He then signed up for a partypoker account. First using the alias “cashgalaxie” then later “Steppenw0lf,” Alex became a regular in the multi-table tournaments (MTTs), a decision that has proven a good one.
In 2011, Alex qualified – at partypoker – for the WPT Vienna and WPT Bratislava Main Events, amazingly his first two live poker tournaments. Picking up a cold, Vienna didn’t go exactly to plan, which wasn’t the best preparation for his next foray into the live poker world. Having to battle with poker luminaries such as Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Fabian Quoss and Alessio Isaia didn’t help Alex’s cause either.
“I didn’t play very well during the first levels of Day 1 at WPT Bratislava and consequently lost about half of my starting stack. But by the end of day 1 I had managed to turnaround and on the subsequent Days 2 and 3 I could steadily accumulate chips.”
Alex managed to reach the final table and found himself fourth in chips at the start of play. He eventually busted in third place for a €42,000 score, losing a coinflip with [AxKx] versus the [4x4x] of eventual champion Roberto Romanello.
Alex, however, wasn’t disheartened. In fact, the setback further inspired him.
“To reach the final table was a bit unreal for me, it was a huge adrenalin rush which lasted for many days.
“There were many big names on the final table, to name but a few the later winner Roberto Romanello, Bodo Sbrzesny and Mayu Roca. It was a terrific experience to play with these great poker minds, which at the same time are all great guys as well. It’s an awesome adventure to play such a big event from the first to the final day. You are overwhelmed by emotions and everything is so intense. It took me months to really understand what happened.”
So what is it about the WPT that keeps Alex coming back for more?
“The World Poker Tour is one of the best organized and most attractive tours on the poker circuit. It has a glamorous history and the prestige which comes with cashing in a WPT event is higher than compared to many other poker tours. Most of the WPT stops are in very nice cities or surroundings.
“Playing such prestigious live events as the WPT is exactly that’s what gives it that extra something to your daily poker life. Don’t get me wrong, I like online poker because it’s extremely comfortable. I can even play in my pyjamas with the cats sitting on my lab. You don’t have expenses, which could be huge if you have to travel around to play live poker. And what’s most important, online poker allows you to deal with variance. Online you can play so many tournaments at different buy-in-levels every hour, every day, that’s just perfect for risk spreading.
Compared to this the sample size of playing live tournaments is extremely small. But live events on the other hand allow you to meet other people, which share your enthusiasm for poker, you can travel to cities and countries, to which you haven’t been before and at it’s best they can give you memories that will last for ever, like I experienced it in Bratislava in 2011. For me they are a crucial key for motivation in my daily poker life.”
We asked Alex for three tips for players wanting to qualify for a WPT event at partypoker and this is what he had to say:
- Play within your bankroll limits
- Grind the sub-satellites: these are the cheapest way to finally catch a seat or package.
- If it is a winner-takes-all satellite make sure you play aggressively
Once at the target event, Alex says it is crucial to “adapt to the tournament structure” because tournaments, such as those on the WPT have much slower blind structures. “Observe your opponents,” and “be patient” are two more top pieces of advice from our serial qualifier.
Will we be seeing Alex in other WPT events after WPT National UK London? You can bet the house on it.
“I want to keep qualifying on partypoker for as many WPT events in Europe as it is comfortable for myself and my family, and then of course my goal is to run good in these tournaments. Additionally I would enjoy to qualify for my first WPT event outside of Europe, Canada or the USA would be nice. Finally, like every poker player, I have the dream to play the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas one day in the future. I want to give it a chance at least once in my life.”
How many WPT events have you qualified for at partypoker and do you what do you think of the qualifying tournaments?
Let us know in the comments box below.