Martin “DrHoldem” Gavrilov is used to playing poker with a target on his back. Gavrilov is one of our nominated predators in the Predator hunt promotion. It makes winning this particular Daily Legends tournament a daunting task. The popular streamer managed to triumph in a different Daily Legends event; he took down The Gladiator live on his Twitch channel.
Gavrilov admits that he was something of a lost soul before discovering he had a passion and penchant for playing poker. It was his calling, so to speak.
“Before poker, I had troubled times in general because I did not understand what to do or which direction to take. I worked in several low-paid jobs, and studied at university for a year but there was little sense in it because I still didn’t want to work.”
“I knew for sure that I didn’t want to get up at eight o’clock in the morning, go to work all my life for $500 per month. I didn’t even earn that much anyway because my salary in Belarus was around $300. The concept of regular routine work didn’t appeal to me, but I didn’t understand how to realise myself somewhere. I even spent a month living at a train station. They were times of trouble.”
Discovering Online Poker
Gavrilov discovered poker when he turned 20-years-old and jumped in feet first in an attempt to improve his skills.
“I started looking for information and found a poker forum and club in my city. I started playing freerolls and hovered around the nano-stakes for about a year. Then, I saw a promotion at an online poker site offering a no deposit sign-up deal so played there.”
Two years of grinding freeroll and micro-stakes tournaments paid off when Gavrilov won a $1 tournament for $4,500.
“Even today this is my happiest poker memory. I paid off my debts, bought a new computer and a large monitor to grind online poker. My bankroll grew from $500 to several thousand.”
The idea to start streaming on Twitch is down to a stroke of bad luck. Gavrilov now had a backer but the deal did not work out and he was let go. Gavrilov had reached Day 2 of a $109 and $215 tournament and could have won a lot of money, but it was not meant to be.
“If it had turned out differently there, perhaps I would not have started streaming because I would become a high roller. But since the backer did not earn anything, it was necessary to try and monetise myself and open up new horizons.”
Running Well in the Daily Legends
Gavrilov’s misfortune at the poker tables was the Twitch community’s gain. He now has a following approaching 4,500 subscribers. It was on his stream where he enjoyed a deep run on The Masters before winning The Gladiator.
“These deep runs were like a breath of fresh air because the year was going bad. I’d basically won nothing then $10,000 came at once. I felt confident because the opponents before and at the final tables were weaker than I expected. Compared to the latter stages of MTTs at other poker rooms, the fields are very good.”
“I had the feeling my opponents’ main goals were to eliminate themselves as soon as possible! There were plenty of bad bluffs, bad shoves, and bad calls. Even me, who has an average buy-in of around $30, understands these concepts perfectly. The fields for the Daily Legends tournaments are soft, even the $55 Gladiator, and definitely the cheaper tournaments.”
Gavrilov puts this fact down to the limited re-entry structure. Permitting only a single re-entry levels the playing field and prevents those with massive bankrolls from essentially buying their way to a final table.
A Key Hand on the Final Table Bubble
A key hand cropped up in the Gladiator when there were only 12 players remaining. Gavrilov opened from early position with ace-king from a stack of around 65 big blinds. The short-stacked small blind three-bet all-in, and the active big stack in the big blind re-shoved, covering our hero.
“I understand everything hinged on this hand. Of course, with the big stack’s reshove, he will knock out a lot of hands like ace-queen, pocket tens, perhaps even jacks. Now my calling range will be queens, kings, aces, and ace-king. I understood that I had to call, but had to think about it because I had the third-largest stack. I couldn’t fold, however, because there was a $150 bounty on the short stack, and if I won, I would have 150 big blinds and could dominate the tournament. I called, the short stack had ace-jack, the big blind had king-ten, and my ace-king held.”
Going into the final table with a big stack is a great spot to find yourself in. This is especially true when the Poker Gods are looking down on you and making a smooth path to victory.
“Everything worked out for me at the final table. Whenever I opened, my opponents showed bluffs. Whenever I bluffed, my opponents folded. As a result, I won $7,600 for winning the Gladiator, $3,000 from my deep run in the Masters, and an additional $2,000 worth of tickets from the Legend of the Week leaderboards.”
“The Legend of the Week Promotion is Awesome!”
Remember how luck played a role in Gavrilov starting his Twitch channel? Well, luck came into play again when one of his many viewers informed him about the Legend of the Week promotion. Perhaps having this information at hand helped Gavrilov to get his grind on in other Daily Legends.
“I found out about the Legend of the Week after my success in the Masters because one of my viewers wrote to me. I am not usually interested in leaderboards because they tend to need some super-effort to win them. You usually have to grind a bunch of tournaments, which is not something I enjoy.”
“I didn’t even pay attention at first but then freaked out when I read about the Legend of the Week because it is so awesome. You only need to play two tournaments per day from each category and the prizes are great. You win a $111 ticket even if you only finish in the top 100 in the $55 leaderboard. It is not too difficult to get into the top 100 if you are a regular. The prizes for first place are excellent. If you play with an average buy-in of $55 once every couple of months you have the chance to play in $530 and $1,111 tournaments.”
Look out for Gavrilov in our Daily Legends tournaments, especially in the $22 Predator where he has an additional bounty on his head. Eliminate him or any of the other predators, tweet a screenshot of your bust out to us, and we will credit you with a free $22 Predator ticket for making the tournament a safer place.
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