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How would you celebrate had you just won the WPT World Online Championships Micro Omaha Championship event, turning your $22 investment into $3,362? By running around your living room like a possessed person? Channelling your inner Formula 1 driver by spraying champagne? Denis Lestin decided the best way to celebrate was to not celebrate, and forage for wild mushrooms in the forest instead.

Lestin came out on top of an 888-strong field in the $22 Micro Omaha Championship event. The tournament needed 1,000 runners to hit the $20,000 guarantee, so the 133 players who cashed did so with a little extra value in their pockets. Lestin was the last player standing after defeating Estonia’s Adria Comas I Roura heads-up, and walked away with $3,362.

Away from the poker tables, Lestin is a sports doctor by trade but is in between jobs because he is not a fan of the excessive travelling required by the role.

“I’m on a sabbatical now. I live outside the city and I’m happy about it. There are very cool methods of healing that I want to master and I am slowly preparing for this since training costs a lot of money, and poker is a great way to earn money without leaving home.”

Not Your Traditional Celebration

Denis Lestin

Poker is profitable when you manage to win tournaments as Lestin did in the WPTWOC PLO event. Winning a WPTWOC event created a mixture of emotions for Lestin who admits he would usually celebrate victory with a cold beer, but was not prepared for winning.

“The tournament was modest but it’s still very fun to be in the top position. After such wins, I have some kind of excitement, probably from fatigue mixed with satisfaction. This condition can easily be removed with beer, but I live rurally and there are no convenience stores in the nearest village; I was not ready for such an event!”

“There is no need to go to the office in the morning, so after the tournament, I was able to wander through the forest, pick wild mushrooms, and do some chores before I started to feel sleepy.”

Perhaps the partypoker LIVE team should have mushroom foraging as an excursion at a future stop?

Everything Went Right For Lestin Throughout The Tournament

Players who win large field poker tournaments either played exceptionally well, ran hotter than the sun, or a combination of both. What was the scenario during Lestin’s impressive victory?

“Everything went like clockwork. I did not encounter any difficulties. On the second day, I started ninth and was near the top of the chip counts all the time. I received the necessary cards, got paid off with the nuts, and the most dangerous opponents were eliminated.”

“The final table was good and I calmly took the chip lead. I had a three-to-one chip lead heads-up, and it was over in probably three hands. There was a point when I wanted to propose a deal because the difference between first and second place was significant, but my set turned into a full house against his draws and I now had a large lead.”

Unsurprisingly, Lestin is an Omaha specialist, although he used to prefer Omaha Hi/Lo, or PLO8 as it is often abbreviated to. PLO8 is not as popular as traditional PLO, with guaranteed in the latter’s tournament larger than the split-pot variant.

Lestin is also a fan of big tournament series and was even before becoming a WPTWOC champion.

“Yes, I like to play tournament series and festivals. I do not know how I feel about real names being displayed. Perhaps it makes sense in expensive tournaments where people follow famous players or play against them, fuelling their excitement. But in such modest tournaments, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care who I sit with, and my opponents do not care who I am; I don’t even remember who I played against! What I did notice was people paid more attention to actually playing poker instead of throwing objects at each other. This was obviously a big plus.”

Look out for Lestin in some of the lower-stakes Hold’em events as he attempts to become a double WPTWOC champion.

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