StheP1973's adventure at partypoker started in July 2016 with a $10 free bankroll from BankrollMob.com. Only one year after joining partypoker, he managed to win a $10,000 Caribbean Poker Party Festival package!
Just like the $10 free bankroll he started out with, StheP1973 also won his $10,000 package at partypoker without spending a single dime!
We, the entire team at BankrollMob.com, are excited and happy to announce that StheP1973 will be wearing a BankrollMob patch when playing the $5,300 buy-in partypoker MILLIONS Caribbean Main Event ($5,000,000 guaranteed) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in November!
Here's an interview with the man behind the alias StheP1973 (continue reading to find out how he managed to turn nothing into a $10,000 poker tournament package!)
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Nikola Minovic, I come from a beautiful little town named Kraljevo (Eng. Kingstown because 7 Serbian kings were crowned in Kraljevo) in Serbia. I am 27-years-old and currently finishing my final studies to become an electrical engineer. I have been a member of the BankrollMob community since October 2014 and it has been 3 awesome years!
How did you get into poker?
When I was in high school, I think it was 2008, I visited my cousin for a couple of days. He is a mathematics professor and was playing poker for play money on Facebook. When he had some exams to grade, he asked me to play instead of him.
I didn't know what I was doing, I was just "clicking buttons", but I quickly fell in love with the game and eventually started learning some strategies. I started playing with real money on PokerStars in 2012 and from there on I was hooked. I have played poker regularly and improved my game since then.
Please tell us the amazing story how you ended up winning the 10k Caribbean package at partypoker.
There was a promotion on partypoker called Click N Collect where one could win satellite tickets of different values to the Caribbean Poker Party. I don't play tournaments much, but since I had won a $2.2 ticket in the Click N Collect promotion, I decided to rest a little bit from the cash games and give it a shot.
I started with a satellite where $22 tickets were up for grabs. I won a ticket and decided to play the next stage with $109 satellite tickets in the prize pool. I won again and jumped right into the next satellite where $1,050 tickets to enter the final satellite were at stake.
I was doing pretty well and ended up on final table with the chip lead, but then I lost an all-in with QQ vs AK and a big pot with JJ vs KK. Suddenly, I was among the short stacks, before finally being eliminated in 7th place. It was horrible feeling to get so far but not win anything.
While I was watching the WSOP Main Event on TV the following day, I decided to check out that promotion [Click N Collect] on my mobile. Once again, I won a $2.20 satellite ticket. I played the satellite on my mobile and won a $22 ticket to enter the next level.
I started playing the $22 satellite at home and continued while going grocery shopping. When I was back from the store, I had once again managed to win a $109 ticket.
This time I didn't want to make any mistakes. I switched from mobile to laptop, I was 100% focused and it really paid off as I finally took home a $1,050 ticket and my stack of 360,000 chips was moved into the final $1,050 buy-in Sunday satellite, where the average starting stack was 500,000 with blinds at 1500/3000. I had more than enough chips to play the way I wanted, especially since the blind levels were long. During the first level, I was on a heater and got AK 3 times, QQ and many other strong starting hands.
My stack was nearly 600k already in the first level and I was more than happy, but after that I started losing and my stack was slowly narrowed down to around 200k. I felt sick, I couldn't believe it, but I had not stopped believing in myself. I told myself, " I cannot make single mistake from now on."
I was playing my best poker, doubled up a couple of times and soon I was among the chip leaders (at one point I was the chip leader) with nearly 6 million in chips. There were about 20 players remaining and 14 prizes up for grabs: $10,000 packages to the top 13 finishing players and $3,600 in cash to the 14th place finisher.
Dzmitry Urbanovich, a poker legend and partypoker team pro member, was seated at my table. I have watched him play many big tournaments and I knew he was one of the best poker players out there, including in this tournament, but I tried not to think about it and strictly play GTO [game-theory optimal] poker.
In the first 3 pots I clashed with Urbanovich, I took advantage of the fact that he was among the short stacks and won all of them by putting pressure on him with my much larger stack. However, with only 17 players left, Urbanovich started going all-in every single time against me.
I was praying to God that he would be eliminated, because my stack was getting smaller and smaller because of him. Thankfully, he was eventually knocked out in 17th place.
With only 15 players left, it took more than 2 hours of bubble play until a player was eliminated. Somehow, I managed to hang in there and win 1 of the 13 packages!
How did it feel taking home a package worth $10k!? Have you come close to winning something similar in the past?
It was an incredible feeling. The tournament finished around 5:00 in the morning local time and I couldn't sleep, my emotions were going crazy, it was such an amazing feeling.
Two of my dreams came true that day: travel to the Caribbean and play in a major poker tournament!
I have never won a similar package in my life. I have won a few $215 tournament tickets through satellites and had some $1,000 cashes, but never won anything that big!
We know that you can play online poker well, but how is it with the live poker skills that you will need for the upcoming tournament? How do you prepare for it?
That is a small problem for me. I have participated in poker home games but never played a proper live tournament. I'm not too worried, though, I will just go there and do my best!
I have watched many videos about hiding and recognizing different tells in live poker. I won't put too much effort into looking for other players' tells, but instead I will try to hide my own tells and stick to GTO play as much as I can.
What are your expectations for the big tournament?
Well, at least to cash in the tournament, but if that doesn't happen, at least I would have had a nice holiday in the Caribbean for free and been able to play against some of the best poker players in world.
What is the first thing you will do if you end up taking home one of the top prizes from the $5 Million Guaranteed prize pool?
I would definitely go to the nearby country Jamaica and relax for a month or so, then probably buy a car (nothing too expensive) and invest some money in a business. Also, of course, I would buy plenty of gifts for my friends and family.
We are looking forward to getting another interview with you when you are back from the Dominican Republic. Good luck!
Thanks a lot and it was pleasure.