When you strip away the tables, chips, and cards from a poker tournament it all comes down to the people who determine whether an event becomes a great success or something less desirable.
As we gear up for PokerStars Festival Korea (July 14-24) there’s a big reason for optimism and excitement — and that’s largely due to Dom Choi.
Dom was part of my Day One Crew when I began working with PokerStars nearly a decade ago.
You hear about how poker creates everlasting friendships and lifelong relationships? Well that’s the same for us as organizers. My bond with Dom turned into a brotherhood and he had become someone I respected and depended on.
When Dom’s time with PokerStars ended last year, the pain I felt was more profound than I was prepared for. Even as I write this blog and recollect that sense of loss, I can feel my eyes swelling.
Dom and I had distinctly different roles; I was clearly a member of the Live Events team, while he wore many more hats. He never got — nor did he seek – the credit he deserved for all his contributions he made that helped build the PokerStars events in Asia as you see it today.
Ever wonder why ElkY seems to come to Asia more often than any other non-Asia Team Pro? It’s largely due to his close relationship with Dom.
When Ronaldo made the long trip from Brazil to Macau for the 2015 Asia Championship of Poker, Dom was the man working diligently behind the scenes to make it happen.
Though faces have come and gone, Dom has always made an impact on those who have worked with him.
Dom is one of the most genuine people out there and you can see it below. Let me set up the scene.
After more than six hours of heads up play, Celina Lin would go on to win her second Red Dragon title in June 2012. Guess who she ran to first after the title was sealed? You got it.
Seriously…you can’t fake this.
Dom is now the head of all things poker at the Paradise Casino properties and that’s going to be amazing for the future of poker in Korea.
Whether you’re talking about the poker game itself, the amenities while you play, the party afterwards, or the best recovery options for that said party, you can be sure that there’s a man looking after your best interest.
So if you never had a chance to say goodbye before he left, be sure to make your way to Incheon where we’ll be working with our good friend, Dom, once again.
The betting man in me says PokerStars Festival Korea will break its own field record so if you haven’t booked your travel plans yet, you better get going!
PokerStars Festival Korea takes place at Paradise City, Incheon from July 14-24.
Follow us on Twitter @PokerStarsLIVE with hashtag #PSFKorea