You register a bunch of bigger buy-in events but ultimately end up one-tabling the lowest buy-in event you played. Almost every online poker player will have experienced a session like this.

But any tournament in which you can take a humble $5.50 investment and potentially multiply it by more than a thousand is worth your time.

Just ask Romania’s Catalina “catam18” Marmureanu, the champion of one of the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) 2020’s lowest buy-in events (#13-L $5.50 Progressive Knock-Out).

“It’s always fun to finish first,” the 33-year-old from Bucharest told us, having outlasted an enormous field of 20,591 unique entries to win $5,969 ($4,380 plus $1,588 in bounties). “The field was so huge, I was not expecting to win it!”

Marmureanu was introduced to poker by her boyfriend and quickly grew fond of “all the strategies and dynamics involved”. She has had some tournament success, but predominantly grinds Spin & Gos.

“I am a competitive person and poker is a challenge I can explore. I’ll always try to persevere and improve my game.”

The $5.50 tournament was the smallest buy-in Marmureanu played that day. “The first few levels I was just cruising and trying to build a stack,” she says. “Throughout the event the bounties didn’t seem to go my way, which is quite frustrating in a PKO format.”

Despite the occasional frustration, Marmureanu is a big fan of PKO tournaments in general, mainly due to the switch in dynamics and the rush of adrenaline they give her.

“In PKOs you are always connected and focused on the game, calculating bounties and modifying your range accordingly,” she says.

She managed to end Day 1 with a top 10 stack and 100 players remaining, but she had a tough time at the start of Day 2. Thankfully, after losing half of her stack she managed to chip up and found herself chip leading with 50 left. She never lost the chip lead thereafter.

“Although it is not a major win in terms of money, it provides future bankroll security for the rest of SCOOP and most of all it gives me a boost of confidence in my game and poker abilities,” she says.

“I think winning a SCOOP title is also a result for the female poker community out there. We’re all making our way in this predominantly male game.”


MORE ABOUT SCOOP 2020
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