It isn’t everyday you enter a $2.20 tournament, and just six hours and 15 minutes later win the final hand to claim a $9,444.66 first prize.
But that’s exactly how Michael “Malicious20” Cottier‘s Saturday went last weekend. The business administration student living in Lima, Peru outlasted a huge 13,589-entry field in the super-quick Event No. 12-L ($2.20+R NLHE, 8-Max, Turbo) to earn that huge score and a 2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker title.
When asked how the tournament went, Cottier says it was “complicated… heavy.”
Indeed, it sounds like Cottier had to do some genuinely heavy-lifting, so to speak, to get to the final table — and after that as well.
“There were three occasions when I was down to 2 or 3 big blinds,” he says. “In fact, I reached the final table with just 2 BBs, but I was patient and with some luck I knew the situation could be reversed.”
That luck started with a double-up from the big blind. “Then I was able to steal a couple of blinds. Then the crucial hand came at five-handed…. Under-the-gun raised 2.5x, and I had pocket jacks in the big blind. I shoved and he called with pocket queens. Thanks to a little luck, though, I made a set on the river.”
Things continued to go Cottier’s way after that, and after a quick 45 minutes the final table was done and Cottier was champ.
As Cottier explains, it was about a decade ago that he first got into poker as a 14-year-old. “It was because of my grandfather,” he says, “who was a regular casino player.”
He played more with his brother and then other friends, and more recently started enjoying some success on PokerStars. After playing mostly freerolls and micro-stakes games, during the last few months he has won a couple of tournaments, including a Bounty Builder for about $500.
Then came Saturday and the biggest win of what might well become a budding poker career — at least in the short-term.
“I’m about to finish my degree,” he says, noting how he was on the verge of starting to look for a first job when circumstances recently changed for all of us. “I returned to PokerStars… and well, I think it was a good decision!”
“To tell the truth, a couple of months ago I was thinking about trying to start a poker career. It is something I am still evaluating. I have some short-term goals I want to achieve, and I plan to continue studying poker so I can hopefully reach a better level.”
Cottier also enjoys soccer and being with friends and family. He likes traveling as well, but knows that’s on hold for the time being, too. So… more poker for now for Cottier!
Big congrats to Michael “Malicious20” Cottier, and best of luck to him with the rest of SCOOP and beyond.