For a non-professional poker player, Seun “AfRoBiZzLe!” Oluwole has had an incredible Spring Championship of Online Poker 2020, winning his first title in a Sunday Major and coming close to a second a couple of weeks later.
The 31-year-old from London has a full-time job in finance which often sees him globetrotting around the world. He might not have as much time to play poker as he’d like to, but you’d never guess based on his results these past few weeks.
Oluwole first took down the $215 Sunday Warm-Up Progressive Knock-Out (PKO) edition (#43-M) for $87,143, including bounties. To do so, he had to outlast a field of 4,769 over two days to win the lion’s share of the $953,800 prize pool.
And he wasn’t done there. Just this past Tuesday (May 26), Oluwole reached the final table of the $530 2nd Chance Main Event (#96-M), finishing in seventh place for $45,741.
We spoke with Oluwole after his first title victory to discuss his background in the UK poker scene, keeping his game sharp while away for work, and what it means to him to become a SCOOP champion.
PokerStars Blog: Hi Seun, congratulations on becoming a SCOOP champion!
Seun “AfRoBiZzLe!” Oluwole: Thanks! It feels great. I know that alongside WCOOP, the SCOOP is highly respected and one of the biggest online festivals on the calendar. So to get my first title with relatively very little MTT (multi-table tournament) volume is very gratifying.
You won your title in a PKO edition of the Sunday Warm-Up. Obviously, it ended well, but how did this event go for you overall?
I spent the large part of both days at or below average chip stack and I wasn’t really able to get anything substantial going until the final two tables. However, I remember the time I saw Kevin Allen grinding back up from a big bowl of rice during a major event in 2013, then going on to win the title. This memory gets me through the pain of being stuck with sub-15-big-blind stacks.
I won A6>A9 all in preflop to win the heads-up, but outside of this I really didn’t have many absurdly fortuitous or cooler spots in my favour. I went into the final table fourth in chips and very quickly found myself 7th/9 after losing A6<KQ and TT<AQ both for a bounty K.O.
With seven players left, I secured a double K.O and never looked back. From this point, I felt the trophy had my name on it.
Are you a big fan of PKO events?
I enjoy the format and was pleasantly surprised to see how popular it has become recently. It adds some different dynamics to the game. One of the more obvious differences being the fireworks that usually occur when there’s a short-stacked player, all-in, with a significant bounty on their head.
Looking back, how did you first discover poker?
I discovered poker after getting hooked on “Big Two” in school – a Chinese card game which has a similar card ranking to Texas Hold’em. We had a strong group of 10-15 people who’d rush to jump in the queue at breaks, lunch and even after school, deep into the night!
In 2006, one of the individuals in the group suggested we try poker. We used the blue salt and brown pepper sachets from the canteen as chips. An STT (single-table tournament) Sit & Go Format, £5 buy-in, winner takes all. This was the last time I paid for my lunch at school!
Shortly after crushing my schoolmates, I joined The Gutshot club in London. It was there that I formed good friendships with a number of household names, including Brit wizard Sam Grafton and the legend Barney Boatman, many of whom helped me learn my early craft.
How did your poker progress from there to where you are now?
I started to take the game a bit more seriously in 2012, and after catching the eye of a pro player while playing at EPT London, I was afforded the opportunity of playing a big schedule at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Although I had a decent summer, that year I had just obtained a Bachelors of Science honours degree in Computer Science. I got a job offer two weeks after returning from the United States and the dream of taking my game to the next level got kicked to the curb.
I now work in Finance and split my time between Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Copenhagen, so finding time to play has been tough. That being said, I’ve always managed to keep my game healthy by playing cash games wherever I’m situated. Pre COVID-19, you’d usually catch me playing cash games in Hong Kong and Macau at HK$25/50 – HK$100/200.
As a non-pro, do you think your SCOOP win will impact your life and the amount of poker you play?
It will definitely allow me to add a few more tournaments that I otherwise would have opted to skip during the now extended SCOOP schedule.