Simon Gilles is a 31-year-old marketing manager in a supermarket, from Hennef, Germany. A keen micro-stakes poker player, he won a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) by playing the Mega Path promotion. His total investment was 50 StarsCoins and he now has a package, worth around $30,000, to the event in Barcelona next August. PokerStars Blog caught up with him:
You had a dream-come-true moment when you won a Platinum Pass by playing the Mega Path on PokerStars. How did that happen?
I had exactly zero euro in my PokerStars account, but I was bored and looked to see what I could play with my StarsCoins. I invested 50 coins for a Spin & Go ticket, won the the $2 Mega Path Sit & Go ticket and qualified for the $50 Step 3 tournament. One week later I played it as a side event to my regular tournaments. After I got through that tournament as well, I then actually started to focus on it. Then I thought about playing the Platinum Pass tournament [Step 4: $1,000 buy-in] right away, and when I saw that only 19 players were registered, I thought that was worth a shot. So I jumped in and luckily it worked.
How long have you played poker and what ambitions do you have?
I started in 2007 with Sit & Gos for non-cash prizes. After that we organised a regular home game with friends and even built our own poker table, below. Then in 2009 I started playing online. But it’s only been this year that I’ve played more seriously.
I have been listening to Felix Schneiders’ podcast for quite some time now, and I’ve paid more attention to my bankroll management ever since. I only play tournaments that fit my bankroll. I think about theory more now and realise that my game has improved significantly in recent months. I still try to grind through the micro stakes and qualify via satellites again and again for mid-stakes tournaments.
What other cashes have you had?
I’ve actually had some good cashes this year. The most recent big cash was in the $11 Mini Monday 6-max in August, when I won $480. But it’s a tough grind on the micro stakes. Last weekend I played around 40 tournaments on Saturday and Sunday and won $22. That’s not what you are looking for, but in the end it’s a success.
Sounds like the Platinum Pass win came at the right time. It should give you a big boost in motivation to continue to improve.
For sure. My best friend Robin also plays poker and he immediately said, “We have to prepare you, buy books and try to play more live events. Maybe sometimes with a slightly higher buy-in to just get that feeling.”
I have learned a lot of poker content over the past weeks and now I feel like this time has completely changed my game. I know, so to speak now, that I didn’t know much before because the game is so complex.
If I imagine sitting at the same table during the PSPC with Patrik Antonius, Dominik Nitsche or other sick players, you have the feeling they can look directly into your head. I want to be prepared for that.
Take away the fact that you’ll be playing for millions of euros. What else are you looking forward to at the PSPC?
I am especially looking forward to meeting all the well-known players. Between 2012 and 2014, I was really intense about poker and watched everything. I believe there is no poker show from before 2014 that I have not seen. I watched the legendary High Stakes Poker episodes many times. That’s why it will be very exciting for me to meet these stars in Barcelona. I feel like I know these players already, although of course it is not the case.
You already said that your best friend was super excited when you told him about the Platinum Pass. How did everyone else react?
The reaction was totally positive. Robin even went to Namur last week to play the Road to PSPC Main Event and plays all promos on PokerStars to try and win a Platinum Pass. It would we crazy if he gets one. But also my other friends said immediately, “We believe in you. You’ll win some money.” They now want to buy some of my action. In total six want to come along to Barcelona. The dream is, of course, that they gonna rail me at the final table and everybody end up with a piece of my profit. That’s the full dream, but ultimately we would be super happy with a min-cash.