“44K is a lot of money for a 20-year-old student in Germany. I don’t know what to do with that!”

So “Gaul4200” told the PokerStars Blog when we spoke with him about his big win in WCOOP #43-M, the $55 buy-in six-handed no-limit hold’em event. The young German managed to top a huge 7,205-entry field to win the title and claim a $44,402.90 payday following a heads-up chop.

Actually Gaul4200 does know what he’ll be doing with those riches, or at least he has an idea. But we’ll get to that.

“My 20th birthday was on the first day of WCOOP, which was obviously a good sign for me,” he says. The series was timed well for the part-time player, as he is due to begin law school in a couple of weeks, but before that has the time open to play a full schedule of events.

The series didn’t start especially well for him, but last Sunday he managed to win the $22 Bounty Builder for a $5K first prize, then managed to build up a big stack on Day 1 of Event #43-M.

“It was a great tournament,” he says, describing the short-handed event. “Everyone was aggressive… three-betting all day long. I built up a great stack and with about 30 minutes left on Day 1 had 100-120 big blinds — top 20, maybe, of the last 200.”

Then came a bit of trouble as he lost two all-ins in short succession, both with ace-queen — one against queens, the other versus ace-king. The latter call he says was “iffy,” but he still had a workable stack of 50 BBs to end the day.

Day 2 then started the right way with a couple of double-ups. “Then I got the chip lead when there were like 10 people left. I was the big stack, and was able to put ICM pressure on the other guys because of the big pay jumps. I kept the chip lead until there were three players left… I had like 120 BBs while the other two both had about 30.”

Then came another setback as Gaul4200 lost two all-ins to fall to third of three. But he doubled again, and soon enough “coldheartedd” fell in third, after which Gaul4200 struck a heads-up deal with “klauniq” and shortly after he won.

“I plan to keep on playing in the coming days,” he says, alluding back to his plan to put at least some of his winnings back in play. “Sunday will be massive. I’m rolled for all the Main Events besides the $5K — I definitely will not be playing that.”

Indeed, Gaul4200 just had a taste of playing at higher stakes after satelliting his way into the $1K Thursday Thrill yesterday — his first tournament with a buy-in that large.

“Playing at high-stakes is so different,” he attests. “You really have to get used to it and study a lot to be able to compete.” Even so, he does plan to take a few shots given his suddenly plentiful bankroll.

Gaul4200 first got into poker about two-and-a-half years ago after jumping into a home-game tournament where the buy-in was €20 and the first-place prize €140 — a big amount, it seemed to him at the time.

“It wasn’t too much fun because I got last! But it was a good experience. Then I got on Twitch and watched the PokerStars streams of all the live events. I became a fan of Charlie Carrel. Then I started playing online a bit. It was very fun. I had a good time.”

Since then Gaul4200 has enjoyed steady success at the online tables, including having previously earned cashes of about $15K on three different occasions. Still, though, nothing quite like his score for winning Event #43-M.

He’s enjoyed live events on a couple of occasions as well, having won packages to play. “I love poker events,” he says. “People around poker are always fun. They’re open-minded and funny and do fun stuff. I have a good time.”

He’s already figured out his law school is just a couple of hours’ drive away from the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, and so will likely be finding time away from his studies for a few trips there.

Meanwhile, though, we know where we’ll be able to find Gaul4200 — playing more WCOOP events!

Congrats to Gaul4200, and good luck to him and everyone else this Sunday!

More WCOOP winner interviews:

Joris “BillLewinsky” Ruijs: Captures second career WCOOP title in $530 NLH PKO
“myIT4”: “The WCOOP… it’s the World Cup, and I was representing Russia!”
Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira: One week, three WCOOP titles!
Espen “_sennj_” Sandvik: “It’s my first win in an official tournament”
Rodrigo “guinHuuh” Freire: Brazilian’s roller coaster ride turns $11 into $13K
Patrick “prepstyle71” Serda: No more pizzas for the three-time winner
Jeffrey “Jefffrr8” Reardon: He wanted a five-figure score. He got one.
Maxime “Daghemuneguu” Chilaud: Malta-based Frenchman wins first WCOOP of the series
Norway’s “19_Kumite_79”: First two-day event, biggest field, biggest cash
Viktor “TsiTool” Kovács: Puts Hungary on the WCOOP map
Italo “sep_itl1914” Carandinas: Brazilian chooses his own adventure
Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara: Woken up by a kick from his 3-year-old, plays Razz and wins!
“snovalshik1”: first-timer, who turned $5.50 into $3,408
Rinat “Zapahzamazki” Lyapin: Won PLO while streaming live
Alex “dynoalot” Difelice: Second win, but “I feel I have a ways to go.”
Pedro “PaDiLhA SP” Padilha: Akkari’s acolyte, who sets the record straight
Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb: Seventh title, surely not the last


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