It might seem like the days of some mild-mannered amateur like Chris Moneymaker satelliting into a huge poker tournament and winning big are long gone. But Dominik Martan may prove that the poker-amateur dream is entirely still alive.
The Czech qualified for the 2015 PokerStars WCOOP Main Event by using just 12 Frequent Player Points (FPPs). And what’s amazing is that he’s now cleared the money bubble in the $5,200 buy-in tourney, meaning he’s guaranteed at least $12,000.
“It’s a big experience,” Martan said. “I never done this before, so it’s a big moment for me.”
‘Never done this before’ is the perfect way to describe Martan’s poker career so far. Born in the small spa town of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, Martan is now preparing to go to college. And on the side, he’s been playing poker, with his largest previous cash being €2,258 ($2,856). But he’s already set to blow by this amount with his latest guaranteed score of $12k.
Actually, though, Martan could end up winning a lot more than this. He’s currently in the top 20 chip stacks of the remaining 240 players, which puts him within striking distance of the $1.5 million top payout.
This wouldn’t equal the $2.5 million that Moneymaker won after satelliting into the 2003 WSOP Main Event. But it would certainly be a giant score for a 20-year-old who’s only been playing poker for three years.
Any of the bigger scores in the 2015 WCOOP Main Event would definitely help Martan improve his prospects in the poker world. He has a very small bankroll right now and has been sticking to tourneys with €200 buy-ins or less.
“If I make the final table,” Martin told the PokerStars Blog, “it will change my life.”
Whether he ultimately ends up making the final table or not is still up in the air. But it seems that for just 12 FPPs, he’s at least getting quite an experience for the time being.