A Horsham engineer has struck it lucky as he turned £8 into thousands by winning the jackpot of an online poker tournament.
Janis Rozentāls entered an event in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) with an $11 buy-in.
After winning multiple hands and stealing several pots the 30-year-old emerged victorious with more than $17,700 (around £13,500) to his name.
Janis said: “It feels great to win a WCOOP event as for last six months it has been not going very well for me at the poker tables.
“Before this my biggest cash was $2,400 so it is a massive improvement and this will boost my bankroll quite a bit.”
Janis first started playing poker as a student back in 2007. “Back then I thought that I knew a lot about the game which wasn’t the case,” he said.
“I am not a professional poker player but still like to study and develop my game at least six hours a week.”
But it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Latvian - who moved the UK eight years ago.
He said he got to the late stage of the tournament with £1.6m worth of chips before losing two all-ins in a row. However, the next 10 hands proved more successful and got him back into the game.
“The final table for me was the best poker I’ve ever played,” he said. “I started as the eighth biggest stack and I think I knocked out seven out of eight players from the FT.
“When there were three of us left I knew I would win the tournament as I had £350m chips and 2nd place had 60-70m.”
The tournament was one of around 60 put on by PokerStars over a 17 day period, with a jackpot of $70m split between each event.
Janis walked away with $17,722 and put his victory down to the skills he learnt from poker strategy articles and videos at PokerStars School.
And for those wishing to follow in his footsteps Janis released the following advice: “Stick to your strategy if you have one, and in early stages of the tournament don’t be afraid to fold strong hands if you are deep stacked. And pay 100 per cent attention on what is happening at the table, distractions can cost you your tournament life.”
He added: “I will need to develop my game as I still have a lot of things to improve on.
“I will most definitely participate in the WCOOP low and medium events, and in the $55 main event. After the WCOOP I will keep playing and hopefully move up the limits, when I have the right skill to crush them.”