Most poker players dream of winning the PokerStars Sunday Million on just once. On Feb. 8, United Kingdom's Rob "robtinnion" Tinnion won the weekly flagship event for a second time in five months when he outlasted a 6,579 player-field for a huge $200,136 payday.
Tinnion's previous Sunday Million conquest came on Aug. 31, 2014 when he bested a 7,133 player field to win $213,994. Even more impressive, he achieved both victories without making a deal at the final table.
PokerNews caught up with Tinnion to chat about his recent success and his plans for the future.
PokerNews: Rob, how does it feel to win the Sunday Million for the second time in five months?
Tinnion: It's still extremely surreal and I still chuckle to myself when I remember it. To be in a very small group of people who have won it twice, and part of an even smaller group without chopping, is very rewarding.
How does this victory compare to your first Sunday Million win?
This one was a lot more satisfying in terms of my ability and confidence as the first one boiled down to a lot of pre-flop all-ins, thus being a high-variance way to win.
This time I was towards the top of the pack for most of the run to the final table, thus giving me a lot of spots to pick up a lot of low variance chips without risking a large percentage of my stack. But as most people reading this will know, I obviously got extremely lucky to win it twice, even if this time I felt I did a lot more to deserve it.
Can you share with us a pivotal moment of the tournament? Was everything smooth sailing?
It was never really smooth sailing which I'm kind of glad about because "smooth seas don't make a great sailor." I had some big pots go both in my favor and against me, but for the most part I stuck to a low-variance and low-risk strategy whilst trying to remain as aggressive as possible.
What are your plans for the money?
My only plans right now are to reinvest in myself to play poker online and live. I will probably be looking into some business start-ups and see what investment opportunities are around outside of poker, but for the most part I feel the highest ROI achievable for me is through poker.
We have heard there was a bit of chop discussion. Can you tell us a bit about this and why you ultimately never chopped the tournament?
I was eager to chop the tournament as I know the skill edge with the effective stacks being around 20 big blinds and lower is minimal. And with such a large amount of money at stake, we're essentially gambling huge amounts and at the mercy of the RNG with nobody having a huge edge.
We were unable to chop though as "ministerborg" (the event's runner-up) believed he deserved more when in fact the numbers provided were very fair. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. He did play very well and congrats to him on the score, but I feel like he became over confident and that was his downfall.
What are some of the things you credit towards your success?
I owe virtually all of my success to the stable I run and coach called Pocarr. I signed with them roughly 2.5 years ago starting at the bottom of the food chain. Now, with their help I have worked my way up to the top of the company showing that with hard work anyone can do it.
Are you planning to hit Las Vegas this summer for the World Series of Poker (WSOP)?
I had already booked my flights to Vegas before the score, so now I will have to get a nicer hotel and also have a larger percentage of my action.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
Right now my main focus is Pocarr as we have over 100 people playing for us, and it takes a lot of work to manage and coach them all sufficiently. But to continue to do this, I also have to make sure my game is in peak form as unlike most training sites and coaches if our content isn't up to scratch we actually lose money. So I will also be playing a few days a week to keep myself on my toes. I may also take a shot at the number one spot in the PocketFives.com online tournament rankings if the chance presents itself.