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Philipp Gotschy Named Youngest Qualifier for PokerStars Festival London

  • Katie CallahanKatie Callahan
Philippe Gotschy
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  • Philipp Gotschy is a 20-year-old poker player who just got the best birthday present.

Philipp Gotschy is still pretty green in the poker world, trying to make his way to the top as many before him have done.

But at least this is a start. He bested the PokerStars Festival London Sat £82 qualifier on his birthday, guaranteeing him a Main Event seat, a £990 value. This was his third bullet on this kind of satellite; he had already fired two bullets at the end of November. Gotschy will play Day 1C on Jan. 27.

Gotschy began playing poker at 18 after a friend introduced him to home games. His birthday in December kickstarted his poker career from the smaller live cash games in his hometown of Vienna, Austria to the PokerStars Festival in London. Now 20 years old, he will go to London with his friend by his side.

“I am really looking forward to being able to play in London and have a big shot at making my dream of being a professional poker player come true or at least get closer to that idea/dream,” Gotschy said via email.

Gotschy also plans to play the £120 Live Satellite to the Main Event Jan. 26 to redeem a ticket win for cash and get a feel for the tournament. From there, depending on how deep of a run he can make in the Main Event, he may end up at the PokerStars Cup or the UKIPT Deepstack Event.

“I would like to test my skills playing against more experienced players,” Gotschy said. “I look forward to meeting people that enjoy playing the game as much as I do.”

Gotschy usually plays live poker and live low-limit cash games and will occasionally play online in the bigger tournaments, like the Sunday Million. In his hometown, there is at least a variety of monthly tournaments that range from €80 to €250.

"I am really looking forward to being able to play in London and have a big shot at making my dream of being a professional poker player come true."

His Hendon Mob profile has about €1,800 to his name, even without every registered cash he’s had. His highest live buy in event was the Concord Millions in Vienna and he didn't cash.

“I’m still missing that big win that would give me the boost I need to step up my bankroll,” he said. “I am still playing mostly cash games, even though I improved my tournament strategy and ICM calculations a lot. If I happen to win or at least get deep in the Main Event, I will be planning to use the cash mostly for investing in poker and moving up in stakes.”

This front office supervisor for a five-star hotel in Vienna’s city center has a familiar poker tale, with life consisting of work, sleep, play (soccer in this case), meeting friends and, enjoying poker with his friends when he can. He just got his first apartment at the beginning of 2016 and is familiar with the poker downswing, the only “bad” thing in his life from the past year.

Poker was largely removed from his family life (hard to explain variance to them), so he learned through experience, playing, reading poker books, going through hands after sessions, reading threads on TwoPlusTwo and scanning through training sites like Run It Once.

Philippe Gotschy

“I love the game of poker, because it’s a game of skill but still gives you the feeling of hustle and gamble,” he said.

His dream poker table would feature Daniel Negreanu, Fedor Holz, Parker “tonkaaa” Talbot, Tom Dwan, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Jason Somerville, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth (for the blowup) and himself.

His poker heroes are Daniel Negreanu for live players and Jason Somerville and Parker Talbot for online players. Outside of poker, he enjoys watching the old vlogs of Casey Neistat.

"My personal life goal is to be able to take care of me and my family."

While he struggled at first to figure out the difference between live and online poker, losing online when he started out on PokerStars, Gotschy started talking his game more seriously last year. Now he’s concerned with his bankroll management and game strategy.

“My personal life goal is to be able to take care of me and my family and I love to have the chance to maybe use poker as a source for doing so, and even if it is not working out to be more than a (well paid) hobby, I'm glad to have the beautiful game of poker in my life, even if it can be cruel from time to time,” he said.

This introvert said that he thinks about things most people wouldn’t in a way that many would consider “out of the box.” That makes him effective and willing to step up to the challenge at PokerStars Festival London.

“I think what helps me the most in my game is that I like competing with people and always try to think as efficient as possible whether it be in a game of poker or any other kind of situation regarding my life,” Gotschy said.

Follow Gotschy and the rest of the PokerStars action at PokerStars Festival London here.

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