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Where Are They Now: Jon Aguiar Fondly Remembers Tilting Brandon Cantu

Jonathan Aguiar
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  • Where Are They Now: @JonAguiar reflects on his poker career five years after leaving the game.

Five years ago, Jonathan “FatalError” Aguiar left the poker world behind to move to Boston and pursue a career with DraftKings.

His retirement announcement, which he made on Twitter, came as a surprise to many poker fans considering he was coming off a great 2012 in which he won his first bracelet in the World Series of Poker Europe €10,000 Mixed-Max event for €258,047 ($336,661).

“I left poker back in 2012 to take a position at DraftKings when it was still a relatively new company,” Aguiar recently told PokerNews. “For anyone who has been following along it's been quite a wild ride to say the least. I grew up outside of Boston where it's based so I'm closer to my family which is nice.”

Aguiar: “I'm positive on online poker getting a second wind in the US in the coming years but negative on playing poker ever being anywhere as popular as it was during the boom."

Aguiar’s last tournament cash came in 2015 when he finished 111th in the WSOP Event #55: $1,500 NLH DraftKings 50/50 for $1,880. All told, Aguiar won more than $1.6 million as a poker professional.

“I just don't have the time for poker tournaments anymore,” he explained. “It's really hard to give up your vacation time or weekends from your job to do your old job. I play in an occasional home game with coworkers here and there but since the 2017 WSOP Main Event I've only played one tournament, which was at this year’s WPT Berlin and that was only because DraftKings sponsored it and I was out there with all of the DFS satellite winners.”

Reflecting on his Time in Poker

Now that he’s been removed from poker for half a decade, we couldn’t help but ask if Aguiar’s perspective on the game has changed.

“I'm positive on online poker getting a second wind in the US in the coming years but negative on playing poker ever being anywhere as popular as it was during the boom,” he said. “Something I've noticed over the last 5-6 years as I've been a more casual/recreational player is that everyone I play with seems miserable at the table. I think part of that is that a lot of people have been playing for over a decade now and are getting bored playing because they have to, not because they want to. In my opinion, it's just not nearly as fun or social of an environment as it used to be.”

"In my opinion, it's just not nearly as fun or social of an environment as it used to be.”

He continued: “I'll probably be a recreational fish someday. I have no plans to ever play poker seriously again, though. I think after 5+ years away from the game the bug would have hit me by now if I was going to.

"If I do play somewhere, it'll be the destination and people that get me to go. I was extremely jealous of all the social media out of EPT Barcelona this summer but it had nothing to do with the poker.”

While being a full-time poker pro is in the rearview mirror for Aguiar, he has fond memories from his day at the felt. Among the highlights were all of the European stops he visited with friends, and of course his well-publicized run-in with Brandon Cantu.

“Being responsible for sending Brandon Cantu on enough tilt to punt off his third bracelet and produce his rant,” Aguiar said when asked about a specific highlight.

On the flip side, he does have one major regret.

“I just would have grinded harder when games were amazing,” he said. “You used to be able to make $50K-$100K a month playing $3-$6 and $5-$10 back in the partypoker days.”

Poker fans may catch a glimpse of Aguiar in a poker tournament every now and then, but in the meantime, you can follow him at @JonAguiar on Twitter for bad sports, stock market tips, and political takes.

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