There’s no better feeling in poker than winning a big tournament. When ‘Winner!’ pops up in lights on a final table you recently demolished, there’s nothing left to do but admire your new bankroll balance, ogle at the total entries and the field size you just outlasted, then celebrate.
If you have time to celebrate, that is. Sometimes a big win comes in the middle of a session when you still have other tables requiring your attention. In those instances, the champagne will have to remain on ice until you’re done for the night.
That’s exactly what happened to “Fisherman FV” of the Netherlands. On Tuesday, September 7, the 26-year-old pro from near Rotterdam took down the $55 Mixed NLHE/PLO 6-Max (#68-M) for $11,942 and his first World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) title, but he still had a session to finish before he could revel in victory.
By the end of it, he would be celebrating two WCOOP victories.
Three hours after capturing his maiden title, Fisherman FV–who already has two SCOOP titles and a 50/50 Series win under his belt, all in mixed game variants–was the last man standing in the $109 Stud (#72-M), banking $7,700 and becoming the first player ever to win two WCOOP titles in a single evening (although high stakes crusher Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins has since done the same).
We caught up with Fisherman FV to find out more about his epic evening, how he celebrated, and why he loves the mixed games.
PokerStars Blog: Congratulations! Two in one night is just insane. How did you keep your concentration in the Stud after you won the Mixed?
Fisherman FV: Thanks! I didn’t really have any problem keeping my concentration after the win. There was still a tournament to be played with decent money and a title for the win, so I had no problem finding the concentration to play my best game. Maybe it helped that stud is a limit game, thus you don’t have to give any thought to sizing. Plus, I reached two final tables on the same night earlier this year during SCOOP, so I knew how it felt to have two deep runs simultaneously. I didn’t feel either of those factors helping me consciously, but I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that they did so subconsciously.
When you reached the final table in the mixed, did you have any idea you were on the verge of doing something no other player had ever done?
No! If I could look into the future like that, I’d be playing a lot higher stakes than I currently am. Plus, I didn’t even know no one had won WCOOP titles in one night before! I was fully focused on playing my best game on the mixed final table and hoped that would be enough to bring home the title.
That I could win two titles didn’t really cross my mind until the stud event got a little deeper near the end of the mixed FT, but even then it seemed like such a ridiculous idea, that I thought of it more in a joking manner than a serious possibility. After all, no matter your skill, you have to get lucky winning a title, let alone two. It was not until I grabbed the chip lead at the final four players on the stud FT that I really started believing in winning both titles.
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How does a poker player celebrate such an incredible night? What did you do when it was all over?
My fiancee was asleep in the room next to where I play, and she had to get up early for work the next morning, so I celebrated really quietly. After I won the mixed title, I let out a whispered ”yes” or ”let’s go” every now and then, because I was really happy with a WCOOP title. I still had a tournament to play though, so I couldn’t let my focus shift too far away from the table. After I won the stud as well, I did what I always do when I win a big online title; pour myself a glass of single malt whisky, try to let it sink in, and savour the feeling of being victorious.
You’re no stranger to big titles, with two SCOOPs and a 50/50 title already. Where do these WCOOP titles rank for you?
Let me start by stating that I obviously have fond memories of and cherish every title that I have won. But I think my first SCOOP title, the $109 HORSE in 2017, will always remain the most special to me. It is the combination of me only playing it because I won a satellite; it being my first major online victory; it still being my biggest score in an online tournament; me having a comeback from one big blind, and winning it by beating all the regs I looked up to. It will be hard for any future title to take that spot, maybe a Main Event victory or some other six-figure score could be candidates.
As far as these titles go, this was the first time I fully committed to grinding WCOOP, without any distractions from University or the like, so it’s amazing to win not only one, but two titles during the series. Aside from that, I was really happy that I won a title in a pure big bet game/mix. All my previous titles were in HORSE or 8-game, which are limit games for the most part, so this proves to me that those are not the only games I can win in. Furthermore, I put in a lot of work in my PLO game before WCOOP, so I was glad to see it come to fruition in this event. The stud win honestly came as a surprise to me, as I would probably rank it as one of my worst games in the 8-game mix. But as the tournament went deeper I felt like I was playing better than I usually do in this game, and that, combined with a healthy dose of luck, of course, was enough to grant me the victory.
But to answer your question; me being the first-ever person to win two WCOOPs in one night is something that I’m extremely proud of, so combined I would rank them closely behind the 2017 HORSE title
You’re clearly skilled in all the games. How did you first get into poker and when did you decide to branch out into mixed games?
I first got into poker when I was around 15, back when Dutch television aired poker shows like Poker After Dark and The Big Game after midnight. I would stay up specifically to watch those shows, I loved the atmosphere, the big money, and the characters. Then when I turned 18, I deposited some money on PokerStars and started playing the $1.50 9-man SnGs, as well as using my salary from working at the local supermarket to play a live tournament once every couple of months.
Branching out to mixed games wasn’t really a decision as much as I was naturally attracted to them. I think of myself as a naturally curious person, who likes variation in their life. If I go out for dinner and see a beer I have never tried before, I want to order it, even if there’s one on the menu I know I really like. I think it’s the same with poker, I want to try every game people come up with. The most fun I’ve had in poker are live mixed game tournaments or cash games, especially the goofy ones in Vegas that contain games like Drawmaha, Archie, and Razzdugi. And even if I don’t really like a game at first, once I study it for a bit and get a better understanding of it, I start to enjoy playing it more and more.
Aside from my natural curiosity, I have to give a shoutout to Full Tilt Poker, who back in the day did an amazing job at promoting mixed games to micro players like me. If I remember correctly they had a ”Game of the Week” which promoted playing a different game every week for better rake back and other rewards. The first final table I ever reached was in the $3.30 ”A Little Stud Hi/Lo”, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
What is it about the mixed games that you like the most?
I guess the variation they bring to the table. While hold ’em is a very deep and intricate game, it can get boring staring at just two cards after a while. Apart from that, I like to think of myself as mostly a live player, and the atmosphere at live mixed games tables is always way more laid-back and enjoyable than at hold ’em tables. It’s too bad they don’t get offered that much in Europe anymore, even pre-pandemic there has been a steady decline of mixed games at the biggest series.
What’s next for you in poker?
I guess my main goal is to continue having fun and to keep improving in all games, bit by bit. Of course, I would love to reach the high stakes, but for now, I am really content beating the mid-stakes tournaments, and I don’t feel the need to commit myself fully to a ”high stakes dream”. I also hope to be able to transition back to live poker as soon as possible, but you’ll always find me coming back to play the big series online.