Heads-Up with New Jersey Online Poker Player Dominick LoPresti (kickdj02)


Dominick LoPresti (kickdj02on PocketFives, pictured) hailing from Sparta, New Jersey, is one of the more consistent online poker players in the Garden State. With over $24,000 in tracked online cashes, some of his results include a win in the WSOP.com $10,000 Guarantee for $2,800, two wins in the WSOP.com $5,000 Guarantee for a combined $2,719, and a win in the 888 Big Sunday $10,000 Guarantee for $3,500.

Visit PocketFives’ New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players.

PocketFives: What got you started playing online poker and how long have you been playing?

Dominick LoPresti: I started playing my sophomore year in high school when the poker boom started. A couple of my buddies and I would play with these atrocious plastic chips at lunch and then we started playing home games. One of my friends found a site called PokerChamps that had a few freerolls every night and since none of us had a credit card, at the time that was our only shot at starting a roll. Like 3,500 people would enter these things and top 20 would get paid, with a max of $5 to first place.

After a couple of tries, I took it down and turned the $5 into $20. I sent one of my friends half and we both ran our rolls up pretty good before PokerChamps stopped allowing US players to play. My stint with PokerChamps definitely marked the start of my interest in poker and explaining to my anti-poker parents at the time that I was about to receive a check for $1,200 with no initial monetary investment was the icing on the cake. It’s hard to believe that was nine years ago, but I’ve loved playing online poker ever since.

PocketFives: What are your favorite New Jersey online poker sites to play and why?

Dominick LoPresti: Since New Jersey legalized internet poker again, I’ve been playing primarily on 888 and WSOP. I really enjoy what both sites have to offer tournament-wise: the larger field rebuys on WSOP and the smaller guaranteed pool freezeouts on 888.

I’m a big believer in mixing up the games you play. Obviously, the larger field rebuy games come with higher payouts, but also higher variance. I feel like playing on both sites allows me to level out the variance of the game a bit and helps me manage my roll more effectively. One of the biggest mistakes new players make when they come to the game is mismanaging their bankroll. Everyone wants to play the bigger buy-in games, but if you don’t have the roll to support it, you’re really shooting yourself in the foot.

PocketFives: To what do you attribute your current online success?

Dominick LoPresti: Since I started playing nine years ago, there have been a lot of different pieces that have helped me succeed in the game. I’ve read loads of books on Hold’em tournament strategy, I’ve learned how to calculate pot odds and percentages, I’ve watched internet pros like Steve gboro780 Gross and Jon apestyles Van Fleet, but right now the single most important factor I have helping me is talking poker with some of my buddies.

We bounce ideas off each other about previous hands and spots. Sometimes, getting out of my own head and viewing a different perspective has allowed me to see more of the game. Tony “Tonyflow27” Velocci, Dale “LightMyFire” Holzer, Steve “Horrible24” Jones, and Zack “stickyking” Holzer deserve a shout out because they’re the guys I go to when I need a different perspective and have definitely helped me in my success and understanding of the game.

PocketFives: Since the launch of regulated online poker in New Jersey, what has been your most memorable cash or win?

Dominick LoPresti: I’ve been very fortunate since the launch in being able to take down a decent number of tourneys, all of them memorable. But if I had to pick one as the most memorable, I’d probably say my win in the Big Sunday on 888. Besides being the largest cash of my online career, it was memorable because I had been knocking on the door of that tournament for weeks. At one point, I had final tabled it four weeks in a row, but my best finish was second and it just seemed like I couldn’t hold in big spots or win that vital flip to move forward. Even though it ended around 3:30 in the morning, I was so pumped up I couldn’t sleep until 7.

PocketFives: How do you prepare yourself before a tournament?

Dominick LoPresti: I don’t really have a routine before I start up a poker session, but first and foremost I need to be able to put 100% of my focus on the tables I have open. To do that effectively, I need to get a good night’s sleep and have something to eat before I start. Beyond that, minimizing any distractions is incredibly important because I tend to distract easily. When I’m in a game, taking notes on players’ patterns and leaks has helped a lot, especially in the later stages of the game.

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