Global Poker is becoming a force in the United States market thanks to its unique system of awarding sweepstakes prizes rather than real money. Nathan Blair hails from Indiana and is one of the thousands of players who make up the site’s ecosystem. Blair won the Global Poker Eagle Cup tournaments series leaderboard title in October and locked himself up a seat in a live Main Event.
When in Doubt, Go Where the Money Is
Blair had a few options at his disposal as to where he could play and decided on the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event in Cherokee, NC. The tournaments available to Blair involved one at the Seminole Hard Rock but Blair decided to head to Cherokee due to his work schedule as a part of an Event Management group.
The experience worked out well for Blair, who turned a freeroll seat into the $1,675 event into a cash of $5,627. Blair placed 34th out of 957 entrants.
Cherokee caught the eye of Blair thanks to the tradition of large prize pools assembled ‘on the mountain.’ Blair finished outside of the major money in the event but is satisfied with the result. The taste he’s left with makes him hungry to play another event with a similar field size soon.
“It was the biggest buy-in I’ve ever played,” Blair said. “I’ve played in big fields before and just to cash was my main goal. Once we got down to 50, I started to think about money. I was trying to focus on just poker, though. Being in a top-three spot would have been amazing.”
Blair added that playing the tournament on a freeroll helped him make better decisions. The financial risk of being wrong was not present.
Finding Success on Global Poker
The 26-year-old Blair discovered Global Poker in August of 2017 and immediately fell in love with the user-friendly nature of the site.
Most of Blair’s poker earnings up to the Cherokee event involved local tournaments near his home and a few Daily Deepstacks events at the Rio over the summer. The experience gained by Blair on Global Poker gave him an edge in Cherokee as he felt familiar with the playing style of his opponents.
“I’ve noticed on Global Poker that because some of the buy-ins are so low, you recognize mistakes. You apply that range of hands based on how to perceive people at the table. There are a lot of spots that apply,” Blair said.
Online poker was not a part of Blair’s life before Black Friday and he enjoys the relatively new experience of being able to put in volume without leaving his house.
Blair plays three or four times a week for up to an hour, most of the time. The cognitive energy required to play a full tournament series can cause burnout and Blair admits to having those symptoms affect him.The gameplay nature of tournaments is what is attractive to Blair and he does not anticipate changing his preference anytime soon.
“I prefer tournaments. There’s more competition and the dynamics are always changing. Picking up situations is a lot more fun.”
The next Global Poker Championships event, the 2018 Grizzly Games, gets underway Sunday, January 15 with a $5,000 freeroll. The schedule then turns to $weeps Cash events with $1.5 million guaranteed from January 16 – February 21.