In the competitive world that is New Jersey online poker, most of the names and faces at the top of the PocketFives rankings are players who make their primary living from playing poker. In the case of Daniel ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo, the full-time architect has been making his mark on the New Jersey scene from the time online poker became regulated in the state and continues to dominate despite playing a limited schedule.
With only a few months left in 2016, Lupo sits currently third in the PocketFives New Jersey rankings.
Lupo credits his full-time job for giving him a sense a balance along with not having a sense of financial security unrelated to poker.
“For me, having a full-time job that can support my family allows me to enjoy poker a lot more and not feel overwhelmed or overburdened by the game and feeling the need to profit every session,” said Lupo.
Additionally, Lupo says that his brain being wired for the abstract nature of the architecture world to helping him when he plays. “I guess my creative design way of thinking allows me to think outside of the box at times in poker, which can be a good and a bad thing [laughs]. I have been called everything from a nit to a maniac and I think that’s great,” said Lupo.
Even with all of his success, Lupo has been through a lot over the last 12 months. Lupo became a father to twins in late 2015 and was expecting another child before tragedy struck and the pregnancy was lost this summer. Lupo says the ups and downs of the past year have given him a new outlook on poker and life in general.
“Within the past 12 months I’ve had more emotional highs and lows than I ever thought possible. I learned [a lot] this past year about myself and about what’s truly important in life. Poker isn’t life; there are far more important things out there. But while I’m playing poker, and it’s taking time away from me with my family I’m going to give it 100% focus and do my best to provide for my family.”
With his busy schedule of working as an architect and helping his wife Laura take care of their kids, Lupo still manages to make the most out of the time he is able to play which is usually only a few nights a week.
“I’m only playing full MTT sessions twice a week, Sundays and Tuesdays. My weeknight sessions normally start after I help put the kids to bed, while Sundays I spend my 5-minute breaks cramming as much baby time in as I can. I’m very fortunate to have a wife who is understanding with poker and all that it can entail at times,” said Lupo.
In his online career, Lupo has amassed over $630,000 in total tournament cashes, but has no plans to put a stop to his day job anytime soon. In fact, Lupo hopes to further his career in the architecture world and use that advancement to increase his poker ventures. Lupo says that in a “perfect world” he will eventually open his own firm and possibly move into property development. As part of the reward for accomplishing that goal, Lupo would have more freedom to travel and play events with family vacations scheduled around the venues.
For now, Lupo is doing what he can to make a mark in the major online series going on this month across New Jersey. In a single week span last month, Lupo took down a PartyPoker GSSS event and a PokerStars NJCOOP event for over $20,000 combined.
In a few days, Lupo will be making a return trip to the live felt for the first time in what he says is a “while” to play the PokerStars Festival New Jersey Main Event.
He may not have any current long-term goals for poker, but for the time being Lupo wants to “keep playing, having fun and making money to help my family.”