No Hockey? Time to Play Poker!

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How did you get started in poker? Did you find the game because of a friend? Did you randomly run across it on television? Did your family play around a kitchen table? For Roundelay(pictured), who calls Newfoundland, Canada home, the cancellation of the 2004-2005 NHL season was enough to steer him to the game we all love. We caught up with him after he final tabled the PokerStars Sunday Second Chance for $25,000 last month.

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PocketFives: Great Second Chance score of $25,000. Tell us how you’re feeling about it.

Roundelay: Thanks! It feels really good to get a score like that. It’s the biggest score of my life and to have it happen in a Sunday Major is even better. I’m not a pro by any means. I have a full-time job, but poker is my favorite hobby.

PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money?

Roundelay: I’ll be in Las Vegas later this year during the World Series of Poker for a friend’s wedding, so I’ll likely take some of it and use it for buy-ins while I’m down there and help pay for the trip. I’ll probably take my girlfriend on a vacation and, of course, I’ll have to keep some online to use for more tournaments. With whatever is left, if there is any, I’ll probably keep it tucked under a mattress or in the bank.

PocketFives: What WSOP events are you looking at?

Roundelay: Looking at the dates we are going, the selection at WSOP is kind of slim for a primarily No Limit Hold’em player. I’ll be looking to play the Millionaire Maker, the $1,500 Shootout, and, at a risk of getting flamed, some events at the Venetian as well.

PocketFives: What do you do full-time and how do you allocate your hours?

Roundelay: I work for an Italian-based company on the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Newfoundland, Canada. The workday is long, so if I play after work, I like to focus on Turbo MTTs and sit and gos. I work on a rotation – 14 days of work followed by seven days off. So, I’m able to play a more regular schedule during the time off.

The rest of my time I spend with my girlfriend and with friends playing hockey, golfing in the summer, and playing a few musical instruments. I find it’s good to balance your activities along with poker, especially for me, as it’s more of a hobby for me these days compared to years past.

PocketFives: That sounds quite busy. How did you get started in poker originally?

Roundelay: I started like a lot of Canadians – when the National Hockey League season was cancelled in 2004-2005 and the sports channel had a lot of WSOP episodes on. That’s when I first heard about Hold’em. Before that, I thought the only game was Five-Card Draw.

I started playing small $5 and $10 home games with friends and it grew from there. My friend Mark Drover, who final tabled the PCA in 2012, introduced me to online poker and I actually finished second and first in the first two online MTTs I ever played for a total of about $6,000.

I have a couple of five-figure scores, including a trip to the PCA in 2012, but this is the biggest result I’ve had. I’m lucky to have a group of friends in my hometown who like to talk about the game and talk strategy. My friends have been great to have.

PocketFives: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Roundelay: I’d like to say that although I don’t post a lot on PocketFives, I am on the site regularly reading a lot in the Poker Discussion section and in OT. The discussion forums are great places to get insight into different ways of approaching the game and get help and advice from other players. PocketFives is a great resource for players of all levels, from the micros up to the nosebleeds.

The Sunday Second Chance runs weekly on PokerStars. If you don’t already have a PokerStars account, sign up through PocketFives’ link and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You’ll also get a 100% up to $600 sign-up bonus. Click here for PocketFives’ PokerStars link.

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Photo courtesy NJ.com