Last month, Brazil’s Kelvin Kerber (pictured), who is known as kelvin_fparon PocketFives, chopped the PokerStars Sunday $100 Rebuy heads-up and earned $50,000, the largest amount given out. “I’m really happy about it,” Kerber told PocketFives. “I had been chasing a result like that for a while. The chop was well-timed because I just bought a house for my mother.” Son of the Year award!
Four-handed, talk of a chop came up, but no deal occurred until there were two players left. As Kerber relayed, “You don’t play heads-up very often for that amount of money, so it was nice to take the variance out of the way.” The field that week numbered 1,017 and the tournament bested its $200,000 guarantee by 50%.
Kerber said his mom had always wanted a new house: “It was the least I could do. I stopped playing live tournaments, decided what would be the highest buy-ins online I’d play, decided the maximum bankroll I’d have to play those games, and everything I had in my bankroll over that I’d save in a standard bank account. I thought it’d take two years to save enough money.”
He bought the house two weeks prior to his Sunday $100 Rebuy chop and paid half in cash and the other half via a mortgage. He finished second in the PokerStars Big $162 in October for $17,000 and is up to $1.3 million in career online tournament winnings.
He is an MTT player by trade and said that in January 2013, he was starting on his own and played small- and mid-stakes events during the Brazilian Series of Poker and Latin American Poker Tour. “I didn’t do very well live,” he admitted, “so in the beginning of this year, I decided not to play any more live poker. I don’t play cash games at all, just MTTs. I call myself a grinder and have a 1,000 games per month goal.” His average buy-in is $45, which he labeled “something close to everything except $500 MTTs and up.”
He started playing poker in 2010 for play money and ultimately beat out seven other people in a $1 buy-in tournament to win $4, which started his real money career. He told us, “Since then, I played lot of micro-stakes sit and gos, started reading about poker, and studied until August 2011, when I got invited to play MTTs backed for a big stable. I had a friend who was playing for them and he said nice things about me and they thought I could learn the game. I started playing up to $11 tournaments and that’s how it all began.”
Kerber is one of 1,760 PocketFivers with PLB scores from Brazil and sits at #11 in the South American nation. He is one shy of his all-time high worldwide in the PocketFives Rankings at #142.
The Sunday $100 Rebuy runs weekly on PokerStars. If you don’t already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of Tournament Poker Edge or CardRunners poker training. Get started here.