Sponsored freerolls are a great way for aspiring poker professionals to advance to the biggest tournaments in the world. Just ask Ken Kafieh, a 36 year old programmer from Toronto, Canada, who won an $18,500 seat to the World Poker Tour (WPT) Bellagio Five Diamond main event through an online freeroll hosted by leading online poker guide, PokerListings.com (pokerlistings.com), and online poker room, PokerRoom.com (pokerroom.com).
“I knew I had a good shot since there were only 56 entrants. I had been winning a lot of Sit N’Gos and more recently made a couple of final tables in some bigger tournaments (1,000+ participants), so I had high hopes,” said Mr. Kafieh.
The determining moment of the tournament came when play was three-handed. Ken sat with pocket aces and knocked out his biggest rival, who held pocket tens. From then on, it was smooth sailing for the Torontonian.
Ken only began playing poker about ten months ago but already plays for at least three hours a day. He intends to make poker his living, a goal he hopes to further when he arrives in Las Vegas on December 12 to compete against the world’s best in the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond main event, which will run until December 16.
The $18,500 WPT Bellagio Five Diamond prize package awarded to Ken by PokerListings.com and PokerRoom.com includes the $15,300 main event buy-in and $3,200 for travel and accommodation.
David Williams, senior editor of PokerListings.com, wants to encourage more people to take the same chance Ken Kafieh did: “We offer lots of exclusive deals like this one to our readers. Mr. Kafieh knocked out no more than 55 rivals to win an $18,500 prize package. I like those odds!”
Ken, in turn, has only good things to say about the WPT freeroll sponsors, PokerListings.com and PokerRoom.
“It (PokerListings.com) is such a great resource. It was pivotal in helping me choose which poker sites to join. They offer a ton of well-categorized articles, dense with useful info.”
“No lie. PokerRoom is without a doubt the best site out there - and I have played at a lot of sites. There are always lots of games going on, and I can always find a tournament or a cash game to my liking.”
By now, Ken has established himself as a winning online poker player. However, live games are a different story. Ken is well aware that he will be facing some of the toughest and most skilled poker players on the planet come April.
“I expect the players there will outclass anyone else I have faced up until now, by far. They won't just be throwing their chips at me. The truth is, I am intimidated, and I am aware that will hurt me. But I promise to stick to my game, and keep thinking about the other players. I think I have a chance to make it into the money. That would be great. Last night I had a dream I was at the final table and Vince and Mike were talking about me on TV. Maybe it was a premonition!”