When you get down to the final two players in a big online poker tournament, having the screen name “GODofHU” is sure to send shivers down the spine of your opponent, particularly when you have the results to back up such a bold screen name.
Unless, perhaps, your opponent is also a high stakes regular who regularly streams his sessions in front of thousands of viewers.
You see, when the UK’s Borys “GODofHU” Turitsa found himself heads up in WCOOP-30-H: $2,100 8-Max, he also found himself sat opposite none other than PokerStars Ambassador Lex Veldhuis, playing in front of an audience larger than that of a sold-out Wembley Arena.
“Winning a WCOOP feels satisfying but doing it on Lex’s stream felt even better and was lots of fun too,” Turitsa told PokerStars Blog once WCOOP was over.
Having outlasted the 327-entry field, Turitsa banked $121,542 and took down his first WCOOP title. Lex, meanwhile, would have to settle for $91,694.
Check out our full conversation with Turitsa below.
PokerStars Blog: Hi Borys, congratulations on winning your first WCOOP title. Did you know you were playing on a popular Twitch stream when it was happening?
Borys “GODofHU” Turitsa: Thanks. I have seen Lex’s streams in the past and I’d been watching him during the WCOOP series quite often, so I was well aware of how he tends to play and strategies that he was using. I was very happy that Lex played well and we managed to play until the end together.
What were your feelings on the final table? Did you like your seat? Was there anyone you tried to play pots with or avoid?
When I got to the final table, I was frustrated a bit as I lost a big chunk of chips in an all-in situation when I was way ahead, but after a few hands at the final table I got it all back.
I liked my position at the table and the chip leaders were not putting enough ICM pressure on us so the only challenge I had was to become the chip leader after which I could utlise my edge. The more chips I get and the shorter handed the game gets the bigger the advantage for me since I have plenty of experience at playing 3-4 handed. I have played many hands in cash games vs “P0KERPR02.0” [who finished in third] so I wanted Lex to stay in the game as long as possible and the same for “P0KERPR02.0” since I understand their strategies much better than others.
What does a title like this mean to you at this stage of your career?
This is the first time I have decided to play an MTT series with a primary focus on it, and so winning a title in the fashion I did whilst being on Lex’s stream couldn’t be better. If I had to write the script, I would not have changed anything. Also, It has given me more confidence and motivation to work in an MTT direction further.
What does your regular poker grind look like at the moment? Is it a mix of tournaments and cash or are you focusing on one particular area?
My casual session is usually a mix of cash games, four tables of Zoom $500 and regular tables of high stakes PLO/6+/NLH. During WCOOP it was a mix of mostly MTT’s and a few high stakes cash game tables.
Could you tell me a bit about how you discovered poker and your rise up the ranks? At what point did you go pro, and what was that transition like?
I discovered poker through my dad. I got very interested in the game by watching him playing online. Since early childhood I always enjoyed playing different games and winning at them, and poker was just the one game which created an opportunity to make a living out of it.
I still enjoy playing the game a lot and winning at it as much as I did at the early beginning. I went pro when I was studying economics at university as I realised that poker had far greater opportunities for me. I enjoyed it a lot more than studies at university so I made a decision to drop off my studies and pursue a career in poker.
You were playing at EPT Barcelona this year and secured your first ever live cash. Has there been a reason you’ve avoided live poker? What made you play this time?
When it comes to my decisions what to play, I usually try to look for higher EV opportunities with the lowest risk at the same time. Live games have very good EV but at the same time, they require a much greater time frame to realise it. In my opinion, it is good to mix both. I have been to Barcelona before and really enjoyed it so this year I decided to mix some fun with work. If it was some other location, I would not have come.
It also looked like you focused on playing the 6+ short deck tournaments. What is it about the game you like, and do you have much experience?
You don’t get to play 6+ MTTs online as much and given how much work I have put into 6+ I feel like my edge is significant there to make a much higher +EV than NLHE live MTTs. Overall, I have played a lot of 6+ on PokerStars and I enjoy it more since it is action-heavy, where you get to play hands and make strong combinations more often. NLHE feels very dull and boring after 6+ but I still enjoy it.
Now you’ve won a WCOOP and ventured into live poker, are there any goals you’ve set yourself? Winning more online titles perhaps? Or maybe a big live event?
I will be travelling more often to play live poker. Also, I will be focusing on MTTs during series like SCOOP or WCOOP so I will be definitely winning more titles in the future. I appreciate the freedom poker gives and will enjoy it to the fullest.
More WCOOP winner interviews:
• Rens “Rens02” Feenstra: 11,254 entries and the Dutch pro beats his buddy heads-up
• Dan “woodbine ave” Scott: Second victory was “a long time coming!”
• Maxim “Pylusha” Pylev: From 15 big blinds to NL08 champion
• “Mr. No way”: It’s not easy beating “Colisea” heads up. Or is it?
• Germany’s “Gaul4200”: “$44K is a lot of money for a 20-year-old student in Germany”
• Joris “BillLewinsky” Ruijs: Captures second career WCOOP title in $530 NLH PKO
• “myIT4”: “The WCOOP… it’s the World Cup, and I was representing Russia!”
• Filipe “Zagazaur” Oliveira: One week, three WCOOP titles!
• Espen “_sennj_” Sandvik: “It’s my first win in an official tournament”
• Rodrigo “guinHuuh” Freire: Brazilian’s roller coaster ride turns $11 into $13K
• Patrick “prepstyle71” Serda: No more pizzas for the three-time winner
• Jeffrey “Jefffrr8” Reardon: He wanted a five-figure score. He got one.
• Maxime “Daghemuneguu” Chilaud: Malta-based Frenchman wins first WCOOP of the series
• Norway’s “19_Kumite_79”: First two-day event, biggest field, biggest cash
• Viktor “TsiTool” Kovács: Puts Hungary on the WCOOP map
• Italo “sep_itl1914” Carandinas: Brazilian chooses his own adventure
• Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara: Woken up by a kick from his 3-year-old, plays Razz and wins!
• “snovalshik1”: first-timer, who turned $5.50 into $3,408
• Rinat “Zapahzamazki” Lyapin: Won PLO while streaming live
• Alex “dynoalot” Difelice: Second win, but “I feel I have a ways to go.”
• Pedro “PaDiLhA SP” Padilha: Akkari’s acolyte, who sets the record straight
• Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb: Seventh title, surely not the last
WCOOP is over, but the online action continues. Click here to open a PokerStars account.