The record breaking 2018 Goliath main event saw a whopping 7,584 players compete for an incredible £758,400 prizepool! But there could only be one winner. After three exciting days of poker-battle, the victor emerged to be Florian Duta – banking £101,450 for his troubles, not bad from a £125 buy-in!
We caught up with Florian to ask him a few questions about his experience at last year and for any advice he could give ahead of Goliath 2019.
You are no stranger to high buy-in events, ranging from £1k to $25k, what is it that attracts you towards playing the Goliath with its £125 buy-in?
I don’t mind playing any stakes as long as there is good value and it’s well organised. It helped a lot that it’s local, as I live in Birmingham.
Given Goliath has a relatively low buy-in of £100+25 for what can be a full week of poker, how does the event compare to some of the biggest tournaments you have played across the world in terms of structure, event management and value for the £25 registration fee?
I was really impressed with how good the structure is for this buy-in, and the venue is great, as well as the overall managing of the event. While I remember the room was packed and getting between tables was a bit difficult in some spots, it is to be expected when you’re hosting an event with over 7,000 players.
You have had some great results Florian and are clearly in great form, how does the Goliath rank in terms of your poker accomplishments?
It is one of my best wins, both as personal financial gain and for the moment in which it came.
You beat over 7,000 players to win the Goliath in 2018 (from just 1 bullet I believe), what advice would you give to players looking to replicate your success this year and beat that many players.
It was actually my 3rd bullet (it’s worth racking up the tickets in online satellites on Grosvenorpoker.com). Hard to give out an easy recipe, as luck will be the governing factor in such a large field. Choose your spots carefully, pounce when you feel weakness, and don’t be afraid to put your tournament life on the line.
Did you see any common mistakes over the course of the tournament?
You’d see mistakes of all sorts in such a wide field, but probably the general tendency is too loose at the start and too tight on the last day.
Can you remember winning a pot or making a play that made you believe you were in with a good shot of winning the whole tournament?
I remember bluff raising river successfully late in day 1, not the whole hand but 2 flushdraws and some straight draws missed and opponent led out after check calling twice. I found it very improbable that he would have just called turn with a big hand, on such a dynamic board, so I jammed and he folded after a lot of thought. That got me up to near chiplead stack, and I felt I have a good chance to do well in this.
How well do you think you ran to beat a field of that size?
I’ve been very lucky in either card distribution, or my opponents not having a big hand when I ran a big bluff. Also hit some flops at key times and opponents sort of gifted me chips with unnecessary bluffs. So, I have been lucky in many ways. There’s no way you win the tournament if you don’t run well, either by holding when ahead or winning big flips, or just not being dealt coolers and being able to chip up nice and slow.