It’s a proud day for the crew here at Organic Rakeback. We’re proud to announce that one of our very own players, Aaron Thomas, has won a seat to the Aussie Millions Poker Tournament in January. Actually he didn’t just win a seat, he won a $16,000 package! Nevermind poker, that sounds like an amazing vacation. From speaking with Aaron, he sounds like he’s definitely planning on turning this score into a vacation of sorts.
We sat down with Aaron to get to know him on a more personal level, and also so we can get our foot in the door to do a follow-up interview with him once he takes down the Aussie Millions and is getting mobbed by press!
Hi Aaron, thanks for the interview with Organic Rakeback. So you’re coming fresh off of a big score, winning a seat to the Aussie Millions. That’s got to feel pretty good? Can you tell us a bit about the package you won?
Yea it feels really good right now! I actually played a single 16k Package Guaranteed Tournament on Lock Poker for a $215 buy-in. The package includes the buy-in as well as travel expenses. The actual buy-in is something like 11,500 USD, at least that was what I got from the email from Lock.
So you won the package playing with Organic Rakeback at Lock Poker. What kind of tournament were you playing?
It was a No Limit Holdem Tournament with a $215 buy-in. It was winner take all so it made it even more fun to play (Editor Note: Winner take all? Talk about confidence in one’s game!) . It ended up with 54 runners so it wasn’t too bad.
Any key hands that came up during the tournament that you’d like to talk about? If you could tell us about the thought process that guided the hand that would be pretty cool.
There were quite a few hands that changed the tourney but one in particular comes to mind. I came into the final table maybe 4th in chips asnd Matt Stout (Lock Elite Pro) was the chip leader. I picked up a few pots and was able to grab second in chips within the first five minutes. During the hand Matt opens UTG with maybe 50BBs, and I 3 bet from the SB with AA. He proceeds to 4 bet which was not surprising as I had been quite active at the table. I 5 bet jammed and he snapped me with AQ. I managed to hold and took a commanding chip lead with maybe six or seven players left.
When you had finally won the seat and the tournament was over, how were you feeling? Have you had big scores in the past (tell us about them if you have)?
I was very excited. I was so happy and told my wife right away that we were going to Australia! $16,000 is actually my biggest score (Editor Note: to date, we expect this to change after the Aussie Millions Tournament). I’ve had a few $6k scores on Stars and an ample amounts of $5k+ scores live. I spent this past year in South Korea and won tournaments on the regular. I actually prefer that Hendon Mob doesn’t track all scores because you can remain under the radar a lot longer.
So will you be attending the Aussie Millions or did you opt for the cash?
I will most likely be traveling to Australia for the Aussie Millions. If I can get vacation from my job, I’ll definitely go. They really gave me the choice as they just deposited the funds into my poker account on lock.
Have you ever been to Australia? Sounds like playing that tournament is a pretty fun time. Have you already started to make plans for your trip? Going to make a vacation of sorts out of it?
I’ve never been to Australia before. I would love to go and I think it may happen. I haven’t made set in stone plans but I’ve definitely been checking hotel and flight prices. I’ve also put in leave from my job, just waiting to see if they give me the greenlight. I’m definitely going to do some sightseeing with my wife and try to make a vacation out it as well as a poker trip.
Are you strictly a tournament guy or do you play cash as well? What is the main game that you play online?
I’m now more of a tournament player but still do well in cash games. If you would have asked me in 2009, I would have said cash since I hadn’t played a tournament before. I don’t really play cash games online too often anymore as I generally prefer tournaments. I love the $11-$55 rebuys on Lock Poker, they’re great.
When did you first start playing poker? Any crazy stories about running up bankrolls or playing in crazy games?
I started playing seriously around 2004. I played cash games only at that time. Yea a crazy story I guess, in 2009 I was in Afghanistan because I’m in the army. I brought $300 along with me. Within 2 weeks I had run it up to $5k. I ended up winning like $45k in total that year so I never had to spend my army paycheck.
How have you been affected by the UIGEA? Were you playing a lot of volume online prior to the United States passing UIGEA?
I’m not a professional poker player so I wasn’t too hurt by Black Friday. I was just really starting to get the feel for online poker tournaments. In January 2011 I had like three $5k scores within a week or something like that. I wasn’t playing a ton of volume but definitely playing often enough to try to learn.
Tell us a bit about yourself away from the tables. What does a day in your life look like? Any particular hobbies or interests that you spend a lot of time doing?
I’m on active duty in the army and have been for 11 years. A normal day for me starts with waking-up at 5:15 am or so. I do physical training from 6:30 – 7:30 am. I do my regular skill job as a logistician from 9:00 – 5:00 am. After than I get to come home to my wife and two kids. I used to come home and play turbos online but now i spend more time with them. I enjoy playing basketball and spending time watching reality TV shows with my wife.
Tell us a little bit about your experience with Organic Rakeback. Why did you end up choosing us as your affiliate?
I actually found out about Organic Rakeback through a friend who plays online. He said you guys were awesome, which I agree with, and I’ve been on ever since. I love Organic Rakeback and I get a great rakeback deal. Who doesn’t love free money!
Any goals for the future that you’d like to tell us about, poker or otherwise?
My goals for the future poker-wise would be to win a WSOP bracelet obviously, as well as to hit a six figure score. I’m going to Vegas this summer so who knows, maybe it’ll happen this summer. Thanks for having me!