Intertops Poker and Juicy Stakes are sending four online champions from various satellite tournaments to compete in the PPC Aruba World Championship. Each champion walked away with a $5000 prize package that consists of a $2,400 buy-in to the main event, a stay on Palm Beach at the Hilton or Hyatt, buy-ins to both a $200 and $300 tournament, and travel expenses paid for. Additionally, the four champions will also be decked out in Intertops gear, and invited to a dinner with the Intertops/Juicy Stakes team.
A returning team member from last year, Joan Sandoval who placed 6th in the $5000 GTD, is seeking a shot at redemption by working towards participating in the main event.
Joan provided some insight into her strategy by stating, 'I know a lot of my competition in Aruba, actually. I know it is going to be a tough crowd with a lot of good professional players' and that, 'My strategy in any bigger tournament is to play one hand at a time and concentrate on just my table and not so much everyone around me. I like to just study the people and limit big pots in the beginning and try to play premium hands...try to get a solid image on the table so I can make my occasional bluff.'
Other members of the team are no strangers to professional poker competition. Tim O'Keefe, a frequent player at Intertops, quit his job recently to pursue his professional poker playing career, with his most recent championship win being his third which will send him to a major tournament. Aside from competing professionally, Tim enjoys playing some local Texas and Oklahoma casinos.
Professional player John Curcuru, and resident of Las Vegas, will be making his second appearance at a major tournament on behalf of Intertops/Juicy Stakes. John officially signed on to represent the time this past spring at the TKPT Tournament in St. Maartens.
In expressing his excitement to participate, John commented 'It's great travelling with a group like this, the camaraderie really helps you cope with the pressure of the tournament. Intertops took very good care of us last time so I'm really looking forward to joining them again!'
The final champion representing the team is definitely not a stranger to live tournaments, as PPC Aruba would be her fourth. Texas poker player, and mother, Ashley Hines works alongside her father building custom homes and visits local casinos in her free time.
'I expect the players to be a smart, tight group, everyone hoping to make money and make a name for themselves. I think it'll take massive determination and discipline. I always say it's not the hands you, play but the folds you make that can make you a great player.'
The Main Event will be held between November 4th and 7th in the Caribbean.