BetMGM Online NJ Qualifier talks trip to Vegas and wins $25,0000 freeroll

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Maybe Tim Byrne should have put on his glasses sooner. As one of the online qualifiers for the BetMGM Poker Championship at Aria in Las Vegas, the 43-year-old from Mountainside, New Jersey, landed a spot in a $25,000 freeroll held on June 22 at PokerGO Studio.

At the start of the event, Byrne (pictured in the main image) looked down at his hand and just knew he was beaten. All in against another player, things looked tough when his opponent landed a Ace-high flush around. Thinking he was beaten, Byrne turned his hand first.

However, a person on the ground said he had to put his hand down. Turns out he had actually landed a straight flush.

“Thank God because I thought I was dead,” he says. “I’m really more of a clicker. I really won a live event, a $100 redeem the Knights of Columbus tournament or something for $3,000. And that must have been 10 or 12 years ago. I play home tournaments with about six people, but other than that it’s the only tournament I’ve played in a long time.

Seeing that straight flush turned out to be quite a fortuitous turn of events and the online poker player went on to win. He brought home $4,400 and had quite the experience on his trip to Sin City.

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For as long as he can remember, playing cards has been an important part of Byrne’s life. Whether at poker table or another casino game, he just enjoys the action and the thrill of having a few dollars on the line.

“I’ve been playing cards forever,” says Byrne, who worked for years at a credit union and now runs an Internet sales business. “In fifth grade, we would be at the back of the class playing blackjack. I have always played poker and blackjack. I like. It’s been a big part of my life.

In the Garden State, Byrne is a regular at online poker and feels he has played at least 200 major tournaments. Be a BetMGM/Borgata Poker rounder paid big dividends this month. He had accumulated enough reward points for a free $100 in tournament play.

This proved useful in participating in a qualification for the BetMGM Championship. After advancing through the first stage of the tournament, he broke the $500 second step.

However, another $100 promotion was soon returned to him. That did the trick. Byrne says he dominated the first leg and then found success at the $500 level as well.

“I was first pretty much until the final table,” he said. “And then I lost a good chunk of my chips. I was an eight out of 10 or something. Then I just fought back and was able to get into the top five.

Having been a lifelong gambler who had never been to Las Vegas, Byrne was overjoyed and soon told friends of his good fortune.

“I told all my fellow gamers,” he says. “They all found out quickly, and all the kids I grew up playing poker with.”

An approach to online poker in the freeroll

With his five-day Las Vegas tournament package secured, Byrne was treated to another fine addition for the 68 online qualifier. BetMGM hosted the exclusive $25,000 Free Tournament in the PokerGO Studio only for site players.

Site ambassador and four-time World Poker Tour champion Darren Elias also attended and met players. When the action started, Byrne felt confident, despite his first misstep of nearly folding a straight flush.

With a faster pace, the tournament felt a bit more like the online events he was used to playing in New Jersey.

“I knew this tournament would be played more like an online game than the $3,500 championship,” he says. “I came into this tournament thinking that if I made a hand like trips or a set, I was going to push it pretty hard early on.”

Winning the tournament proved to be a big boost for the trip. Coincidentally, he ended up getting to know the player who finished second. They run in the same circles and have some of the same friends.

“The guy was from the next town and I knew some common people which was amazing just figuring that out at the poker table like how close the six degrees of separation or whatever with the guy for who I played one-on-one. the freeroll championship,” says Byrne.

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Take place in the championship

When it came to $1 Million Championship, Byrne says he arrived a little tired but still did well early on. However, a change of table seemed to bring a bit of bad luck. He ran the pocket queens into the ace pocket. He then caught a set, but another player had three aces.

“I could have been a little tighter, a little smarter and took my time a little more,” he says. “So I don’t think I was ready for that honestly. I wanted to do day two, that was my goal, but it didn’t work out.

Although he found no money in this event, the BetMGM experience went well for Byrne. He locked up a nice score of $4,400 and enjoyed Aria’s five-night stay. It was quite an experience for a player who won his entire journey, including the $3,500 buy-in, with free promotional credit – a freeroll from a freeroll.

“I had a great time,” he says. “It was amazing.”

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