Carlos Pal, from Costa Rica, defeated 83 qualifiers in the Platinum Pass Freeroll to be crowned the champion. He will be taking home a Platinum Pass worth $30,000, along with a Run It Up trophy.

Pal is a fan of Jason Somerville and has always wanted to come to Run It Up Reno. He qualified for the Platinum Pass Freeroll when he won a package to Run It Up Reno through a $50 rebuy + add-on satellite on PokerStars. The package included hotel accommodation, in addition to a seat to the Main Event and to the Platinum Pass Freeroll.

”I’ve been part of the community for so many years now. I always follow Jason on Twitch and I’ve been trying to win a satellite to come here. I was actually on a trip to Sweden about a month and a half ago and decided to fire one of the last satellites that were available on PokerStars and ended up winning it.”

Although passionate about poker, Pal is not a professional. He is a software developer and when he does play in his spare time, it is mostly online, so this was a complete different experience for him.

”I mostly play online. I feel comfortable online. I don’t really play live a lot so I had to actually adapt to some of the things that happen when you play live, like counting your stack and all of that.”

He took a shot at the Thursday Thrilla and the Main Event, but couldn’t find any luck. He knew the stakes were high for this tournament as it is a ”Winner takes all” event and it is packed with former Run It Up champions, so he decided to take some time off to relax before playing it.

”Yesterday I was in my room, chilling, relaxing. And today, I felt like I just had to to play one hand at a time. It’s a freeroll really. You’re qualified for it, but in the end, it’s just a freeroll. So you have to relax, and try make the best decision you can. One person wins, second place gets nothing. So I tried not to think too much about it. I just wanted to make the correct decisions and it worked out at the end!”

Going to the Bahamas for the PCA was not part of Pal’s plans. However, he is motivated to go and plan to work on his game as he will be playing against some of the best players in the world.

”It was not part of my plans to go to the Bahamas. It’s not going to be an easy field, that’s for sure. I can only do my best. I can prepare for the event with the people I know from Discord and the community. I hope Jason can give me some pointers. I’m definitely going to work on my game and take all the advice that I can because that’s the best thing I can do. There’s not much more I can do in a couple of months. ”

We finally asked him what was his first impression of Run It Up Reno and here is what he had to say:

”Jason doesn’t lie when he says the environment is super friendly and everyone is just trying to help you. It’s not the casino vibes you usually get, such as people getting emotional, and all of that stuff, which I’m not that into, which is also part of the reason why I don’t play live a lot. This is a whole different scenario. Also, it was my first time at Run It Up Reno, so meeting everyone, actually physically meeting everyone, was amazing cause I’ve known them for so long.”