“At first, I had a hard time controlling my emotions, being disciplined. During the live tournaments, you only play one table, so you have to be more aware about your public image”

He made his dream of living off his passion true

Hello Vlad Darie and congratulations for winning the award for the Romanian Poker Player of the Year 2013 granted by our publication, at the sixth edition of Casino Life & Business Magazine Awards Gala.
Thank you very much to both your magazine and also to my voters.

What does this trophy stand for? Will this motivate you for the future?
It is a true honor for me to have won this award and, yes, it does motivates me a great deal.

Were you thinking that you would win the Romanian Poker Player of the Year 2013 Award?
Even though the year of 2013 was my best, the answer is no. I did not expect to be the winner, it was a really pleasant surprise.

And how did this year of 2014 kick off for you?
So far, I have played too little. For this year, I hope to have at least the results of the last year.

In 2013, you had wonderful results while playing online at great tournaments – only to mention two final tables at PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker. Can you tell us how you felt right after those two tables?
I was a little disappointed after the first final. I lost the trophy after I had had a deal. That left me with a sour taste. I would have been too much for me to place on the first position.

When you started playing poker, did you imagine these results?
Nu, I was not hoping at all. I enjoyed the game very much and I was thinking to make enough money to live off it. Now, for me it is a dream come true, I can actually earn money from something I really love doing.

How long did you take to turn your dream into reality?
A little. In 2-3 days after I registered, I was lucky enough to win a tournament. Ever since, with some small fluctuations, I have been doing just great. I have always hoped to play poker as a job.

And how did you switch from online to the live tournaments?
At first, I had a hard time controlling my emotions, being disciplined. During the live tournaments, you only play one table, so you have to be more aware about your public image. You cannot be like ‚the online you’ where you play 10-12 tables and operate one soft to tell you something about your opponents. It is more demanding during the live events, even though there is only one table. Even though you are not the one playing, you still have to pay attention to how people react, to follow all the details.

How did it feel when you won Pokerfest Mamaia leg?
I just could not believe that I was number one. It was something too incredible for me, that victory. I was thrilled as that was my first live tournament that I finished on the first position.

After that win at PokerFest Mamaia, what are the other live tournaments you were in?
Following that event, I have not gone to many like that. I was in Belgium, in the Czech Republic…at regular tournaments. I have not participated either in other PokerFest legs.

How did you decide to go to Eureka Bulgaria?
Several acquaintances got together and I had a friend who advised me to go so I went. Unfortunately, I came on the second place at the side event, a very great upset for me. I entered into heads-up with a great advantage but I managed somehow to lose. Thank God this mistake was not that expensive and, besides, I learnt something from it.

But, instead, you won at Casino Baden, a side event during the European Poker Tour.
This is where I liked the game most. Everyone there was more peaceful – the people living in that country, the players. And I was able to attack, to exploit, to play more aggressively.

Of all the good results that you had, both live and online, which seems more important to you?
They are all as important as any, both the results at PokerFest Mamaia and the ones at Spring Championship of Online Poker.

What is your favorite, live or online?
Live is what I like more, only that I cannot play for 20 hours non-stop as you do online..with little breaks only…the schedule is off your hands. For live, it is enough to have a week of playing, a maximum 10 days.

Do you have a poker player, either Romanian of foreign, whom you look up to?
In Romania, there are many good players who have good results at the tournaments. I like how Liviu Ignat plays his game. As for abroad, there are too many whom I hold in high regard. I cannot name only one.

What is your take on the opening of the poker clubs?
It helps a lot with making the poker game more popular here, in our country.

At what casinos did you play?
I only go into casinos to play tournaments and, sometimes, on cash.

What is your schedule besides poker?
I am trying to wake up at 12, to exercise some, sport, gym center. This helps tremendously and I feel better when sitting in front of the computer, at the tables.

How many simultaneous tables can you play?
I have tried and still doing it, not to open too many tables and instead pay more attention to the dynamics among the players. From a number of 20, or even 24-25 tables, I have lowered to only 10-12.

Your family, do they support you in what you are doing?
At first, they totally disagreed. Right now, they are even proud of my ‚job’ and I have their full support.

Can you please send a message to the readers of our publication, Casino Life & Business Magazine?
More discipline, hard work, bankroll management. They should invest a small amount when they play, so they will not be affected too hard when lose it.

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