Please choose the language specific to you:
  • HOME
  • BLOG
  • Canada's first Vegas Dream Winner!
  • HOME
  • BLOG
  • Canada's first Vegas Dream Winner!

Canada's first Vegas Dream Winner!

Posted By KKPoker | 2024-06-05

CANADA VEGAS DREAM WINNER INTERVIEW

KKPoker is delighted to introduce our first 2024 Vegas Dream winner from Canada, Justin Anderson. 

For Justin, KKPoker has literally made his dream of playing poker in Las Vegas come true after several years of attempts and planning that never came to fruition. 

Despite being a self-confessed outdoors adventurer, online poker is still a part of his life balance, and this summer, he is set to tick off a massive life goal by playing the world's biggest live poker tournament.

KKPoker spoke to Justin to learn more about his poker background, winning moment, poker study, and ambitions for an epic summer in Las Vegas!  

"IT IS THE DREAM TO PLAY IN VEGAS"

Poker journeys begin in various ways, and for Justin, one sport during his high school years brought him into another. 

"We used to play cash games when traveling to wrestling tournaments, and once I was old enough to play in the casino, I did. Grinding away, playing cash and some tournaments. Nothing I would call a big win to brag about yet, but no big losses either." said Justin. 

Justin admits that during his early years of learning poker, there were not as many resources as there are today. But when poker boomed and became more regular viewing on Canadian television, it made him look into a study plan more. 

"When I started, there were not many resources, or the Internet, for that matter! Haha. I just played. 

"Once poker started to get played more on TV, I watched as much as I could. The game is so different with GTO, NASH Charts, ranges, and many more factors."

Since then, Justin has continued his poker endeavors and always had Vegas on his mind. 

"It is the dream to play Vegas, literally. I had tried previously with no luck and decided from the remaining tournaments that the Friday night game was the one.

"I had been really focusing on a new strategy and had some luck in cashing in MTTs while noting the mistakes I had made along the way. I was feeling really confident and ready, and with some good play and a little luck, I managed to win it!

"I have been reviewing as many of my hands as I can. Especially losing hands, and the hands I may have lost value from by being too aggressive. I still think there is a benefit in playing it a little 'old school' to keep other players on their toes.

"I will be playing online and cash tournaments working up to the WSOP, as well as having chats with the other Canadians headed on the Vegas Dream trip and some of the local players that I frequently play to see if there are some holes in the game that I can work on over the next few months."

“I WON! I AM GOING TO VEGAS!”

Playing heads-up poker can be one of the toughest parts of poker. Unless you are a highly skilled tournament player or a regular HU SNG player, the chances are that heads-up is an unfamiliar prospect. Justin knew he wanted to be aggressive, but how did you cope when his opponent came calling?  

"When I was heads-up, I was feeling good. Making some great plays, and luckily I didn't lose many chips when I did get caught out. However, I made a major mistake with Blinds at 6K/12K

"Probably suffering from winner’s tilt, I played J4s and hit a 4 on the flop, so I placed a small continuation bet. Unfortunately, the other player hit top pair and a heart that could give him a backdoor flush draw. The next card was the 10h, and I led out again, almost blind to the fact that three hearts were on the board

"At the time, I was the chip leader and stayed aggressive, so I pushed all in and was called instantly. Even without the flush, I was in trouble. I needed a J or a 4 on the river to win, but no luck. I was out-chipped 10 to 1. I had 5BB and my opponent had 50. I thought I was done. I was mad at my play and ready to quit. 

"The next hand, I had Pocket Tens and doubled up, and two hands later, I doubled up again. My aggression was paying off, so I kept pushing my opponent. When I was dealt A8s about 15 minutes later, I was chip leader again and pushed all in preflop. My opponent called with A3o, and ultimately it ended with an 8 on the river for the win! 

"Without giving away too much of my strategy, I would have to say my heads-up play will depend on my opponent. In this scenario, I was having success being aggressive, so that’s how I played it.

"My wife was watching me pace around, which I don’t usually do, but for some reason, I had been once I got heads-up. I was in a different room when the final hand was played, and while it still may be a little cloudy, I am told I ran out saying, 'I won! I am going to Vegas!'”

"AWESOME IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!"

Justin's win not only banked him the amazing $13,500 VEGAS DREAM package but also a spot on the summer's KK ELITE Team, where he will have the opportunity to meet fellow winners.

"It is still hard to believe, but I am excited about the opportunity and being part of the KK ELITE team. 

"Awesome is an understatement! It will allow me to have that extra support. I have not played in the WSOP in Vegas before. Just recently, I played the WSOP in Calgary, AB, and had a disappointing result, but I have run the hands I could remember in my head again and know that I had made some mistakes that are easily fixable.

"Alberta has a good group of poker players, so playing a few more tournaments before Vegas will be helpful."

Justin is a self-confessed outdoorsman. When he is not working or playing poker, he enjoys nature activities such as camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, and assisting in the coaching of his son's soccer team. 

With potentially long days in the casino awaiting Justin, how will he prepare for this exciting live poker opportunity?

"Preparation will be important. Such an event is not easy to play.

"While I have my own preparation ideas, which will include a little tweak in my sleep and meal schedules, I will also record myself playing to see if I have any tells I could correct. Like everything else, reaching out to people who have played the big poker tournaments before will also help my preparation."

And does Justin think he can go all the way to victory?...

"I think anyone would be crazy to say that winning it all is not the main goal. 

"While that bar is high, I really want to just play well overall. I cannot pick the cards other players get, but if I play the way I know I can, there is no reason for me not to do well enough to be in the money. 

"If I keep the mistakes to a minimum but then finish poorly, it will be disappointing, but I still will be happy with that.

"One off-the-cuff goal would be playing and winning a heads-up hand against Phil Hellmuth. It would be fun to be the cause, or at least see, one of his blow-ups in person ha."

CANADIAN POKER IS AGAIN GROWING

KKPoker was recently delighted to announce a new Canadian ambassador, with even more exciting names to be added soon! 

So how does Justin see the Canadian poker scene growing, and who inspired him as a beginner in poker? 

"I think Canadian poker is again growing. Lots of new players but also lots of good players that have been around for a long time. There are always the big names that I don’t see at the events and tournaments I play in now, but I still think poker in Canada and Alberta, in particular, is tough and a great place to challenge yourself.

"As inspiration, I am sure most players in Canada would say “Kid Poker,” Daniel Negreanu, but I really like the way that Phil Ivey approaches the game and would consider him my favorite player.

"His approach to the game is a combination of the new and old schools. He relies on both GTO and his gut to make some of the best calls and folds I have seen. Although I will never be as good as Phil Ivey, I try to mix up my game like his."

KKLIVE PEI (Prince Edward Island, Canada) in 2024

"WE ALL HAVE TO PLAY WITHIN OUR MEANS"

As Justin prepares for a summer in Las Vegas, what final advice can he give new poker players?

"I think that knowing all the math and being able to figure that out is great, but I also feel that there is one thing that I try and do and new players need to do as well.

"Poker is a crazy game and sometimes following your gut may not get you the pot but will always give you some information on your opponent. Not only that, but your opponent may think you've made a loose or bad call, and that can lead to them calling you later in the tournament, resulting in even more value.

"But first and foremost, we all have to play within our means. 

"The KKPoker app allows players with a smaller bankroll to play still and earn their way to much larger events and prizes, which I really like. Take your time to really dig into the app. Check out all the games, events, missions, and contests, and play the best ones for you.

"Finally, if you are in Northern Alberta, don’t forget to reach out to me and join the Lakeland Poker Club, of course!"

The products and services that KKPoker offers (via its websites, tablet and mobile applications) are together referred to as the "Services".

Access to Services may not be legal for residents of, or persons located in, certain countries. Services provided hereunder do not constitute an offer, solicitation or invitation by KKPoker for the use of, or subscription to, betting, gaming or other services in any jurisdiction in which such activities are prohibited by law. In particular, residents of or persons located in the United States shall not use any of the Services.

KKPoker is a brand and registered business name, owned by Aceking IOM Limited, 49 Victoria Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2LD.

Regulated & Licensed by Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission pursuant to the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 since 24th July, 2019 (Last Renewal: 24th July, 2019). Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to create accounts and/or participate in gambling. All online gambling debts are enforceable in law in the Isle of Man.