06Jul
Patrik Antonius

One of the Hottest Players on the Professional Poker Circuit

Patrik Antonius is one of the youngest and most talented poker players in the world. His resemblance to Hollywood star Brad Pitt adds to his charm. In spite of having played in the professional circuits for a comparatively short duration, Patrik has managed to make a place for himself amongst poker greats.

Early Life

Patrik was born on the 13th of December, 1980 in Helsinki, Finland. Both his parents had to work hard to make ends meet. His mother was employed at a day care centre, while his father delivered bread. As a young boy, Patrik was a talented all-round athlete and loved tennis, hockey and soccer. His exceptional talent for tennis had his coaches convinced that he would make it big as a professional tennis player. By the time he was 13, he was focusing on tennis and training hard.

He was forced to give up his training for almost 1 and half years due to an injury to his back. It was during this period that Patrik started taking an interest in poker. After graduating, he served in the army for a period of 6 months, as was mandatory in Finland. Most of this duration was spent in the woods.

Entry into the World of Poker

Unable to practice tennis because of a back problem, Patrik started playing poker with his friends at the tennis club almost every day. He had first tried his hand at the game at the age of 11 for stakes as low as 50 cents, but now at the club he started playing for $50 pots. Having a natural talent for the game, he would win many of the games. At the age of 18, Patrik paid a visit to Finland’s only casino and won the prize of $225 on $25 No Limit Hold’em in spite of having no experience of playing it.

Patrik still dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player and once again started training after finishing his mandatory military service. But another back injury crushed his dreams of a career in tennis. He went on to study business. While studying he tried a number of different jobs like serving at restaurants, tennis coaching, selling products and serving in restaurants, but he remained unsatisfied. Finally, he decided to pursue poker seriously. More frequent visits to the casino, many home-games and participation in high stake games helped him save a significant amount of money. But he ended up spending most of this amount in Italy, where he spent 3 months for his culinary internship.

Back in his home country, Patrik decided to try his hand at online poker, while continuing his studies. It opened a whole new world for him. Soon he was able to increase his bankroll from $200 to $20,000. This convinced him to concentrate exclusively on poker. By 2003, he was playing for almost 12 hours daily, managing to save as much as $80,000. Soon Patrik was being considered one of the top rated online poker players in Europe.

Shift to the US

By this time, Patrik was once again considering playing tennis. He applied and was accepted for a year long sports scholarship by the Virginia University in the US. Although tennis and classes did not leave him with much time for poker, he managed to keep up his bankroll by playing daily for just 1-2 hours. His winnings from short handed Hold’em and heads-up were around $150,000. Pot Limit Omaha games added another $100,000 to it.

He left for Vegas immediately after finishing the academic year. Luck did not favour him on his first visit to the sin city, but now he was more determined than ever to make the most of his talent. He took part in a live tournament for the 1st time in 2005. He was placed 12th in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and 15th in Bay101 Shooting Stars of Poker WPT, winning a total of $74,000. He also managed to be placed in 3 WSOP events. Win at the Ladbrokes Scandinavian Poker Championships added another $70,000 to his bankroll. The following month, he managed a 3rd place finish in EPT Barcelona and won the EPT Baden, held in October.

These wins finally convinced Patrik to shift base to Vegas. He was placed 2nd in the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2005. Till date, he has 13 money finishes in WSOP and 7 money finishes and a final table in WPT. As far as EPT is concerned, he has a title, 2 final tables and 2 money finishes. Patrik stays with his wife Maya and a 5-year-old daughter Mila in Monte Carlo. He also has a home in Las Vegas.

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