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Poker Player Thomas Firlinger 2nd in GGMasters for $46K

Kyle McCague

Community spotlight is an opportunity to showcase poker players within the Pokercode community regularly. Giving those on the outside a better understanding of how varied and exciting our poker community is, we'll use this as a chance to highlight accomplishments from a Poker learning perspective through poker achievements and personal ones.

We as a community are striving to be better poker players, but we're also constantly pushing one another to improve as people. This week we're bringing you a conversation our Blog Manager Kyle had with community member Thomas 'TheFirling87' Firlinger off the back of a career-high score in the GG Poker GG Masters.

Who is Thomas'  TheFirling87' Firlinger?

Thomas Firlinger, aka TheFirling87, is a poker player currently residing in the South West of Austria who has been a member of the Pokercode community since spring 2020!

His first introduction to the game was playing some small home games with friends for 5€ per person way back in 2006, and it's safe to say after his latest big score, his poker strategy has progressed since.

He is currently streaming 2/3 days a week on his twitch stream, with most of his volume on Partypoker, GGPoker and Win2Day. Thomas has ambitions to take his poker hobby to the next level, and after landing second place in the GGMasters for over $46k, it's safe to say he's well on his way to building a bankroll that will make his poker dreams a reality.

caught up with Thomas this week to ask him a few questions about his journey so far, his aspirations as well as to get his thoughts and feelings after such a monumental win.

Pokercode by GG Poker GG Masters Second Place Score
Thomas ‘TheFirling87’ Firlinger GG Masters 2nd place score on Pokercode by GG Poker

Interview with Thomas 'TheFirling87' Firlinger:

Kyle McCague: First off, Congratulations on the deep run, man! It must feel great to make such a deep run on such a massive event. How does this score rank in terms of your poker career?

Thomas'  TheFirling87' Firlinger: Hey mate, thanks for the congratulations! I appreciate this chance to answer some questions, so thank you for reaching out! Yes, it feels fantastic, but not only because it was a huge cash.

Poker is so much more than results - finding the right decisions, reading and evaluating your opponent, trying to play your A-Game and of course, fun. Honestly, I can't believe it even now; it is insane, especially what happened in the aftermath. I received messages from so many people within the poker scene in Austria, Germany and as far away as Canada! My phone glowed for a day after my success!

I had two cashes of $2,6k & $6k in the two weeks before my deep run in the GGMasters; both of them were my biggest cashes to date. To then build on this in a Sunday Major on GGPoker was insane; nearly 4000 players busted before me, and I'd started the day with a bankroll of $1k. I wanted to play a more significant buy-in on Sunday, so I sold most of my buy-in on the GG poker client, but even with action sold, it was still a considerable bankroll boost, and I'm pleased about it.

Kyle McCague: That's incredible, mate; I know the feeling of having a nice run and poker at times feels so form-based, and when you're running well, it feels great! As you mentioned, you had a few backers via the GG client. Is there anyone from the Pokercode community who got a piece you'd like to shout out?

Thomas'  TheFirling87' Firlinger: Some lucky guys and girls made the right decision that afternoon and bought some pieces of this delicious cake! Tom Fuchs as Mr DAX was one that comes to mind. Outside of the community, my friend Bremer0712 had a bit and finally, with a big piece of the staking Jessica Teusl. There may have been a couple more of the community with smaller pieces, but I can't recall everyone who got involved.

Kyle McCague: It must have felt great knowing you made investors money; I'd like to think that will give you more opportunities to get backers in future events.

I also noticed you're streaming regularly on twitch, and your bio makes it sound like you'd like to start playing full time. If this is something you'd like to do, how does this score help move you towards that reality?

Thomas'  TheFirling87' Firlinger: Due to my 50h/week full-time job, it is pretty hard to find enough time for twitch to stream more often. Sometimes I'm just too tired to talk all evening long, so I only play poker or study independently. I'm thinking of making a change in my life, though, shifting from full-time to part-time in my job so I can spend more time studying and playing poker. Poker is my absolute passion in life; only my little family is more important. So if I get a chance to go full-time playing poker & streaming, I'll go for it.

Kyle McCague: Any key hands you can remember from the tournament that you think was key in your success?

Thomas'  TheFirling87' Firlinger: Frankly, I haven't had time until now to review my hands from that tournament; I did have one crazy hand with eight left where I folded out a better hand against an outstanding player who had position on me.

It felt wrong how I played here, and after I talked about that hand with Jessica Teusl, I KNEW that I played this hand bad. In the end, it worked out, but next time I would play it a lot differently, especially in those challenging ICM scenarios where I had some mistakes in my play. Even though I have not had time yet to review, I know it is essential to do that and poker study and review is key to ongoing success. Studying your hand histories is an excellent way to find mistakes in your play and work on them to avoid them in the future.

Kyle McCague: I saw you ended up heads up with Poker Pro, Pokercode community and Grindhouse alumni Roland Rokita; how was it? Is Roland someone you've interacted with much within the community previously?

Thomas'  TheFirling87' Firlinger: Yes, what an incredible moment in my poker career. I missed a chance to change my seat, and Roland Rokita took the spot on my direct left. The advantage went to him in the poker position, and it was my worst nightmare! I managed to force him to fold the better hand against me; I was close to screaming as he folded his hand after about 2 minutes in the tank. I never got in contact with him before. Like Mario Mosböck, his poker profile is through the roof after his Grindhouse participation, so I have a lot of respect for him and his career as a professional poker player.

It was great to play heads up against such a good player. Sadly heads up was pretty short; I was all-in and at-risk with A10 vs his A9, the river 9 sealed my fate, but it would have been a tough battle against him even if I had doubled up.

Kyle McCague: Is there anything you feel being part of the Pokercode community has helped you with, either with Poker theory or in ways you expected less about the community spirit/vibe?

Thomas'  TheFirling87' Firlinger: This was my first real dive into poker study, and to put it simply, it has helped me get better. I take a serious approach to poker now, but that doesn't mean that it is any less fun or that my passion has decreased. If anything, the opposite has happened; incredibly motivating is the whole community studying poker together, celebrating deep runs and victories together. Everyone is very positive, and it is such an honour for me when someone as established as Fedor Holz like's my post and will get involved in the conversation. I feel familiar and comfortable with everyone from those further on their poker journey to the Poker pros within the community. 

I think that is what Pokercode is all about; it provides you with the opportunity to get better, study, and grow with people who share the same attitude and mindset. Altogether it's just awesome!

Kyle McCague: Mate, I've enjoyed this chat; getting to know the poker players in the community is helping settle me into Pokercode. I just had one final question to wrap things up, what's next for you? 

Thomas'  TheFirling87' Firlinger: As you can imagine, my poker bankroll boost and building up my connections to other Poker players should enable me to continue my poker dream. By being active within the Pokercode community, being patient and sticking to proper bankroll management, I believe that the Poker dream will work out for me in the end. As I said before - I'm ready for it!

Poker Streaming Set-up
Thomas ‘TheFirling87’ Firlinger's Poker Streaming Set-up

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