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From Starstruck to Stardom: Quick Chat with Fabi

Norbert Szabo
Social Media & Email Marketing Manager

Two years ago, Fabi took a leap of faith, moving to Vienna with a dream to turn professional in the world of poker—a journey that began at a Pokercode Festival in Bratislava. There, surrounded by the likes of poker elites such as Steffen Sontheimer and Fedor Holz, Fabi found his calling among the greats. It was a moment of clarity, an affirmation of his choice to pursue poker full-time. His reflection on the star-studded experience illustrates the powerful impact of community and mentorship in honing one's craft.

Since then, Fabi's career trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable. He narrates the evolution that led him to Grindhouse 3, where he was mentored by some of the finest in the field. This pivotal phase saw his Average Buy-In (ABI) surge, opening doors to prestigious live poker tournaments across Europe. Fabi paints a vivid picture of his Grindhouse experience—recollecting not just the adrenaline of a $109 WCOOP event with Fedor Holz cheering him on, but also the camaraderie shared off the tables—biking, hiking, and nights filled with laughter and celebration.

Pokercode: Fabi, it seems like it's only been a few days since you first got in touch with the Pokercode Team at our Festival in Bratislava. Hard to believe that it's already been over two years! How was your situation back then?

Fabi: I was already part of Pokercode for 1 year back then and just moved to Vienna with the intention to go pro from there on. At that time, I was already studying with Greg and convinced him and another study buddy to go to Bratislava and join the festival. I will never forget how starstruck I was to see guys like Steffen Sontheimer, Rainer Kempe, and obviously Fedor for the first time. Meeting so many great people out of the Pokercode Community corroborated my decision to go pro and move to Vienna.

PC: It looks like your career has skyrocketed since then. Can you briefly share with us your development until Grindhouse 3 a year ago?

Fabi: After Grindhouse 3, I got very lucky to get the opportunity to join some of the best and hardest working poker players as a student/mentee. I more than tripled my online ABI and started playing bigger live trips like EPTs and the Poker EM Velden.

PC: And then the Grindhouse happened! Can you share some of the best memories you still have from the experience?

Fabi: Making a deep run in a $109 WCOOP event and getting railed by Fedor himself is probably what stands out the most in terms of poker to me. In addition to that, my key memories involve all the great interactions between the whole group: Going downhill biking, hiking up the mountain, long nights of playing werewolf, celebrating Steffen's birthday are all beautiful experiences that I will never forget.

Fabi's success is not measured solely by his increased ABI or his bankroll; it's the qualitative change in his life that stands out. He now dedicates more time to mastering poker rather than merely playing it, embodying the philosophy that direction is indeed more significant than speed. His advice to his younger self—and to any aspiring poker player—is to prioritize focused study over aimless play.

PC: A lot of participants have mentioned a further increase in their development. Can you share some insights on your ABI development, how your life has changed, and recent victories at the tables?

Fabi: My online ABI went from ~$40 before Grindhouse to ~$130 right now. I increased my bankroll by quite a bit as well and am now able to put a lot more time into studying and actually getting good at the game instead of grinding it out 5 days a week. I also started going on a lot more live poker trips since then. In other words, I made one of my childhood dreams come true by getting to compete with the best of the game at EPT stops all around Europe.

PC: The Grindhouse definitely got to be a 1-year+ activity. Are you still working with Fedor and the crew to develop your game?

Fabi: The Grindhouse has become a 1-year+ activity. I am still working together closely with some members of the group and also am in close contact with Fedor, who shows great interest and support in our development as poker professionals. I am very grateful for the support he's providing since Grindhouse 3.

Today, Fabi remains a pillar in the Pokercode community, actively participating in coaching sessions and contributing to the collective wisdom of the group. His friendship with Fedor has evolved into a supportive mentorship that continues to fuel his development as a poker professional.

PC: How is your relationship with the Team Pokercode community nowadays? Are you still active?

Fabi: I am still trying to attend/rewatch as many coachings as possible, am following the blog section where Pokercode members speak about their development, struggles, and life as poker players in general. From time to time, I am also assisting Fedor by prepping the presentation and HRC material for some of his coachings.

PC: If you would have to restart your career. Which advice would you give young Fabi?

Fabi: Direction>Speed. It sounds cliché, but the time in and after Grindhouse has taught me a lot on how important it is to focus your study on the most EV driving topics instead of just playing tons or doing alibi reviews/light study sessions.

PC: Last question - Will we see you at the next Pokercode Festival?

Fabi: After some unforgettable experiences during Pokercode Festival Bratislava and Madrid, it is a snap decision for me to be there. Can encourage everyone who is considering it to join us and get to know our awesome community!

As our conversation concludes, Fabi's eagerness to attend the next Pokercode Festival is palpable. His experience is an open invitation to anyone on the cusp of joining: a chance to be part of something larger than oneself, to grow, and to be inspired by a community that champions dreams.

Fabi's narrative is more than just a chronicle of personal achievement; it's a beacon for anyone with a passion, a dream, and the courage to chase it. It's a story of transformation, from being a fan to a phenomenon, and it's an ongoing journey that promises even more thrilling chapters ahead.

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