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Where Are They Now? - Florian 'Gaugi' Gaugusch

Hill Kerby

We recently sat down with Team Pokercode member Florian Gaugusch, also known as 'Gaugi', in order to get to know him a little better and catch up on some of his recent happenings. Gaugi is a valued member of our community, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes, and we wanted to shed some light on what he’s been up to over the last handful of months, both in poker and in life.

The Grindhouse Experience

Taking things back chronologically, Gaugi was one of seven members of the Pokercode Grindhouse last year, and the opportunity for him to be a part of it was something he felt was truly instrumental to his growth as a poker player.

“The Grindhouse was a super cool experience,” said Gaugi. “I knew the guys from before but the Grindhouse really made the connection strong. The social part was extremely cool, and poker-wise, it kickstarted a really big improvement for myself and the others.”

More specifically, Gaugi found the learning process at the Grindhouse to be of tremendous value. He got into routines, gained access and learned how to use tools to further develop his game, and all of a sudden found himself crushing low stakes games in ways he hadn’t done prior to the Grindhouse. He also watched his bankroll grow as a result, even further allowing him to continue expanding his poker horizons.

Gaugi during the Pokercode Grindhouse

To Finish University or Not?

While inside the Grindhouse, another important life topic came up: Gaugi had finished two of his three years at University, meaning just one more year of schooling stood between him and his degree.

Of course, whether or not to finish might not even seem like a decision to a dedicated college student that knows exactly what career they want to pursue after graduation. But that’s not Gaugi - instead, he took the schooling path because it was something to do when he was 18 that provided another possible set of opportunities for his life.

Gaugi is also a semi-pro football player. (In fact, that’s how he knows Grindhouse member Mario Mosböck and Pokercode CEO Johannes Mansbart.) While good enough to play professionally to an extent, he was also realistic enough to know he was not going to become a top-level footballer, and as such, a degree seemed like a plausible path to pursue.

But with Gaugi’s poker growth, the question again resurfaced as to if his time was best spent finishing his studies versus fully devoting his energy to poker.He chose to finish what he started, a decision he is proud of, and now he’s about to cross the finish line.

“I’m where I want to be with my life, actually,” said Gaugi. “I’m close to finishing university. I wrote my thesis - like, handed it in on Monday - and I’ve finished all the exams, so all that’s left is the Bachelor exam and to get a positive grade on the Bachelor thesis.”

Already Taking the Next Steps

Since the Grindhouse, Gaugi has moved into a new place in Vienna with other Grindhouse members Fabi (Fabian Bernhauser) and Roli (Roland Rokita). Things are going well there, too, which is no surprise given how the three of them found each another all on the same wavelength while living together inside the Grindhouse.

Grindhouse participant and now Gaugi's room mate: Fabian Bernhauser

Gaugi has now almost entirely finished his studies, and he’s also done so while continuing to progress his poker game. Of course, with University taking up a large amount of his time over the past year (and really, three years), he hasn’t been able to devote quite as much time towards poker as he’d like. But having dedicated roommates is very helpful towards making the commitments needed to be successful in poker.

Another instrumental figure in Gaugi’s poker development, and in many senses that of the entire Grindhouse was Pokercode member Leo Hermann. Leo is the one responsible for teaching Gaugi much of what got him started on tools such as PioSolver, and he truly feels he wouldn’t be the same player today were it not for Leo’s contribution towards his education of how to use those tools to validate many components of the game.

¡Pura Vida, Baby!

The success the Grindhouse group experienced through the end of 2020 prompted several of them to take a group trip to Costa Rica early in 2021. Given the time zones, it provided a more favorable grinding schedule, but it also gave them pretty much the perfect vacation environment to enjoy amongst themselves.

Then, after a month or so, word made its way to them that WPT at Venetian and the Wynn Spring Classic were about to take place in Las Vegas. So they decided to go.

When all was said and done, Roli had taken third place in WPT at Venetian for $363,235 (if you haven’t read this life-changing story, you should do so ASAP) with Gaugi’s childhood friend and Grindhouse mate Stefan Nemetz (Nemi) taking ninth place in that same event for $73,795. A week later, fellow Grindhouse member Matthias “Mattinho” Auer followed that up with a heads-up chop at the Wynn $3,500 Main Event for $323,408.

The group all had a piece of one another in these scores too, Gaugi included. In total, the group amassed winnings of a million dollars, meaning everybody was coming back home in better financial shape than they left.

Gaugi in full focus mode during the Grindhouse project

Back to Business

While sweating these runs, Gaugi couldn’t help but think about the money that was on the line and what it would mean to him: “Basically, I thought it would change everything. But it didn’t…We still continue the online grind, we still enjoy it,” said Gaugi.

At the present moment, Roli has not spent much time as of late around the house for personal reasons. On the other hand, Fabi has been around and has been spending a tremendous amount of time studying the game of poker. Now that Gaugi has school largely in the rearview, he looks forward to being able to do more of the same.

He’s also been an active part of the internal Pokercode team, handling many necessary tasks the average person would not even consider to be within our day-to-day operations. However, with schooling, his time was limited in that regard as well, and even with finishing school, he looks to contribute to improving Pokercode’s end product(s) on a limited basis in order to devote as much time as he can to poker.

Following His Passion

Throughout his entire life, Gaugi has always had a passion for games. He fell in love with both board games and card games at a young age and found poker in his teen years. Naturally, he found the game to be fun and wound up creating a PokerStars account on his 18th birthday.

In the beginning, he played spin-n-go’s for fun and talked to his roommate about his enjoyment of it all. Also, close with Mario, Gaugi’s roommate told him that Mario was also into poker, and the two talked strategy not long after.

Florian next to Mario Mosboeck during the Grindhouse

“Then, this funny thing happens where if you begin to talk strategy, you can talk for like three hours about it,” said Gaugi. Of course, we all know those three hours go by in the blink of an eye, and we also know these conversations don’t only happen once.

Finishing Strong and Looking Forward

Gaugi also doesn’t shy away from money being a big factor in pursuing poker. Poker is a zero-sum strategy game in which one can obtain an edge over their competition and exploit that edge for direct profit. At this point in his career, he’s reached the point where he’s moved beyond spending hours playing simply for fun: he now knows he has a chance to make an actual living playing a game he loves playing.

“Looking into the future, that’s always what I wanted,” said Gaugi of his situation. He is still an internal part of Team Pokercode, is consistently improving his game while already showing profitable results playing, and has maintained his social life throughout all of it, even despite a pandemic. He’s still close with his family, his football network, and of course, his poker network.

“It’s where I want to be,” said Gaugi of finishing University. “It’s where I envisioned myself to be three years ago, but now is also the time where I just gotta finish this stuff so I can finally check that last box.”

Moving forward with poker, Gaugi is looking to continue building off of his last year’s success in the coming months. What all will that entail? We will just have to wait and see.

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