The 50th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) kicks off today with $500 buy-in Event #1: Casino Employees Event. The tournament is open to those who either work in casinos or in the gaming industry, and thanks to their sportsbook in New Jersey, DraftKings personnel are permitted to play.
They’ll be well represented in their first year of eligibility as a team of six players traveled from the East Coast to compete for the summer’s first bracelet. PokerNews caught up with each DraftKings employee – one of which is already a WSOP bracelet winner – talk about the opening event of the 2019 WSOP.
DraftKings Position: Senior Advisor for High Stakes Gaming
Jonathan Aguiar is no stranger to poker, though it’s been awhile since he’s been at the felt. By his own count, the Casino Employee Event will be just his third tournament in the last three years. That’s because he’s been focused on his career with DraftKings, which he pursued full time after giving up poker back in 2013.
“I’m focusing on making DraftKings Casino and Sportsbook the best place to play for those looking for the most action,” said Aguiar. “I used to play a little poker back in the day but these days I’m more likely to be golfing.”
It wasn’t always that way for Aguiar, who has more than $1.6 million in lifetime earnings. That includes a career-best $336,661 for winning the 2012 WSOP Europe Event #5: €10,000 Mixed Max for his first and thus far only gold bracelet. Not too shabby for a guy who learned the game from a pair of nicknamed Canadians.
“Back in 2002, as a freshman in college, I lived across the hall from a pair of 22-year-old Canadian junior hockey age-outs that went by ‘Luck’ and ‘Carpy,’” Aguiar explained. “They were able to buy beer and hosted games in their room. One day Carpy showed me the old
pokerroom.com flash poker site where you could get a free $5 to sign up and that was that.”
While Aguiar is the odds-on favorite to do the best among the DraftKings team, he did offer a guess as to who he thinks will go the deepest.
“Probably Sumanth because he’s a giant nit and going to make Day 2 with three big blinds.”