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Meet Unibet Online Qualifier: Hans de Hond

Meet Unibet Online Qualifier: Hans de Hond

With our live Festival Series, we strive for perfection based on players’ needs. To create an event for players, with players, and for poker as a whole. Our passion for the game, with everything that comes with it, such as hospitality events, and casino games in the likes of Blackjack and Roulette tournaments. Everything with one goal, to bring people together and have an unforgettable time together. For poker players, to join such events, it is very important to have options available to qualify yourself into it for just a little bit of money. So did this player from The Netherlands, Hans de Hond. A pure passionate poker player, who qualified himself through one of our online partners, Unibet, for just €10!

Melvin TF: Hi Hans, it is very nice to meet you finally! How did you end up playing poker? What was your first experience?

Hans: ‘’Hi Melvin. Thank you for having me here. About fifteen years ago I came in touch with poker because of my son. He told me I had to focus on something useful after he had bought my companies of me. One of them, called Searchdog, is a company specializing in doing purchases for its many business partners in the telecommunication sector. I also have my nickname as Searchdog on various poker sites, for example on Unibet. I started off playing online at first, cash games were the thing at the beginning. But after having donated enough ‘’learning money’’ to the tables, I switched to tournaments.’’

Melvin TF: You already won a package for our stop in Malta, May 15-21. You like to play qualifiers a lot?

Hans: ‘’My first real live event abroad was one in Monaco, back in 2011. I qualified online for that event and met a lot of great people there such as Steven van Zadelhoff, which then was a sponsored poker player at that time. I always try to qualify myself for live events, long before Corona appeared, I played like 5-7 events per year and made nice mini-holidays from such trips. Many of them were Unibet Open events, but also a couple of others. Now It’s The Festival Series.

I qualified myself all the way from the bottom. Started off at the 10 euro satellite, which got me into the 50 euro step, which then resulted in a 250 euro ticket. At the end of last month, I played the 250 euro event on Thursday, where I managed to get myself a package. Not bad for a 76-year-old, right? Was quite a close call, as I was down to a short stack at some point.’’

Melvin TF: So, it’s quite routine for you. Qualifying yourself for live events. How did you end up with the idea of aiming to go to The Festival Series Malta?

Hans: ‘’To be honest with you, I didn’t know the Series before. But lately, I saw this event passing by more often, so I decided to give it a go. Had two 250 euro tickets in my account at Unibet, and I like to go to Malta a lot. So why not, I thought. It worked out well in the end.

Malta is a very nice island to go to. I like it very much. But I’m not that much of a cultural expert so to say. If I had to give any advice to other poker players, take the hop-on/hop-off bus and go to Gozo as well. I like to completely relax so that’s what I will do in Malta! A little too old for active holidays 😊’’

Melvin TF: What are important aspects for you when going to live events? What do you like to see there?

Hans: ‘’I like the human element of it; the excitement of the variations in regard to bet sizes. Trying to estimate bluffs of hands of other players and trying to recognize tells. But also having a beer with familiar people is a key aspect!

It is important to me to see poker as a game, like any other game you have. Otherwise, you build up too much stress, which is not good for anybody. Once I list a hand for a 160k pot in a big tournament with Ace-King against King-Queen, when a Queen landed on the river. It’s rough of course and hard to digest sometimes, but you won’t see me jumping off a hotel roof for that.’’

Melvin TF: Last but not least, Hans. How would you describe yourself as a poker player? It’s always nice to know what drives people to the game we like to play so much.

Hans: ‘’All I can say about myself is that I am not someone who plays poker for the need of money for example. I play this wonderful game purely with the ambition to win. That’s why I enjoy it evenly by playing a free online competition in The Netherlands for amateur poker players, as I will play a bigger buy-in event online. There is no difference for me in that.’’

As can be seen in the case of Hans, it is possible to win a package for just 10 euros. Today, everyone has a similar opportunity, where from the sub-satellites (flips incl.) that take place during the day, you can win a ticket to the 250 euro final. And there, it's all about your skills and a bit of luck, whether you will be our next festival package winner or not. See you there!