Dominik Panka’s Entry into Professional Poker

April 28, 2014

There is a new kid on the poker block and his name is Dominik Panka. Panka created quite a stir in the poker world when he won the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in January 2014, beating known favorite, Mike “Timex” McDonald.

Panka came from nowhere to dazzle the poker world. From earning only US $ 981 in October 2013, to earning a total of US $ $1,843,934 through 2014, Panka is a new poker superstar. Also, Panka’s poker victory at the PCA is no flash in the pan. About three weeks after winning the PCA, Panka won the EPT Deauville High Roller poker tournament, defeating 96 contestants for a prize money of US $ $371,498.

Panka won his way into the PCA through a Sunday qualifier on PokerStars. The latter has offered to sponsor Panka through Season 10 of the EPT. Panka is grateful for this sponsorship, and feels that this will help poker players in his home country, Poland, to identify with the game and encourage others like him to enter the poker fray.

Panka has continued to travel the EPT, with a stop in Vienna in March 2014. When asked whether he plans to play the World Series of Poker to be held in Las Vegas, USA, this summer, Panka said he would prefer to concentrate on European tournaments. He said that the distance and the US tax laws were deterrents.

An early start

Dominik Panka has had an early start to his poker career. Hailing from Brześć Kujawski, a small town in Central Poland, Panka began creating a platform for poker as a child, when he developed a deep interest in logic and mind games. Upon completing primary school, Panka attended a boarding school in Torun. After this, he headed to Szkoła Główna Handlowa for a Bachelor of Arts degree. However, before he could earn his Master’s degree he left to pursue – of course, poker!

Panka reminisces that while he had heard about poker in high school, he began playing poker while in his second year at University with his friend. Panka decided to give online poker a shot and was quite successful at it. This encouraged him to become a professional poker player.

While Panka has been an online poker player for many years, he decided to enter live poker tournaments only in 2012. Panka is the ninth player from Poland to make it to the EPT final table, but no Pole has ever won this title.

After his win at the PCA, Panka is keen to prove himself as a true champion and not a one-tournament wonder. He proved this by clinching a win at the EPT tournament, wherein he wrapped up a victory in about six hours. Most players who played the PCA were admiring of Panka, including McDonald, who was slated to win the tournament a second time. Panka admitted that he was calm and icy cool during the PCA and EPT tournaments. Most veteran players admit that the world of poker will see a lot more of Panka in the time to come.

A bright career

With such a brilliant early start at such a young age, Panka has a bright career ahead of him. However, the humble Panka does not intend to upgrade his lifestyle significantly. While this magnitude of success could go to any player’s head, this is the not the case with the down-to-earth Panka. He just wants to continue to do what he has always been doing, which is play poker.

Panka reveals that while he wants to make it to as many final tables as possible, his main focus would be to improve his skills. Panka also says that while he would love to win the triple crown or to win the EPT twice, for now, he simply wants to play better and improve as a player and as a person.

Panka’s career has taken off to a blistering start. After winning the PCA, he placed eighth in the €2,000 Eureka High Roller for €20,150. He also placed fifth in the €2,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed Deepstack for €13,400.

Panka is part of the Elite group of players. The Elite buy-in level includes the biggest events on all major tours. These buy-in levels range from US $ 5000 to US $ 24,999. The most successful player in the Elite group is none other than Dominik Panka.

Panka will be a guest on an episode of The Rundown, and Panka has won US $ 10,000 at the PCA this year. After winning this event, Panka won the €10,000 High Roller at the EPT Deauville. The wins in these tournaments have put Panka ahead of McDonald in the POY race.

All of this is testimony to the fact that Dominik Panka has a bright poker career ahead of him. And so, in the world of poker, a star is born!