Every Monday is Meet The partypoker People Monday where the partypoker blog reaches out to our valued players and chats with them about all things poker. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to play only freerolls or if you’re a regular in our highest buy-in tournaments, we love find out more about you.

In the spotlight this week is Gareth Smirthwaite who, if you have played a satellite tournament to a live event over the past year or so, I can almost guarantee you have bumped into and played against. The 42-year old from Kent is affectionately known as “gazthehippy1” and is definitely a regular at our tables, although that wasn’t always the case.

“I have only been playing at party since they started the World Poker Tour National (WPTN) tournaments. Having played the first one at Aspers Stratford, qualifying at the casino, I decided to resurrect my old partypoker account and look at what satellites were on offer and I have never looked back really. I tend to be a tournament player predominantly, but I think satellites are what I spend most of my time playing.”

Gareth’s dedication to satellite tournaments has proved to be a profitable on many occasions with him winning new fewer than four tickets for the recent partypoker Grand Prix Million for mere pennies. He’s also locked up two seats to the upcoming WPTN Aspers Accumulator in July and looking to add more seats to other major events.

“I have actually got my first seats for London so am already looking forward to a great weekend at Aspers Stratford. I am also trying for seats to Brussels and Vegas at the moment so hopefully there will be a bit more travelling on the horizon.”

The West Ham supporter – we all have our crosses to bear! – has been an almost constant picture on the WPTNUK circuit since its creation and his love for the tour shows no signs of waning.

“What keeps me coming back to the WPTN games is the fact I love playing live poker more than online! The WPTN events have a great structure and concept as well — I love the accumulator idea. I have to say that the staff who look after the qualifiers, and put in a lot of work making sure everything runs smoothly, are always great. Oh and the parties are always awesome!”

Indeed they are.

Gareth puts some of his success in satellite tournaments down to his ability to adapt to the structure and his opponents, something he says is key.

“As far as strategy for satellites it all depends on the blind structure. If it’s a turbo, which most of the smaller buy-in ones are, you can’t sit back and wait for big hands, and instead you have to be more aggressive than usual. When it comes to the satellites that award a seat or a full package you usually have a 20-minute clock, which online is an eternity, so you have lot more time to work out your your and pick your spots more carefully.”

Unsurprisingly, Gareth is a big fan of the satellite system at partypoker and believes that “some of the promotions that have run recently have so much value that people would be stupid not to take part” and that although he didn’t manage to secure a package, the “Kings of Vegas promotion was awesome.”

The good news for fans and friends of gazthehippy1 is that you’ll be seeing a lot more of him at the partypoker felt in the coming months as he continues his bankroll building quest, which is going great guns at the moment and shows that you don’t need to make a large deposit to enjoy online poker and make money from it, hard work, dedication and game selection work just as well.

“My goal for the rest of the year is to win more seats to live events and keep my bankroll challenge going. I started at beginning of April with £25 deposit and my aim is to reach £10,000 by my birthday in October, but including tournament tickets and tournament dollars, I am over £3,000 already so hopefully going to finish that one early.”

Best of luck in your bankroll quest, Gareth, and we’ll see you at Aspers in July.

Do you want to be our chosen one?

As we mentioned at the start of the article, we want to chat to everyone regardless of the stakes they play at partypoker. If you would like to be in the spotlight and be part of Meet The People or would like to learn more about one of your fellow partypoker players, let us know in the comments box below or via Facebook or Twitter and we’ll reach out to you.

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