While a lot of players at the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event are not invested for the full $10,000 buy-in due to winning their seat through a satellite, they are still financially invested to a degree. Alfredo Fernandez
is an exception to this rule. Fernandez, from Miami, FL won his seat completely free of charge through a series of tournaments offered through Games.com
After the 5th day of action Fernandez finds himself in 7th place overall holding just a little over 3,000,000 chips. WSOP.com caught up with him after Day 5 play concluded to learn a more about how one would play the Main Event being on a true “freeroll”.
WSOP. com: How exactly does one win their seat through AOL / Games.Com?
Alfredo Fernandez: A friend of mine from Hialeah, FL told me about these tournaments that they were running online and completely free to enter. Every three hours they would run a qualifier in which the top 100 would receive a pass to a “Main Event” tournament which would take place on Sunday at 2 pm. I finished in the top 100 and was invited to play in the Main Event Tournament.
On the second Sunday that they had the tournament I went ahead and played it at 2 PM. After dropping to 900 in chips I made a comeback and ended up winning the whole thing beating out 2397 other players.
WSOP. com: Prior to the Games.com experience have you played much poker either live or online?
Fernandez: I play a little bit online but mostly I play live cash games and tournaments at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL.
WSOP. com::What do you do with your life outside of poker?
Fernandez: Basically I own my own video production company. I do wedding videos, sweet sixteen’s, bar mitzvah’s, pretty much anything along those lines.
WSOP. com: Once you learned that you had earned a seat at the poker’s most prestigious event, did you change the way you played poker or do anything differently to prepare for this competition?
Fernandez: I started going to more multi-table tournaments at the Hard Rock. Basically I was there three to four times a week playing in those to get the experience of what it would be like to participate in this environment. I pretty much abandoned cash games to get more of the tournament feel.
WSOP. com::Did anyone come out here with you to Las Vegas to give you any support?
Fernandez: I had a friend of mine from Miami, Julio and his wife, they both spent the first couple of days with me out here but had to return back home. They just sent me a text message though that if I make it through tomorrow, they along with the rest of the family will come out to cheer me on to the final table.
WSOP. com: If you happen to make a deep run and earn a significant amount of money what do you think you would do with it considering you are one of the very few who are playing this tournament on a free roll.
Fernandez: I will take a long vacation as this event has been extremely stressful. First though I will make sure I take care of my two little brothers education, one brother is four while the other is ten. I will also make sure my parents are well taken care of and also will invest some money into my video production company, buy some new equipment and perhaps hire a few new employees and become more of a manager.