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On Saturday last Donatas Vlasovas was presented with a small consolation prize by a member of PokerSchoolOnline Staff at the venue for the European Poker Tour stop which is currently taking place in Dublin, Ireland. It wasn't a huge prize, more of a token gift that the poker school wished to offer in appreciation of that fact that Don had traveled over from the UK to represent the school in the PokerStars Cup event.

"I already have received more than I could ever have expected," beamed the young 23-year-old. "The whole experience has been so amazing and I could not ask for more". You see it wasn't just another tournament for Don, it was his first-ever live tournament and he had won a package to the event via a promotion here at PokerSchoolOnline so it was a big adventure for him. Don flew into Dublin on Friday and made it to the venue in plenty of time to collect his ticket to the PokerStars Cup which would kick-off at 7pm that evening. PokerSchoolOnline arranged a pre-tournament pep talk with Friend of PokerStars player Felipe 'Mojave' Ramos who shared with Don some tips and what to expect during the early stages of the tournament. That worked out quite nicely as Don is also a big fan of football and of Brazil & FC Barcelona player Neymar Jr and in case you didn't already know Felipe is also Neymar's poker coach so Don got to hear a few stories about how Neymar first started playing live poker.

Don meets Mickey Petersen of PokerStars Team Pro Online in Dublin

Then it was into the heat of battle as Don took his seat at the table. "At first I was a little nervous but soon I realised that there was nothing to be afraid about. I was as good if not better than some of the other players at my table," remarked Don. "During the early stages I played conservatively but that wasn't too hard as I was pretty card-dead and didn't pick up too many good starting hands," Don continued, "but I did use this time to settle in and watch closely the players around me and soak up the atmosphere. It was great just being here experiencing for the first-time a live poker tournament. It's a thrilling experience and I would recommend to anyone to play a PokerStars live tournament if you have not done so already. Everything is so professionally organised and everyone is really friendly".

The structure of the PokerStars Cup event is pretty fast as live tournaments go and with not too many good hands coming his way Don soon found himself down to just over 10 big blinds. "I knew that it was now time to make some all-in moves. I couldn't afford to wait any longer for good hands to come my way," Don reflected as he was explaining how he busted out of the tournament. "I did double-up at one stage to about 18 big-blinds but soon after that my exit hand came. I shoved with QJ-suited and got called by K-10 off-suit and unfortunately I didn't improve as the board ran-out but I don't regret the play, I think it was the right thing to do."

Don hangs-out with Friend of PokerStars Felipe 'Mojave' Ramos

So Don had no regrets about the exit hand or about making the trip over to Dublin from the UK. Over the course of the weekend he got to experience for the first-time what it's like to play in a live poker tournament, he got to meet top players including Felipe Ramos and Mickey Petersen, he got interviewed by PokerNews about winning his package at PokerSchoolOnline, both he and his girlfriend had a great time at the PokerStars Players Party and they both even had time to sample the sights and sounds of the wonderful city of Dublin, Ireland.

We here at the poker school and pretty sure that we haven't seen the last of 'PapaDonis' and we wish him the very best of luck for the rest of his poker career whether it's online or at the live felt.

Don battles it out on the Dublin felt.

Read more about Don's story over at PokerStarsBlog

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