Tuesday, 16th July 2024 10:00
Home / From weekly games with friends to battling at EUREKA Rozvadov: Online qualifier Yan Niclas Hoepfner

“I would say I only play poker once a week,” Yan Niclas Hoepfner tells us. “Just small cash games with friends. Win a hundred, lose a hundred.”

That’s probably the case for many of you reading, too. In fact, that’s probably true of the vast majority of poker players around the world.

And it’s not surprising. Poker is an incredibly fun game to play with your pals, the perfect excuse to get together around a table and catch up. 

Plus, there’s nothing more fun than bluffing your closest compadres. 


But occasionally, Yan Niclas Hoepfner – like many of you reading probably do, too – feels the itch to play something bigger.

The 37-year-old from Berlin works as a Sales Manager for a battery supply company by day, but every now and then he fires up his PokerStars client in the evening and tries to qualify for a big live tournament.

That’s exactly what happened to get him to EUREKA Rozvadov 2023.

“I entered a €16.50 satellite and ran it up to the €162 qualifier,” he tells us. Then he won that, too. 

“I had to go to Munich for work a week ago,” he continues. “So on the way back I picked up the car and came here.”


Hoepfner might only have two cashes on his Hendon Mob profile – a deep run in a side event at the European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague 2022, and a World Series of Poker Europe cash from 2015, when the festival was held in Berlin – but this is the third time he’s played poker here in Rozvadov.

“I arrived quite early today and had a nice breakfast,” he tells. “Then I entered Day 1D. It’s going pretty good so far. No bad beats or anything like that.”

Yan Niclas Hoepfner


The €1,100 EUREKA Rozvadov Main Event buy-in is much larger than the stakes Yan Niclas Hoepfner usually plays. He considers himself a casual player who just plays for fun now and then. “I had some online cashes but I never tried to be a professional,” he says.

But that hasn’t stopped him from working on his poker game.

“I definitely do some study on the side,” he says. “I read books here and there. And recently I’ve been focusing a bit more on mindset and stuff like that.”

It’s that mindset that got him here. And it’s that mindset that could see him make a deep run and chalk up a third live poker cash.

Should he make the money, he’ll win a lot more than the €100 he might win at his home games.

Plus, he’ll have a great story to tell his friends.

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