Maciej Gut is preparing to play his first EPT Main Event in Paris, having worked his way up through side events and online satellites
With all the poker media and results-tracking tools we have at our disposal these days, it’s never been easier to track a player’s poker career trajectory.
Poland’s Maciej Gut, a 36-year-old business owner from Szczecin, has a particularly inspiring one.
In the seven years since his maiden live tournament, Gut steadily improved and seemed on the verge of a breakthrough. It finally came in December 2023 with his first victory on the European Poker Tour (EPT) – a €1,100 Prague side event for €51,590.
Now, having won entry to the EPT Paris in an online satellite, Gut is ready to take on his first-ever Main Event.
“I’ve never played a tournament bigger than €2,200!”
HOW IT STARTED
Maciej Gut played his first real live tournament at Estrellas Marbella back in 2015. He won entry via an online satellite but admits he was a weak player at the time. “I didn’t know the basic rules at all,” he says. “Like that one chip means a call.”
Despite his flaws, he managed to make the money and his poker fire was well and truly lit.
He began to work on improving his game, but unable to play live poker at home, he could only apply his learnings when on holiday, playing the odd tournament when he had time.
But by 2022, Gut was ready to take his first poker-only trip. He went to Estrellas Barcelona in 2022 and went further than his Marbella run. This time he finished 65th out of 6,313 players and his confidence was at an all-time high.
He visited EPT London and EPT Paris to play in side events and despite not cashing anything, he left happy. “I played on tables with many great players like Ole Schemion, Martin Jacobson, and Sam Grafton,” he says. “I could see how the best players play.”
So when EPT Prague 2023 rolled around, he planned a week off work to focus on tournaments. First on his schedule? A €1,100 buy-in freezeout.
Day 1 went as well as it could have. He ended up bagging the chip lead.
Day 2 was smooth sailing too. He topped a 254-entry field and scooped his biggest poker prize by far (€51,590).
By the end of the trip, he was three for three, cashing every tournament he played and taking home his first silver spadie.
HOW IT’S GOING
As he left Prague for a skiing trip with his fiancée, Maciej Gut knew what he had to do once he got home.
He needed to qualify for EPT Paris and take a shot in his first Main Event.
Gut admits he’s not a regular satellite or Power Path player. But that didn’t stop him from winning a package on only his second attempt.
So next week he’ll be making his way to Paris. Only this time, he’ll be battling in the most prestigious event on the schedule.
“I’m setting myself up to win,” he says. “You can’t play a tournament with any other attitude. I’m setting myself to play my best game first and foremost. The final result isn’t up to me.”
But you can expect to see Gut in the thick of the action.
“The best advice I ever got was: ‘You need to ‘play’ to be a poker player’,” he says. “Poker is not about getting pocket aces or pocket kings. It’s about getting value.”