While an international crowd is nothing new on the MPN Poker Tour, it’s rare that a player from Panama makes the 10,000km trip for a €550 Main Event (even one awarding a quarter of a million Euros in prize money). Christian Hospina says that what has turned out to be his European adventure “started with a misclick” as he tried to register for a €10 satellite into a €220 event on Betsson, and accidentally found himself in an €11 3x for MPNPT Tallinn. He won it.
Now the 23 year old poker pro (already nearly an online veteran, as he started at age 18) is halfway through a solo trip taking him through Germany, to London and Riga via MPNPT Tallinn and on to Paris, Rome and the Baden Poker Festival in Vienna. Ordinarily, Hospina might not have played the Main Event for which he’d qualified, due to the costliness of air travel to Europe from Panama, but it just so happened that the dates coincided with a Lufthansa cut-price promotion which took him to Germany, the start of his adventure.
While Hospina had always wanted to travel around Europe, it is only fairly recently that he’s turned his sights to the live game (he’s a No Limit Hold’em MTT player). Attracted by “the big money live”, his experience here in Estonia hasn’t yet been so rewarding, although the €110 MPNPT Estonia Poker Cup is looking promising. “I’m actually running very good in that one,” a cheerful Hospina said, after ruing both his two Main Event bullets and the fact that he was card dead for hours on his first attempt. Coming from an online background, he says that live poker benefits from “being easier in some ways; I found there to be a lot of limping,” but could be both slow and math-intensive “when you’re used to 12-tabling and your HUD…”
His rise to professional status was originally met, as is often the case, with a less than enthusiastic response from his mum, but after a steady number of years making a living from the game after investing in a family business, his vocation has been accepted.
Another string Hospina would like to add to his bow is that of Twitch streamer, “like HeyMonia!” He added after a brief consideration, “I want to do it in the future, maybe, get a pro sponsor,” but admitted that it would take a different sort of concentration to keep talking and interacting with viewers at the same time as playing poker. “You see streamers like Tonkaaaap and they’re playing four or five tables, not ten or twelve,” he pondered, before returning to his seat to concentrate on just one.