During the 2020 World Series of Poker Winter Online Circuit festival, three players earned a coveted gold ring each on Natural8. One of them was Lithuania’s Paulius Plausinaitis, who won the $1,700 Main Event for more than $1.2 million. On top of his prize money, Plausinaitis also earned a bonus $50,000 LiveX Sponsorship just by playing on Natural8.
For the average online or live poker fan, Plausinaitis’ name may not immediately ring a bell. Until spring of 2017, most of his moderate live MTT cashes came from competitions at the Genting Casino in Edinburgh. One result at the WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic in Las Vegas was followed by another WSOP Circuit cash in Sin City two years later, as well as one London-based result in 2018.
Don’t be fooled, as his small number of MTT results is because he is mainly a cash game player. The 27-year-old, who was born in Lithuania and moved to the UK in 2013, studied Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh. It was also when his interest in poker emerged, when he won a £5 buy-in competition amongst fellow students.
The seed was planted and another success soon followed.
“I went to the local casino the next Sunday and won another £5 tournament for £300, which was a lot for a student. This was in 2014 and I have been playing ever since.”
Away from the poker tables, Plausinaitis likes watching and playing basketball. He follows esports and is a fan of horror movies and TV shows.
Plausinaitis eventually moved to Macau, where he focused on higher stakes cash games and considers mixed games as his favorite poker variant for a rather unusual reason.
“I like mixed games because I am not good at them. It’s always fun to explore different games you’re unfamiliar with.”
As key to success at the poker tables (whether online or live), Plausinaitis favours a “good night’s rest”. In the virtual arena, he tends to keep sessions rather long. It has also not been uncommon for Plausinaitis to pull a 24-hour session at the casino.
“When you play live, you always need to be prepared to play a 24+ hour session in case the game is very good. So getting good rest is a necessity.”
Plausinaitis first appeared on the Natural8 radar when he reached the final table of Event #70 $25,000 NLH POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP during WSOP Online 2020. He finished in 8th place out of a field of 407 (which included some of biggest names in the poker scene), and earned a payday of $210,079.
Even with this success, nobody had him on the radar when it came to selling action for the final day of the $1,700 WSOP Winter Online Circuit Main Event. This worked out well for Plausinaitis as he did not have to share his huge seven-figure score with any online investors.
It was the biggest MTT cash for any poker player from Lithuania, and the top prize was worth a massive payday of $1,236,361. On top of that, he also earned the first major trophy of his poker career to make the moment even more special.
“I didn’t know about it when I was playing but people told me after I finished the tournament. The WSOP Circuit is a prestigious event and given that it’s my first trophy, it just makes the victory THAT much more special.”
Plausinaitis celebrated the outcome by going to dinner with some friends and taking a few days off from the poker grind.
Plausinaitis plans to continue his focus on cash games but will add the occasional poker tournament to his schedule. He already has specific destinations in mind once the ongoing pandemic is under control, including the Aussie Millions, WPT Five Diamond and other similar events.
One of his favourite places previously visited for live poker was the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.
“The whole of America and poker players from all over the world gather and everyone’s so happy to play poker. It’s like a huge festival or celebration.”
He has also explored several other locations, but his current home base is what has completely won over the heart of the Lithuanian player.
“I have played in London, Los Angeles and Las Vegas before Macau. Macau always offers the highest stakes and the most prolific players. There are many great players in Asia and they all come to compete in Macau. Playing against a tough competition has always appealed to me.”
Plausinaitis has also provided some coaching for friends previously, but that is not part of his agenda. Whether or not that may change after his high stakes MTT success remains to be seen. So far, he says he is just a part of a close poker player/friend group.
Plausinaitis also says that he has made many friends in the Asian poker scene, and their support kept pouring in from everywhere once the final table concluded in the early morning hours in Macau.
“The Asian poker community is like a close-knit family, everyone’s looking out for each other. I got so many congratulatory messages from Asian poker pros after this win! Thank you all for your support!”
One thing is already a certainty for Plausinaitis. The return to the mecca of live poker in Las Vegas has been secured thanks to his Natural8 LiveX sponsorship. Not only does the sponsorship include a package worth $15,000 for Sin City, but it also includes $35,000 in live tournament buy-ins all over the world.
It is one of the biggest sponsorship prizes awarded thus far, and exclusively reserved for poker players on Natural8. Make sure to opt in for Natural8 emails and regularly check their social media channels for more exclusive giveaways!