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"Where are the poker pros?" Symeon Alexandridis' 2 Cents on grinder's life in live tournaments

A chat with one of the upcoming protagonists at the Warriors Main Event

"As long as you don't have 5 million on your bank account, you can't call yourself a live pro."

That's how this afternoon's chat began with Symeon Alexandridis, runner-up at the last Wolf High Roller in Liechtenstein won by Alexandros Dimogiorgis, who will come back at GCPoker Room to play the CHF200K GTD Warriors Main Event with CHF50K reserved for the winner.

It's a sharp statement that implicitly answers the question about how Symeon considers himself in the poker world:

"I'm a real fan of the game, I took my first steps in 2006, and at 39 years old I'm still here having fun like a kid!" - continues Symeon, who specifies - "Mine is not a provocation, you have to tell things as they are, because in this world it is full of so-called professionals.

I'm honest with myself and know how much luck affects this game: being a live tournament player means dealing with a lot of extra poker expenses, and I am miles away from calling myself a pro."

Symeon Alexandridis in action at Wolf in Liechtenstein
Symeon Alexandridis at the last Wolf High Roller

As the chat continues, it becomes clear that this is not a matter of false modesty. Symeon's words are true, he has been in this world for over ten years and, perhaps, he understood more than most what's needed to label yourself as a professional:

"As far as I'm concerned since my main game is Pot Limit Omaha cash-game, tournaments are sort of freerolls: if you're lucky enough you get a shot. When I have some extra money to invest I play one, but mostly because I love the excitement that comes from a deep run!"

Turtle's law

Symeon started, a bit like many of us, when online poker was booming and it took a long time before he raised the bar:

"I have been playing tournaments more often in the past years, though initially was just for fun. I started to study the game with 'Super System 2' (Doyle Brunson's book, ed.), in those years there wasn't much literature on the subject.

Proceeding in small steps, I played higher and higher limits... My first live result? In 2011, the EPT was still in Greece, in Loutraki, and it was there that I experienced for the first time the thrill of going through a tournament (the €330 buy-in Greek Poker Cup, where Alexandridis came 3rd, ed).

Symeon Alexandridis at IPS 52nd edition
Symeon Alexandridis at IPS 52nd edition

A few inches away from glory

Tournament after tournament Symeon began to get the hang of it, but before getting the 'big shot' he had to wait 11 years: in March 2022, in fact, a third place at the EPT Prague Main Event for just under half a million euros:

"I would have surely preferred to win it, I came very close because in the key showdown, I found myself with A-9 against A-8. My opponent though, hit the Eight on the Turn....

Anyway, I had the feeling that this was not the end, but the beginning of something bigger, and from that moment on I continued to play with more determination than before. I knew I did my job in that tournament and I don't have too many regrets about it."

Asked if he has been able to build good human relationships over the years, Symeon told us:

"The poker environment is very unique, it's like being in a video game. It's you against a bunch of zombies, now and then you meet someone who fights with you, and they're special encounters. It's sort of the Walking Dead brought back to real life, which by no coincidence is also my favorite TV series."

The game we like

What caught our attention, having seen him several times at the tables in EuroRounders events, is precisely his attitude:

"I play any tournament with the same intensity, regardless of the buy-in or the money up for grabs. I never underestimate anyone, I just try to approach the game in the best possible way without being obsessed with the result. I love this game and I mean it."

Symeon Alexandridis at The Wolf High Roller in Liechtenstein

Although he plays tournaments up to 10K, Symeon does not refuse to get in low buy-in events such as the Warriors, which will be held from the 4th to the 11th of March 2024 at the GC Poker Room in Bendern, Liechtenstein:

"Precisely because I am so passionate about the game, I love taking part in tournaments here in Liechtenstein for various reasons, ranging from the quality of service to the structure of the tournaments.

People are very friendly and available for anything, the service is good and elegant, the place is clean, dealers are top-notch, and in general, there is a pleasant atmosphere.

The aspect I would like to emphasize, however, is the structure of the tournaments, and I don't say this as a convention: for this level of buy-in there are no better tournaments around Europe. To have a better structure you have to play the EPT Main or WSOP Main, but we're talking about another buy-in range.

And for a fan of the game like me, having always 40/50/60 or more big blinds on your side is essential: that's the way you can play poker for real."

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