After winning the Progressive Super Knockout WCOOP Challenge 03, Luciana Manolea has impressed the entire Romanian poker community.
Luciana „luckyno75” Manolea has been slowly working her way up to the top, in online tournaments. Professional poker players have been watching her destroy her rivals with calm determination, but it was only recently that she became a star in the Romanian poker community.
At the end of March, online poker sites in Romania were talking about the young girl who managed to win her biggest prize so far, by finishing first at the Progressive Super Knockout WCOOP Challenge 03. The poker tournament brought her an amazing $105,733, as well as a lot of attention from local players.
But who is Luciana Manolea and how did she enter the poker scene? An interview on a local weekly poker podcast titled “Fried Fish” (Peste Prajit) reveals more about “luckyno75”, who is currently the best female player in online poker tournaments in Romania.
A way to financial independence
At only 26, Luciana is already one of the best Romanian female poker players online. According to pocketfives.com, she has won over $2 million in prizes, by playing tournaments in the world’s largest virtual poker rooms. It was a long and winding road to the top and she certainly started at the bottom.
Best poker tournaments results obtained by Luciana Manolea:
• 1st place at EPT/Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona -2012
• 8th place at EPT Barcelona – 2013
• 1st place at WCOOP Challenge 03 – 2014
Several years ago, Luciana heard from her friends and acquaintances that playing poker on a professional level can really pay off. Playing cards for a living? Who wouldn’t want that? It sounded like a great idea and she had always wanted to be financially independent, so she figured she’d give it a try.
She started out completely on her own: she learned the rules of the game, read up on basic strategies and browsed the Internet for every tip and trick she could find. When the time came to test her skills, she downloaded the Party Poker platform and started playing.
Now she has a lot of cash in her account, but she started with $50 deposits, like most beginners do. “I was constantly looking for bonuses and even if I wasn’t making a profit at the beginning, getting those bonuses was great”, she said.
Poker – fun and challenging
Playing poker like a pro takes a lot of hard work. She started to play online poker in Romania as often as possible and also joined online poker communities. She learned from other players, hired a poker coach and started to join tournaments.
She admits she got lucky right from the beginning and didn’t lose a lot of money. This is what really kept her going, seeing that she can do it. Her first big win was a personal victory, which convinced her that playing poker was a great decision. “It’s fun, challenging and I enjoy the competition,” she said.
Luciana also enjoys being in control. While other casino games are based purely on luck, poker is about training and making the right decision. In time, she became more disciplined and started to learn from her mistakes.
“There’s a lot of information out there and players are getting better and better, so it’s not easy. When I make mistakes, I’m disappointed in myself, but I try to learn from my experience and stay focused for the next challenge.”
Female poker star
The nickname “luckyno75” is becoming more and more well-known in the PokerStars community, especially after the young female player won the WCOOP Challenge 03 tournament last month. Luciana beat 1,958 other players and pocketed more than $100,000. This was her biggest win so far.
But she doesn’t see herself as much of a star and believes nearly anyone can learn how to earn money by playing poker. There is no need for any special math skills or college education, she says, naming several top poker players who didn’t even finish high-school.
But she does have some advice for new players: “Register with poker forums, listen to the advice other players give you and watch as many videos as possible.” It certainly helped her!
Maybe Luciana Manolea could become not only a famous poker star, but one of Romanian celebrity stars? Who knows, we’ll see later!