Keith Tilston became a household PokerGO name this February when he won the U.S. Poker Open Main Event to wrap up a solid series of four cashes. The Texan equities trader wrapped up his week with over a $1 million in winnings and is using $100,000 of that total to battle in the Poker Masters Main Event.
Quiet and composed, Tilston is familiar with the High Roller stage. A former online cash game player, Tilston frequents the five-figure buy-in events when they are strung in a row similar to ARIA High Roller Triple Crown series.
“I got up to pretty high stakes for a little while, didn’t get up to the nosebleeds sustainably but there are some guys I played back then who play in these things,” Tilston said of his online career during 2007 and 2008.
The win in February was a moment of achievement for Tilston, who earned his first major High Roller victory over Jake Schindler heads up.
“It was really satisfying,” Tilston said. “I definitely felt like to myself I could at least hang with these guys but it’s always nice to get the verification. I don’t know if I’m a favorite or winning money in these things but I’m doing alright.”
Tilston’s modesty might be false in results. At the end of 2017, he won a $25,000 Bellagio High Roller and took fourth out of 57 entrants in the €50,000 High Roller in Barcelona this spring for close to $800,000 combined.
Work takes up a large part of Tilston’s time and he doesn’t spend an extended period of his life away from the trading desk studying his opponents. Tilston put some WD-40 on his poker wheels to get back on the bike after not playing much following the World Series of Poker.
“I don’t watch a ton of the streams,” Tilston noted. “I watched a little bit the other day to try and get back into poker a little bit. These guys are so good at mixing it up that it’s not as beneficial as it would be that if you were playing against guys who are more predictable.”
High Roller tournaments are a form of escape for the businessmen who play them. Tilston laughed a bit when he said that being able to come to Las Vegas for a few days is “always fun.” He wakes up earlier than normal when in the Pacific Time zone to do his day job and then settles right in at the table. Tilston was in action yesterday during the $50,000 event and played from the start today in the $100,000 Main Event.
“I just think they’re fun,” Tilston said of the High Rollers. “They also can be very disappointing if you don’t make it very far but it’s really exciting when you make it deep in an event and you cash and have a chance of winning a tournament. If I’m losing, it’s not by a ton and this year, I’m playing more because I can write off the buy-ins.”
Tilston decided to play Poker Masters last week when he opted to come out for the two highest buy-in events on the schedule. U.S. Poker Open proved to be a full-length series and Tilston came back to ARIA in May for Super High Roller Bowl.
Expect to see more of Tilston in future High Roller events and be a factor whenever he enters.
The world of Tilston’s professional career is buying low and selling high, a trend he’ll look to follow in the Poker Masters Main Event.