EVERYDAY GRINDERS: Catching Up with PokerStars ‘PennsylMania’ Champion
After winning Pennsylvania’s biggest online poker tournament ever, Dillon Longenbach had to tell someone special. He’d just played two days of poker and topped a field of 2,774 entries to win $69,670.
“My mother didn’t believe me and laughed when I told her I had won,” says the 26-year-old player from Ivyland, PA. “After winning I actually had to take a walk because of all the adrenaline pumping.
PennsylMania was a one-off PokerStars PA event and became the biggest in the state’s brief online poker history. The $200 buy-in tournament ran May 17-18 and boasted a huge $250,000 guarantee. The event crushed that however, attracting 1,760 entries, 1,014 re-entries, and a prize pool of $515,964.
Topping the PokerStars PennsylMania battle royale
Longenbach isn’t a poker pro and his Hendon Mob profile lists a grand total of $196 in live poker winnings. Instead, he’s representative of many US online poker players.
A regular guy who works in sales and as a warehouse manager, he just loves playing poker. His championship became not only the biggest win so far in online poker in PA, but also the biggest of Longenbach’s career.
“I have had a couple small online tournament wins and final tables, but never anything close to a win this size,” says Longenbach, who has been playing poker with friends for years. “The tournament was a grind that had a lot of ups and downs but had so many memorable moments that I will remember for the rest of my life.
“Honestly, it was a very surreal moment winning. I’ve always dreamed of final tabling a major event, so winning one was an added bonus. Even over a week later it still doesn’t feel real.”
Reality may not have set in, but the title came after plenty of effort. His hobby has now paid off in a big way after working on his game over the last few months.
“I enjoy the mental aspect of poker, and how much work really needs to go into poker to be a winning player,” Longenbach says. “I enjoy the fact that anyone can play the game and everyone has equal opportunity to be successful based on the amount of work they put in.”
A comeback and then turning it on for the title
Winning a major tournament always comes with some big moments and a bit of luck. For Longenbach, who plays under the screen name “D-Low1527,” several moments stand out.
Right before the end of Day 1, he was left with about 12 big blinds and was dealt pocket Kings. That helped him double up and then one hand later was dealt Ace-King.
He called an all-in from a short stack to take down another nice pot. That short run gave him a shot heading into Day 2.
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Still not among the chip leaders, challenges remained. On Day 2, Longenbach was all in preflop with pocket 10s twice against Ace-Queen and once against Ace-King to jump into the top 10 in chips.
After that, he never looked back on his way to the title. What does he plan on doing with his winnings?
“I’m planning on using a chunk of it to put a down payment on my first home,” he says. “Other than that, nothing else planned at the moment. I will also be playing more poker and look forward to playing some more live events once live poker returns.”
Longenbach may have a big score under his belt, but won’t be traveling the live poker circuit any time soon. The 9-to-5 job will continue, but so will his card playing on PokerStars PA. He’s thankful for his poker friends who have helped him along the way.
“I’d like to give a huge shout out to all my friends and family that have always supported me and showed love,” he says. “I appreciate it more than I can put into words.”