Cord Garcia is familiar to poker fans but a stranger to High Roller events. Coming off of a strong performance at EPT Barcelona, the 2015 World Series of Poker Colossus winner decided his game was ready for Poker Masters.

After refocusing at the conclusion of another grueling summer, the 28-year-old Garcia finally put off the waiting game. His entrance in Event 1 is a jump to a new level, one he has eyed for years.

“I felt that my game was ready to play higher, I guess I needed the motivation,” Garcia said. “I’m really good at procrastinating, so it felt good to plan some things and follow through on them.”

Making the decision to buy the passport and fly to Barcelona became the final extension of Garcia’s bridge. Garcia obtained his first passport only days before taking off to Barcelona. While there, Garcia placed in the top-10 of both the $10,000 High Roller and $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha events for a collective $245,000.

The trip started rough for Garcia, who bricked the early part of the schedule. Once in a groove, he found the cashing track right away.

“I felt my aggressive game would translate overseas, and it did,” Garcia confirmed. “Getting the passport and getting on the plane was the biggest part.”

Garcia’s virgin High Roller results are out of the way and the tension to break through is gone. He plays Poker Masters unencumbered.

His Twitter feed focuses on upbeat energy and that vibe emits from him at the table. Headphones on, not much table talk but just enough to remain human, and a bouncing posture decorate Garcia on Day 1 of the $10,000 event.

Poker Masters fields are a tad lighter than the 22,374 defeated by Garcia to win the first Colossus. Mid-majors are where Garcia makes most of his primary tournament living and the leap to five-figure events is not crossed without a safety net.

“I was content with mid-majors, they’re always good value. It kind of made sense early in my career to play those instead of the nosebleeds. Also, I don’t think my game was ready for it a couple years ago.”

Today, Garcia jolted awake in the mood to play. Relocated from Texas to Los Angeles, Poker Masters was a short flight away. Garcia describes his itinerary for the series as “Winging it, but with a plan.” Pending a strong Event 1 result, Garcia could be a factor heading into the first weekend of the series.

“Yesterday, I was contemplating and went to sleep not knowing. I felt like the $10K was a good size for me and I’m coming off a good cash. I woke up ready to go and said ‘Let’s give it a shot.’”

On Day 1, Garcia is playing triple the 125,000 starting stack and competing with the likes of Randall Emmett, Daniel Negreanu, and Brian Rast.

The final table is a few hours away and regardless of how Garcia fares tonight, expect to “definitely” see him back in the PokerGO Studio for more High Rollers in the future.

Follow Event 1 live updates here and subscribe to watch the action live on PokerGO starting September 8. The final table of the opening $10,000 No Limit Hold’em event will hit PokerGO on Saturday, with coverage beginning at 4 PM ET.

PokerGO, Poker Masters, Cord Garcia