The PGT Championship is the season-ending PokerGO Tour (PGT) tournament and will be held in December 2023 at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada. The PGT Championship is a $1,000,000 freeroll that guarantees $500,000 for the winner and is open to players ranked in the top 40 on the PGT leaderboard at the end of the season and select Dream Seat winners.
There are multiple ways to win a Dream Seat throughout 2023, and the second winner has been selected, with New Jersey's Julio Clavell being chosen from the list of PokerGO annual subscribers as the second Dream Seat winner of 2023. Clavell will join Dream Seat winner Albert Hart in the season-ending PGT Championship, where they will face off against the best players in the world.
Multiple ways to win a Dream Seat in 2023 include playing in the RunGood Poker Series Dream Seat Invitational and the PokerGO Social Media Dream Seat Giveaway. However, Julio Clavell won his Dream Seat through the PokerGO Annual Subscriber Dream Seat Giveaway, giving all PokerGO annual subscribers three opportunities to be chosen.
Clavell's name was drawn last week, but anyone who is an annual PokerGO subscriber will have their next opportunity to win a Dream Seat on September 30, the final day of Super High Roller Bowl VIII.
The 43-year-old electrician by trade was born in Queens, New York, but after Clavell met his wife in 2009, he relocated to North Bergen, New Jersey. Clavell has two children, a 12-year-old son, Jayden, and an 8-year-old daughter, Autumn.
Clavell didn't dip his toe into the game of poker until he was 35 when his parents bought a house in Pennsylvania near Mount Airy Casino. Clavell and his father went down to the casino one day, stumbled upon the poker room, and gave the $1/2 No-Limit Hold'em game a try. Clavell was fortunate to be in a spot where his opponent tried to bluff him. It didn't work.
"I won my first session. Up about $700," Clavell said on his first taste of poker. "The next two days, I gave it all back. After that, I realized I would have to learn the game."
After discovering they held a weekly tournament, Clavell and his father were there every Saturday to play together. Clavell now had an appetite for tournaments and soon started making trips to Atlantic City and other neighboring places to play poker.
Clavell's first win came at the end of 2014, while his first five-figure score came in June 2016 with a victory in the $230 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack for $10,701. These results, combined with launching online poker in his home state of New Jersey, led Clavell down the path of online poker.
Clavell's first WSOP cash would be online at WSOP.com when he finished in 51st place in The Big 500 Kickoff. A string of online results followed with a massive $31,382 victory in the WSOP-Circuit Online $215 No-Limit Hold'em Big 8-Max.
The biggest result of Clavell's career occurred just a month ago when he finished fourth in the WSOP Online $888 No-Limit Hold'em Crazy 8's for $73,204. His largest ever career cash, and just a few spots away from winning a prestigious WSOP bracelet.
"I’ve always believed things happen for a reason. I had lost my job at the company I worked for 12 years at," Clavell said when reflecting on his fourth-place finish. "I was working nights at the time, so no time to play poker at all. Because of the layoff, I was able to play poker again and had my best score of $76k."
Clavell uses PokerGO as an investment in his poker game by seeing what some of the top pros are doing and how they're approaching their own game. Whether he is in those same crucial spots in tournaments, Clavell uses his viewing experience to apply what some of the players he admires would do.
"It's exciting to watch. The commentary is top-notch. And the whole presentation is done very well," Clavell said on PokerGO.
Even though Clavell regards himself as a tournament player, he is also lured to watching the cash game content that PokerGO has to offer. However, his favorite players have deep tournament roots, including Jason Koon, Isaac Haxton, Farid Jattin, Bill Klein, Cary Katz, and Adrian Mateos.
In December, Clavell will get to watch himself on PokerGO and take on some of his favorite players he has been watching for years on PokerGO when they go to battle in the 2023 PGT Championship.
Since Clavell started playing poker at Mount Airy Casino, he always told his father that he'll have the opportunity to play on TV against the pros. They would sit down together and watch for hours talking about what an experience it would be to get there. That time has come for Clavell.
When Clavell takes a seat in the 2023 PGT Championship, his biggest supporter will be his father. They used to play all the time together, but those days came to an end a few years ago when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy and brain radiation.
"I don’t know how much time is left for him here, but it would be so meaningful to me for him to see his son on TV against some of the best poker players around. Possibly winning a few big ones just like we always talked about."
Clavell will look to carry through his momentum from a fourth-place finish in a WSOP Online bracelet event into the 2023 PGT Championship. Will he be able to drag a pot away from one of his favorite players such as Super High Roller Bowl champion Isaac Haxton? The only way to find out is by watching the 2023 PGT Championship on PokerGO.
There is still plenty of time to join Clavell as a Dream Seat winner - check out the Dream Seat page on PGT.com to see how you can win a Dream Seat into the PGT Championship $1,000,000 freeroll.