Drew Gonzalez

Interview with ACR Poker Pro Drew GonzalezDrew Gonzalez

As the countdown begins for the highly-anticipated $12.5 million Venom tournament, boasting its largest guarantee in history, we sat down with ACR Pro Drew Gonzalez to get his favourite memories from past Venom tournaments and uncover their insights, strategies, and aspirations as they prepare for what promises to be a thrilling showdown at the felt.

Q: Is there a specific moment (e.g., tournament win, deep run) in past Venom series that you are proud of?
A:The Venom PKO right before the 2023 WSOP summer is my current favourite memory as I made day 3 and the energy was just so hype!  Before I even got on my live stream there were hundreds of people waiting to see how things would play out.  Sadly I didn't win, but I finished on the final 3 tables, good for over $21k.

Q: Can you recall a challenging hand or opponent that stands out in previous Venom tournaments?
A: No specific opponent or hand sticks out for me, but I definitely know that feeling of being under pressure as a lot of players fight hard early for bounties, so there are quite a few challenging spots that come up - and you need to be ready to use your ONE TIME and just put the chips in the middle and PRAY!!

Q: How has your approach to Venom evolved over the years?
A: I would have to say I've just loosened up a bit, especially in PKOs. I think a lot of players don't want to bust early, so they might overfold in early stages, so I get to play more aggro!

Q: How do you typically prepare mentally and physically for a big online tournament series like Venom?
A: I treat the Venom and other big online events like I would a big live event. I try to get up early, and make sure I have nothing else on my mind.  Make sure I get in a good stretch and fall into that super competitive mindset.  It's not just another grind where I'm playing an average buyin of $50 or whatever - this is the big stage, a bigger buy-in, and a HUGE opportunity at big money.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring poker players looking to make their mark in online tournament series like Venom? Are there any lessons you've learned from past Venom tournament experiences that you would like to share?
A: My advice to new players is to have fun. For a lot of newer players this is going to be an opportunity of a lifetime - You have to savour the moment! You can't make any huge adjustments to your game last minute and expect to execute well, so just stick to your game and enjoy gaining the experience.  Hopefully you run well and something really amazing happens!

Q: What are you most looking forward to about this year's Venom?
A: I'm most looking forward to facing a big all-in in the Venom PKO where my blood is pumping and I'm contemplating calling it off for a HUGE bounty!  There's nothing like picking up these big bounties in this premiere event.

Q: Why should people play this Venom?
A: Because tomorrow is not promised.  You've got to seize the opportunity and take a shot at some life changing money.

Q: What are the various ways that people can qualify for Venom?
A: There are a bunch of satellites on the ACR client for players to get into the $2,650 buy-in Venom. Keep a special eye out for the "Venom Fever" satellites. They offer guaranteed seats and will sometimes overlay.  They also have a range of buy-ins that all players can afford, so don't be afraid to take a shot in these! It could pay off huge, especially in a PKO event where you can start making real money right away.

Q: Have you ever played a Venom satellite or qualifier to secure your spot in the main event?
A: Yes I've won several of the Venom Fever satellites, and it's nice because I play multiple tables at a time so I can cruise control through a satellite usually and still be playing my normal schedule.

Ready to test your skills against the best? Secure your spot in the tournament lineup and play alongside ACR Poker Pros for your share of the $12.5M GTD prize pool. There are plenty of qualification routes for players to grab their Venom seat. These include The Beast and Step tournaments, as well as hundreds of seats up for grabs through Venom Fever satellites.