ClubWPT package winner Koen Van Keer looking to win dough aboard WPT Voyage

WPT Voyage package winner Koen Van Keer
Author Adam Hampton
Adam Hampton
Posted on: March 27, 2024 01:40 PDT

Q. Why was the guy who made windows so good at poker?

A. He always knew the right amount to open.

Bad jokes aside, Koen Van Keer may earn a living making windows, but he’s put himself in the frame (sorry) to win a life-changing prize on board the WPT Voyage when the ship sets sail this weekend.

That’s because Van Keer won his cabin and cruise playing at ClubWPT, the subscription-based online poker platform that regularly awards WPT live event packages to players right across the USA, and the world.

We grabbed a chat with Texas-based Van Keer ahead of his trip to the Caribbean.

Well done on winning your WPT Voyage package! Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am 45-years-old, originally from Belgium but moved to the US when I was 13. I live in Sachse, Texas with my wife and daughter, where I work as a production supervisor for a window company.

How did you win your WPT Voyage package?

I watch a lot of poker on TV and saw a lot of commercials for ClubWPT and the Voyage trip, so I finally signed up to see what it was all about. A couple of weeks later I played a tournament where the top 25 would win the trip. I didn’t have any high expectations, but after a few hours of playing I noticed that I was at the top of the chip count, so I felt like there was a chance. I kept playing and got all the way to first place, and held on to win the package.

I wake up at 4am every morning to go to work, and by the time the tournament was almost over it was close to midnight. My wife told me the next day that I kept falling asleep while playing and it was only the sounds from the computer, telling me when it was my turn, that kept waking me up!

Could you tell us a little about your poker background?

I don’t have the funds to be a professional poker player, so the majority of my poker playing has been in a free league around town. I have played a few times in casinos and I used to play online a lot, but nothing big.

Most of my experience comes from playing at local bars. I won the free cruise package, but not a tournament buy-in, so now I’m trying to play every night to win money on ClubWPT so that I can play in one of the big events. So which tournaments I play depends on how much I make in the run-up to the cruise.

What are you most looking forward to on the WPT Voyage?

I’ve never been on a cruise, so it’s exciting just to go. I’m hoping to play in one of the big events, though, as that would be a dream come true.

In terms of the non-poker stuff, my wife is looking at all that; she is excited about the pajama party and all the activities. I’m excited about being on my first cruise and being able to relax on a nice beach looking at the water. But the big attraction, for me, will be the poker.

A wide beach in Bimini Bahamas

Do you have a favorite player?

I don’t have a favorite player, but I like several players as I’ve watched a lot of poker on TV. I’ve always been told I have a great poker face as I don’t really show much emotion, so to bluff one of the pro players would be awesome. To trap them, let them be the aggressor, and then simply say: ‘All-in’. And then to win, of course!

If I’m able to chat with one of them onboard I’ll probably have some questions around finding sponsorships, additional ways to make money, ways to play in more tournaments.

If you won, or had a deep run, what would you do with the money?

If I won really big I would pay things off, like the house and cars, and stop living paycheck to paycheck.

WPT Voyage sets sail on March 31 from Miami, Florida, taking in Grand Cayman and Bimini Bahamas before returning on April 6. Tournament highlights include the $1,100 WPT Prime event with $500k GTD, the $5k Main Event with $1m GTD, as well as a $10k High Roller, $25k Super High Roller, $1,100 PLO and much more.

Full details, including the voyage itinerary and tournament schedule, can be found at the WPT Voyage site.

Images courtesy of WPT/ Van Keer