2015 NJ Online POY Contender: Daniel “centrfieldr” Lupo

Daniel "centrfieldr" Lupo has notched online Sunday Major final tables in back to back weekends and might be the most competitive player in this year's OPOY race.

Daniel “centrfieldr” Lupo has notched online Sunday Major final tables in back to back weekends and might be the most competitive player in this year’s OPOY race.

Throughout the year BLUFF.com brings the 2015 Online Player of the Year races for New Jersey and Nevada front and center with features on the players competing for top honor in online poker in the United States. Next up is Daniel “centrfieldr” Lupo. 

The early 2015 BLUFF.com Sunday Major coverage has yet to see a player achieve as much success in back-to-back weeks as Daniel “centrfieldr” Lupo has, notching five Sunday Major final table appearances with one outright win and two other podium finishes over the last two weekends, using a white hot run to propel himself into the top ten of the New Jersey OPOY rankings.

That lofty ranking is made all the more impressive as, just like the last OPOY Contender featured Jason “JayRiv” Rivkin, Lupo doesn’t play full-time like many of the grinders at the top of that list, as he works full-time at an architecture firm after graduating from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

College might not have been where Lupo honed his trade as a poker player but it is certainly where he developed his competitive nature as a center fielder, and was a two time NJCBA All-Star selection and still sits near the top of the NJIT all-time hits and runs scored list.

The next few years opened Lupo’s eyes to the possibility of maybe not having poker be his full-time career but something that he had a knack for, as he played “semi-professionally” after the housing recession forced his firm to consolidate and while he was still trying to follow his baseball career, with a few professional offers from at home and abroad, he was grinding tournaments on Full Tilt Poker during the day and playing live cash games at casinos at night.

In 2009, after the economy and housing markets recovered, he started with a new architecture firm and has comfortably working there ever since, using poker as a “part-time competitive hobby and second income” ever since.

That plan has nearly worked to perfection since the inception of the New Jersey sites as Lupo has racked up close to $200,000 in online earnings over the last two years with a majority of those scores coming in higher buy-in events.

That’s also going according to plan, as Lupo has made a conscious effort to actually reduce the amount of tournaments he plays, focusing on events with bigger prize pools, adding that he’s found “it’s a lot easier to maintain composure and consistency” when he’s not playing a dozen different tables every day of the week.

Some players would site the high amount of volume as the biggest benefit to playing online and Lupo wouldn’t argue that, but for a family man, with a wife and a full-time job, Lupo sites the “ease and convenience” of online poker as he can play on his own schedule and significantly cut down on the “overhead cost” associated with traveling to and from a casino to play live poker.

Lupo is also a huge supporter, and thankful, of the security that the New Jersey sites bring to the market, as he lost out on one of the biggest five figure scores of his career just a few weeks before Black Friday and he says the new regulated sites take away the “stress and worry about how much I can keep online at a given time.”

While the OPOY race has gone well for Lupo thus far, he realizes the difficulties of keeping pace with full-time grinders but if he can continue to churn out good results in some of the biggest New Jersey Sunday Majors through the rest of the year, he could have a serious shot at the top spot.

He also says he is fully prepared to make a run at it if he’s near the top of the rankings come November or December joking – “If I need to persuade my wife with a spa day or two to try to grab the POY, I’m definitely willing to do that.” showing that he’s clearly lost none of his competitive edge since his college days.

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