Category Archives: LIFESTYLE

There are professional poker players and then there are poker pros with additional impressive talents. In the same vein as Alex Jacob, poker and Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions champion, there is David Williams. In addition to being a talented and prolific poker pro, Williams was the runner up on Season 7 of the popular show MasterChef. Williams is also known for placing second in the 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Take a look at this interesting and multi-talented young man. David Williams early life Williams was born in Arlington, Texas, in 1980. At the tender age of 16, he attended the early college entrance program at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at the University of North Texas. He later attended Princeton University and then transferred to Southern Methodist University where he majored in economics. Magic: The Gathering As a teen, Williams was an avid and successful Magic: The Gathering player who traveled…

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The poker world is chock full of talented female players: Annette Obrestad, Liv Boeree, Melanie Weisner, Vanessa Rouso, and Vanessa Selbst, to name a few—each of whom have enjoyed considerable success both online and in live arenas. Add to that list French poker pro Gaelle Baumann who is, perhaps, best known as the final table “bubble girl” at the 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Baumann hails from Strasbourg, France, and currently splits her time between Malta and London, England. Her live tournament career winnings are just over $1 million Early life Gaelle Baumann is highly educated, having earned two master’s degrees: one in English linguistics and literature, and the other in translation. After graduation, she moved to Perth, Australia, to improve her English and to enjoy the beach lifestyle. In 2007, while in Australia, Baumann began playing poker after being invited to a home game where she did extremely well. She then made the…

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Los Angeles native Chino Rheem is a professional poker player best known for finishing seventh in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event. For his efforts Rheem earned a hefty $1.77 million. The 38-year-old’s poker successes include being only the fourth person in World Poker Tour history (along with Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, and Anthony Zinno) to have won three WPT titles. Rheem’s poker success is frequently overshadowed by his reputation for owing a LOT of people a LOT of money. He has a reputation for using his charisma and some fast talking to avoid settling his debts. Chino Rheem early life Rheem—born David Rheem—had a troubled youth. This included accusations of drug abuse and a four-month stint in jail for marijuana possession and theft. Chino Rheem first played poker in Hollywood, Florida, at an Indian reservation casino. Between 2005 and 2007, Rheem honed his skills at Las Vegas’ Bellagio. His second-place…

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Rick Salomon is an American poker player with a long history of relationships with numerous female celebrities.  He known for placing 4th in the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Big One for One Drop and winning $2.84 million. Salomon also won $2.8 million in the 2014 Big One for One Drop. Salomon has been linked with—and married to—Elizabeth Daily, Shannen Doherty, and Pamela Anderson. He also had a relationship with Paris Hilton. In 2003, Salomon and Hilton made a sex tape that leaked online. Salomon sued over the tape’s distribution alleging defamation of character; however, the following year, Salomon distributed the film himself. So, what actually happened between Salomon and Polk? Doug Polk hilariously—and in true Polk form—discusses the incident that led to Salomon’s assertion that Polk called the police on him. It occurred about four to five years ago when Polk saw that the Venetian was hosting a $1K/$2K high-stakes cash game.…

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The poker world is chock full of a variety of personalities. Some are larger-than-life like Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow, while others—albeit highly talented and successful—are a bit more conservative and down-to-Earth. Meet Eric Baldwin, aka “basebaldy,” a Las Vegas local who—despite his immense success in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and other large-scale venues—is quite content to spend his time grinding in low-to medium-buy-in, medium-prize-pool, local tournaments. Not only is he a fantastic player, but Eric Baldwin is also a great guy. What is a grinder? A grinder is a poker player who plays a lot with the goal of making a steady profit. In other words, these players “grind” away, treating poker like a daily job, until their goals are reached.  Grinding is most assuredly not an easy living. Successful grinders require incredible patience, confidence, and stamina, and these words exemplify Eric Baldwin. Early life of basebaldy Eric Baldwin originally…

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Jacqueline Burkhart is a poker player from Portland who has built an impressive resume in just a few years of side-hustling poker. Her biggest scores include a deep run in the WSOP Monster Stack for nearly $30k and a final table in the WSOP Ladies Championship for $28k. Most recently, Jacki reached the final 5 tables of the PokerStars Player’s Championship (a $25k buy-in tournament for which she got a free entry), eventually finishing in 38th for $86,400. In this interview, Jacki talks about preparing for the tournament with our Winning Poker Tournaments course, how it felt to battle versus big name poker pros, and more. Before this $25k, what was the biggest buy-in tournament you had played? I played the 2018 WSOP main event for the first time. It was a “bucket list” item and the stars aligned — I had the time off work and I had interested backers after a decent summer. Previously $1,500…

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Cary Katz is a successful businessman, high-stakes tournament player, and one of poker’s most important figures. Known to some as ‘El Jefe’, Katz has long since surpassed the title of “businessman who plays poker” based on his results. He currently has $17 million in career tournament earnings and frequently makes final tables in high roller events around the world. The current state of televised poker coverage and the US high roller tournament scene has much to do with the 49-year-old Katz. He’s the founder of Poker Central/PokerGO and the creator of the ‘Triple Crown’ of US high roller events, which include the Super High Roller Bowl, Poker Masters and US Poker Open. Let’s take a look at Cary Katz’ path to becoming one of the most influential people in poker. How did Cary Katz make his money? Katz founded the College Loan Corp. in 1999 and the company quickly found success as one of the leading issuers of student loans in…

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Jason McConnon is a fixture on the mid-high stakes online poker scene, and the man known as JASON.MAC100 on PokerStars has spent the latter part of the 2010s as one of the UK’s most respected cash game specialists. Now, he’s joined Team Upswing to teach Lab members how to crush cash games like he does. JASON.MAC100 quickly climbed the cash game ladder on PokerStars in the second half of the 2010s, and went from playing $2.50/$5 NL in 2016 to his current preferred limits at $25/$50 in a short time frame, playing in some of the world’s toughest games. We haven’t seen too much of McConnon on mainstream live poker broadcasts, but he did make an appearance on Live at the Bike in a $25/$50/$100 game filled with pros like Doug Polk, Ryan Fee, Dan “Jungleman” Cates, Garrett Adelstein and Dan Merrilees. Deep WSOP Runs McConnon is not a regular tournament player, but he still has…

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American poker pro Melanie Weisner, aka Callisto5 on PokerStars, is one of today’s most accomplished female poker players. Let’s take a look at Weisner’s poker accomplishments, including some of the most interesting hands she’s played: Early Years and Online Poker The 31-year-old hails from Houston, Texas. Before making a splash in the poker world, she studied vocal performance at New York University. Weisner was first introduced to poker by her brother, who was a rather successful online player himself. During her studies at NYU, Weisner earned more than $400,000 playing part-time. For the bulk of her online poker career, she was a heads-up sit and go specialist. In addition to HUSNGs, Weisner has done quite well in online tournaments. Callisto5 has lifetime total winnings nearing $766k according to PocketFives, with her largest online cash coming in February 2016 when she won the PokerStars Sunday 500 for $58,313. Live Tournament Success European Poker Tour Weisner’s biggest career…

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The man we call “Mo” did it quietly, too. Our team at Upswing didn’t even know it happened until another pro (Matt Staples) tweeted about his own deep run! Mo took home $145,084 for his efforts after making a deal heads-up. This brings his career cashes to $1,436,440 on PokerStars alone (according to Official Poker Rankings). Mo is one of three relatively new additions to the elite team of Upswing Lab coaches, with the other two being cash game specialists Daniel “DANMERR” Merrilees and Jason McConnon. I know I’ll be watching one of Mo’s videos in the Lab today to celebrate. If you play tournaments, you should check one out too! He’s released two modules (structured lessons) in the Lab so far: Betting on the Flop and Check-Calling on the River. He’s also got a couple of Play & Explain videos in which he plays high stakes tournaments and explains his strategy as you watch.

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