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Poker Stories

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Card Player, The Poker Authority, is an industry-leading publication and web portal specializing in poker media, strategy and tournament coverage. Poker Stories is a long-form audio series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Card Player, The Poker Authority, is an industry-leading publication and web portal specializing in poker media, strategy and tournament coverage. Poker Stories is a long-form audio series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.
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Card Player, The Poker Authority, is an industry-leading publication and web portal specializing in poker media, strategy and tournament coverage. Poker Stories is a long-form audio series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.




Poker Stories: Steffen Sontheimer

Steffen Sontheimer recorded his first cash in the summer of 2015, and it wasn't until a year later that he started competing regularly in the high roller events. But despite his limited time on the felt, the 28-year-old already has more than $13.5 million in live tournament earnings, which is currently good enough for no. 44 on the all-time money list, and no. 6 in Germany. Sontheimer's run really started in 2017 when Fedor Holz went on Twitter on told that world that 'Go0se' was about to...


Poker Stories: Scott Blumstein

Scott Blumstein had a magical run through the 2017 World Series of Poker main event, topping a field of 7,221 to earn his first gold bracelet and the $8.15 million first-place prize. The win, however, came just a year after the Morristown, New Jersey native considered quitting the game entirely. While the 2016 WSOP main event was playing out in Las Vegas, Blumstein was back home in New Jersey, considering his options. After a conversation with his dad, he ultimately decided to give it one...


Poker Stories: Adam Friedman

Adam Friedman got his start in poker with a deep run in the 2005 World Series of Poker main event. Just 23 at the time, he has since put together a remarkably consistent career playing both cash games and tournaments. In 2006, he won the Midwest Regional Poker Championships main event. Incredibly, after skipping the tournament in 2007, he won the very same event again in both 2008 and 2009. This would not be the last time that Friedman was able to successfully defend a tournament title. The...


Poker Stories: Darren Elias

Darren Elias is just 32 years old, but he's already established himself as the end boss of the World Poker Tour. The New Jersey resident not only holds the tour record with four titles, but he's also the tour leader in cashes with 35, and final tables with 13. His first WPT title came at the 2014 Borgata Poker Open, where he won $843k. His second title came immediately after that at the WPT Carribbean stop. Elias' third win came in Canada at the 2017 Fallsview Poker Classic, and his latest...


Poker Stories: Jennifer Tilly

Jennifer Tilly is an Academy Award-nominated actress who has starred in films such as Bullets Over Broadway, Bound, Liar Liar, Monsters Inc., St. Ralph, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and the Chucky series. But she also happens to be an avid poker player, and a World Series of Poker bracelet winner. Tilly, who is in a relationship with poker pro Phil Laak, won the ladies event at the 2005 WSOP, picking up the title and the $158,625 first-place prize. She also has a win a the 2010 Bellagio Cup,...


Poker Stories: Scott Clements

Scott Clements has a unique poker origin story, having been so infatuated with the game that he overpaid for his buy-in into the World Poker Tour Canadian Poker Open event. Despite the bad bankroll management decision, he managed to lead the tournament wire-to-wire and emerge with a win. That tournament gave him an automatic entry fee into the WPT North American Poker Championship, which he also won, this time banking $1.45 million. In addition to his two WPT titles, Clements also has two...


Poker Stories: Layne Flack

Layne Flack is a six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, which puts him in a tie for no. 9 all time with poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, TJ Cloutier, Jay Heimowitz, Jeff Lisandro, and Ted Forrest. He also has numerous World Poker Tour final table appearances, and a title in the WPT Invitational. The 49-year-old poker pro has slightly more than $5 million in career live tournament earnings. Flack got his start both playing in, and running poker games near his childhood homes...


Poker Stories: Matthew Waxman

Matt Waxman learned the game in high school, but really got his career going in 2009 when he final tabled a $5,000 no-limit hold'em event at the World Series of Poker. The Parkland, Florida native won a WSOP Circuit ring the next year in Atlantic City, and followed that up with his biggest score to date, taking down the World Poker Tour Grand Prix de Paris for just over $720,000. Waxman nearly won the Festa al Lago Classic the next year, and in 2013, he won his first WSOP bracelet, banking...


Poker Stories: Steve Sung

Steve Sung trudged through college, always knowing in the back of his mind that he wanted to play poker for a living. Having always been a gambler, Sung immediately jumped on the tournament circuit when he turned 21 and quickly found success, making several World Poker Tour final tables and racking up large cashes around the world. In 2009, Sung won his first World Series of Poker bracelet, taking down a $1,000 no-limit hold'em event for $771,106. He followed that up with a second WSOP title...


Poker Stories: David 'ODB' Baker

David Baker is one of the most recent players to add his name to the World Poker Tour Champions Cup, having just taken down the L.A. Poker Classic main event for $1,015,000. The 46-year-old originally started as a salesman after graduating from Auburn University, and ultimately gave up a six-figure job to pursue his poker dream when his regular home game became too lucrative to ignore. Although Baker spends most of his playing time in high-stakes mixed games at the Commerce Casino, he does...


Poker Stories: Jeff Shulman

Jeff Shulman worked in land acquisition in Seattle before his father Barry recruited him to join the family business in Las Vegas. Together, they grew Card Player Magazine into the industry-leading media company it is today. As a player, Shulman was just a rookie when he broke out on the poker tournament scene, making the final table of the 2000 World Series of Poker main event. The "whippersnapper," as described by his opponents, was actually the chip leader at one point before a bad beat...


Poker Stories: Jack McClelland

After a brief stint as a professional bowler, Jack McClelland spent the rest of his career working in poker. He started out at the bottom cleaning ash trays and running chips before moving up the ladder to dealer, shift supervisor, and eventually tournament director. McClelland spent more than 30 years as one of the most respected figures in the industry, running tournaments all over the world. The Ohio-native was in charge of the World Series of Poker for most of the 80's and 90's, and...


Poker Stories: Matt Savage

Matt Savage got his start in the poker industry as a chip runner at Garden City Casino, and worked his way up the ranks to dealer at Bay 101, and eventually, tournament director. The San Jose-native saw a need in poker for a standardized set of rules, and with the help of Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, and Dave Lamb, formed the Tournament Directors Association. Savage was named tournament director for the World Series of Poker when he was just 34 years old, and served in that position during the...


Poker Stories: Eli Elezra

Eli Elezra has put together quite the list of poker accomplishments. The former businessman was one of the stars of the poker boom, enduring seven-figure swings by playing in some the biggest cash games in the world. He has also had quite a bit of success in live tournaments with more than $3.6 million in earnings. The 58-year-old won his World Poker Tour title back in 2004 at the Mirage Poker Showdown for $1,024,574. He also has three World Series of Poker bracelets, having taken down a...


Poker Stories: Shannon Shorr

Shannon Shorr wasn't even 21 when he found his first taste of success in the poker world. The University of Alabama student won a satellite to the Aussie Millions and finished fourth in the main event for nearly $200,000. Later that summer after turning 21, he chopped the Bellagio Cup main event. With nearly seven-figures in cashes, Shorr decided not to go back to school, at least for the time being. Shorr was one of the most consistent performers on the tournament circuit during the height...


Poker Stories: Mohsin Charania

Mohsin Charania became just the sixth person, and is one of only eight total players, who have won poker's Triple Crown. To earn the honor, a player needs to win a World Series of Poker bracelet, a World Poker Tour title, and a European Poker Tour main event. The Chicago-native picked up his EPT title back in 2012, winning the Grand Finale for more than €1.3 million. He won the WPT Grand Prix de Paris in 2013, and then the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2014 for almost $1.5 million....


Poker Stories: Jamie Kerstetter

Jamie Kerstetter has been a rising star in the poker world for the last few years, but her path to the profession was anything but typical. The New Jersey-native was a two-sport athlete at Rutgers University, and then earned her law degree from the University of Michigan. Her timing, however, couldn't have been worse. Kerstetter passed the bar exam and landed a job, but the recession caused layoffs, leaving her without employment. Rather than submit some more resumes, Kerstetter instead...


Poker Stories: Ryan Laplante

Ryan Laplante was barely in high school at the height of the poker boom, but even at that early age, he knew he wanted to be a professional player. The Brainerd, Minnesota-native was so dedicated to poker that he would walk two miles each way to his college campus so that he could play online after his laptop broke. After a rocky start that included some tilt issues, backing troubles, and the rough side of variance, Laplante hit his stride with his game. The 28-year-old has since pocketed...


Poker Stories: Kelly Minkin

Kelly Minkin missed the poker boom completely, and has only been playing tournaments for the last five years, but she has already established herself as top competitor on the circuit. Minkin was twice the last woman standing in the World Series of Poker main event, taking 29th in 2015 and 50th last summer. She also has two World Poker Tour final table appearances, taking third in both the 2015 Lucky Hearts Poker Open and the 2018 bestbet Bounty Scramble. In total, the 31-year-old has racked...


Poker Stories: Chance Kornuth

Chance Kornuth was just one semester shy of graduating from college when he decided to plunge headfirst into life as a professional poker player. He earned his first major taste of success in 2010, when he won the $5,000 PLO event at the WSOP for his first bracelet and $508K. The Denver-native continued to take shots with his bankroll, and found success both live and online. In 2014, he won the Bellagio Cup main event for another $526K. A year later, he finished third in the PokerStars...