$2.2M WCOOP Winner Tyson Marks Back on the Grind

Tyson Marks
Tyson Marks at the 2012 WPT LA Poker Classic.

In September of 2010 Tyson Marks won $2.2 million in the biggest online poker tournament ever held, and his timing couldn’t have been better.

An American who played online as POTTERPOKER, Marks took down $2.2 million barely six months before Black Friday cut the US off from online poker.

Even luckier, Marks won the money on PokerStars, and not Full Tilt Poker.

“It was insane,” Marks told PokerListings.com.

“At the time I was just excited to get to play in such a cool tournament, and you hope and pray but you never really think you’re going to win,” he said.

September 26, 2010 was a Sunday. Tyson Marks sat down with 2,442 other players from around the world on PokerStars and just two days later he had won $2,278,097.50.

But while $2.2 million might sound like a fortune, the truth is a bit more down-to-earth.

“I had less than half of my win so I got a little less than a million, and I’ve paid taxes on that,” Marks said of his staking arrangement.

“I don’t have as much money as people probably think,” he said.

Black Friday Safety Net

But on Black Friday, when online poker pros across the US were left wondering how they were going to make a living, Marks had a very comfortable safety net on which to fall back.

Tyson Marks
Tyson Marks

“A lot of my friends live month to month playing online and they had to relocate after Black Friday just to get by, so things would definitely be different for me without that win,” said Marks.

“So I was fortunate to be comfortable enough to be able to hang out and try to wait this thing out until we hopefully get online poker back.

“I’ve got about $40,000 on Full Tilt and I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll get it back but I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much.

“I’ve just been laying low mostly,” said Marks.

“I didn’t move to keep playing online after Black Friday and I’ve been in Montana since after the World Series last year, enjoyed the summer and I’ve been snowboarding a lot this winter,” he said.

Back on the Grind

“After winning the WCOOP poker really started occupying less of my time but these days I’m spending more and more time playing, kind of getting back on the grind,” he added.

Most recently Marks made a semi-deep run in the LA Poker Classic main event, finishing 24th for $34,260.

In fact, since the start of the 2011 WSOP he’s racked up over $150,000 in live tournament cashes.

Marks said he’s concentrating on learning non-Hold’em games, and his record reflects early success with results in games like 2-7 Triple Draw, Omaha, Stud and HORSE.

“I’m on my own now so I’m just focusing and trying to make it work,” he said.

“Just trying not to be broke in a few years.”

Marks will be playing at the 2012 World Series of Poker, so keep an eye on our WSOP 2012 Section for updates on his progress.

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