Flying across the country playing in monthly tournaments may sound like a dream to some poker players, but to do so after having lost your job and your business in an economic downswing is something far less whimsical.
He was doing it because he had to.
Now, a guaranteed millionaire, Schaffel will no longer have to worry about being unemployed and in financial peril.
Funny what a bit of dedication and a splash of Run-Good sauce can do.
His story shows the benefits one can accrue by dedicating yourself to playing the game to the best of your ability.
Coupled with his run in the Main Event, he has arguably become the 2009 poster boy for how poker can change lives for the better.
Schaffel is coming into the final table with a bit over 12m in chips, which puts him in 6th place. But before he even gets a chance to battle for the bracelet, he'll head over to the WPT Legends of Poker tournament in LA and take home a cool 471k as runner up.
Good for the confidence and for the bankroll. [The crystal ball cannot take credit for this since, well, it just happened. It's no longer a prognostication when it already occured.]
The discouraging news for Schaffel is him being the meat in an Ivey-Begleiter sandwich. He's fortunate that Ivey is to his right, but Begleiter on his left has nearly two-and-a-half times his chip stack. It will be tough sledding.
His main adversary, however, will be the one man we've yet to mention: Jeff Shulman.
For reasons unknown, Shulman will have Schaffel's number at this final table. If not for the controversial pro, Schaffel would replicate his Legends of Poker accomplishment and finish as runner-up. Instead, his night will end much earlier.
Kevin Schaffel, your 2009 Main Event WSOP 7th-place finisher!
More WSOP 2009 November Nine Predictions:
- James Akenhead
- Steven Begleiter
- Eric Buchman
- Joseph Cada
- Phil Ivey
- Darvin Moon
- Antoine Saout
- Jeff Shulman