Featured Authors Articles Jason Young
Fifteen years ago, a World Series of Poker bracelet was likely the culmination of a career spent grinding out a living in underground card rooms.
In 2008, it’s more often the kick start to a poker career – and the opportunity of a lifetime for players like 26-year-old Suffern, New York native Jason Young.
Quitting his job with the local Parks and Recreation Department at the end of 2007 and making a last-minute decision to try his luck at the 2008 WSOP, Young came out of nowhere to capture a bracelet – and a life-changing $335,000 - in Event 17, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em shoot-out.
A newcomer to the pro scene, he wasn’t exactly a poker rookie however. Young learned to play Seven-Card Stud from his grandmother when he was a kid and had been playing the game casually for years, discovering Hold’em shortly after the Moneymaker boom of 2003.
“I didn't even know what Hold'em was three or four years ago. And then everyone started playing it and it was on TV and I started playing in Atlantic City. I did alright in some tournaments, won some money, so it started being a hobby.
“Me and my dad have been to Atlantic City like 150 times in the past three years … but I never dreamed it would come to this. This is what all the work is for.”
A far cry from the $35k per year he was making at his former job, his six-figure take at this year's World Series was just the beginning as he’s now taking his bankroll and trying to turn it into a successful career as a professional poker player.
With a solid run in the 2008 Main Event (finishing 444th) and several other cashes since, he’s off to a promising start, and poker fans will be able to follow his progress in his exclusive blog for PokerListings.
He plans to tell his tales from the road exactly how they are - for better or worse - and dive into what life as a newbie on the circuit is really like.
And as he said in his post-bracelet interview this summer: “I'm not a professional yet, but I've got a bankroll and a little bling on my wrist to say otherwise, I guess.
“We'll see what happens; one step at a time.”