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Former Online Pro Wilder Wins Big at WSOP
Harrison Wilder was a casualty of poker’s Black Friday, losing the livelihood that had supported him for four years.
He proved he has what it takes to succeed in the live arena as well, however, when he won the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP last night.
Wilder dropped out of college to play poker professionally on the internet, specializing in Limit Hold’em cash games, and saw his ability to earn a living disappear when the U.S. government restricted the access of its citizens to the three biggest online poker sites.
Faced with a decision, Wilder decided to try his hand at live poker, starting with the World Series of Poker.
With zero results on his poker resume before he won this event, he kicked his live tournament career off with a bang by winning $205,065 and a WSOP bracelet.
“Black Friday was bad,” Wilder told PokerListings.com in Las Vegas.
“There aren’t a lot of career opportunities for a college dropout who hasn’t had a real job above minimum wage in ten years,” Wilder continued.
“I was really worried,” he said simply.
Wilder made the decision to pack his things and move from his home in Portland, Oregon to Las Vegas, where the sheer number of poker games makes it possible to earn a living playing live.
While this $200,000 victory will certainly make the transition easier, Wilder has already found success playing live cash games. The only difference is the amount of time he’s forced to put in.
“I can still make the same amount of money, but it’s a completely different kind of job,” Wilder explained.
“I used to be able to play two hours a day at my house, now I have to come to the Bellagio for like ten at a time.”
For Wilder this tournament win is just a bonus. He had very low expectations coming to the WSOP, having played only a few live poker tournaments before.
“I’ve played maybe four tournaments in the last five years,” said Wilder. “I would have been happy just to cash.”
Wilder defeated Thomas Jamieson of Bakersfield, California to win the second WSOP event he had ever entered.