Frankenberger Finds First WSOP Bracelet

Andy Frankenberger
Andy Frankenberger

The whole “poker” thing might just work out for former stock trader Andy Frankenberger.

Frankenberger, who won WPT Legends of Poker last year, got another vote of confidence by winning his first WSOP bracelet in Event 28 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em last night.

“This particular win was so unbelievably fulfilling for me,” said Frankenberger as he accepted his bracelet.

“It’s just an entirely new set of emotions.”

Frankenberger outlasted a field of 2,500 players and a final table littered with pros like Owen Crowe and Steven Merrifield to take down the bracelet and $599k in cash.

The 38-year-old is one of the more interesting stories in poker as he decided to quit his job as an equities derivatives trader after 14 years.

After traveling the world and picking up several new hobbies, including piano and photography, he found his way to the poker world.

He had immediate success when he won a Venetian Deepstack tournament for $162k. He first thought it might have been luck but just one month later he took down WPT Legends for $750k.

“After I won Legends I thought, 'Oh I must be doing something well, this must be worth my time so I’m really going to focus on it as a profession',” he said.

Frankenberger followed up his L.A. victory with another WPT final table when he placed fifth at Festa al Lago in October. The feat secured Frankenberger as the Season 9 WPT Player of the Year.

He went on to record several more significant cashes before the year ended but finally hit a dry spell in the early stages of 2011.

“You start questioning your strategy and you start questioning your game,” said Frankenberger. “I was starting to wonder if I should even be doing this.

"It’s human nature. Winning this tournament just so satisfying to me.”

Going from Wall Street to Las Vegas might seem like an odd choice but Frankenberger pointed out there were many similarities between trading stocks and trading chips.

“In derivatives trading it’s all about risk management and that’s how I look at poker – it’s all risk management,” he said.

Furthermore stock trading involves making decisions without knowing every piece of information - similar to poker.

“You’re never smarter than the market,” he said. “You’ve got your views on where the market is going to go but you never know.

"In poker, unless you have the nuts, you never know if you have the best hand.”

Frankberger feels some of the same qualities that made him a successful trader have translated well into poker.

“I don’t let my ego get in the way,” he said. “When I’m wrong I admit it and try to move on. At least I try to do that.

"A lot of people make quick decisions, ‘Oh that’s a snap call, oh, that’s an easy shove.’ Nothing is a snap-decision to me. You always have to be thinking.”

Just two years removed from his position in derivatives trading, Frankenberger is officially one of the hottest poker players on the circuit.

His first cash was in 2010 and he’s since accumulated nearly $2 million in live tournament earnings.

Although Frankenberger still follows the stock market, he said he wouldn’t change anything about his current career choice.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to play poker for a living,” he said.

The 2011 WSOP continues through July 19. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas be sure to check PokerListings’ Live Updates and News.

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