Defeating a field of 258 and a stacked final table that included Triple Crown winner Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, WPT winner Mike Watson and WSOP bracelet winner James Dempsey, Wade was victorious in the €3k Shootout in Cannes Thursday.
For the win he earned €182,048 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
With a career that reaches back to the Moneymaker boom year of 2003 and includes 14 WSOP cashes and three final table appearances, this victory was a long time in the making for Wade.
“I’ve been playing poker for a long time, going on eight years online and live, and it’s finally happened,” he said.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted, something everyone aspires to have and it feels incredible to finally have it.”
26 years old from Boynton Beach, Florida Wade graduated from Central Florida University with a degree in psychology while playing poker professionally. While he says the degree was a back-up plan in case poker didn’t pan out, the success Wade has enjoyed since graduating suggests that he may never need to put that contingency plan into action.
Last night’s victory brings Wade’s total lifetime earnings to $961,000, and over $750k of that has come in 2011 alone.
“There’s a lot of luck in poker and there’s a lot of variance so even though I’ve worked really hard on my game and put in so much work I’d be foolish not to think that I got lucky too,” he said.
“Things are going my way, I’m playing well and I’m confident and it’s going to be tough to beat someone with all those things going for them.”
Since online poker has been restricted in the US, Wade has joined a growing number of American pros seeking their fortune abroad. As Wade told PokerListings.com last week at EPT London, he simply bought a one-way ticket to Europe and left the rest to chance.
And with the main event still to go in Cannes, Wade is far from done at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe.
PokerListings.com is providing live coverage and news from location in Cannes. Stay up to date with all the action on our 2011 World Series of Poker Europe Live Coverage page.