Patrick Poirier: From Tupper Lake to Chip Leader in WSOP Main Event

Patrick Poirier
Patrick Poirier

Every year there are poker players who escape from relative obscurity to become superstars at the World Series of Poker.

So far, Patrik Poirier has been a revelation in the 2011 WSOP Main Event.

The 25-year-old, originally from Tupper Lake, NY, but now residing in Las Vegas, was the first player to crack the one million chip mark on Day 3 and finished holding the overall chip lead with 1.3 million chips. 

Amazingly it is the first time Poirier has played the prestigious poker tournament.

“It’s been great so far,” he said. “It’s gone really, really well.”

Tupper Lake is not exactly the hotbed of the poker world so Poirier had to teach himself the game when he was growing up.

He took to the game almost instantly after discovering it.

“I’ve always been competitive,” he said. “I love the thrill and the excitement of poker. It’s just a fun game."

Poirier attended various colleges and universities including SUNY Canton and UNLV, and even joined the army, but nothing really stuck.

Part of the reason Poirier attended UNLV was so that he could play poker on the side. He ended up paying for a good part of his tuition and become more and more interested in the game.

About three years ago he started to play poker seriously and got involved with a group of skilled rounders who helped him elevate his game. 

“I got lucky there,” he said. “I got in with a really good crowd of people who just crushed the game.”

Midway through Day 4 Poirier was still one of only five players with over one million chips and is in a position that many poker players would be envious of.

There are only 701 players left and every player in the final 693 will be paid at least $19,359.

It’s likely Poirier has his eyes on a different prize, however, as first place is paying out a staggering $8.7 million.

The 2011 WSOP continues through July 19. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas check PokerListings' Live Updates brought to you by PartyPoker.

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