Phillips Wins Second WSOP Bracelet, Returns to School

Carter Phillips 2
Carter Phillips is returning to school at UNC Charlotte after the summer.

Carter Phillips defeated former world champion of poker Joe Cada to win his second WSOP bracelet in Las Vegas Monday.

But Phillips told PokerListings.com he has decided to put poker on the backburner and return to school in September.

Enrolled at UNC Charlotte, Phillips looks at the WSOP as a sort of poker summer camp, one he’ll be attending for the next few years.

“I don’t know if I’ll be playing poker forever and I really want to have something to fall back on,” Phillips said in Las Vegas moments after receiving his bracelet.

“I’d love to go into business and now with the money I’ve won in poker I’ll have the opportunity to get something started,” he said.

Phillips’ timing has been spot on. He dropped out of University in 2007 to play poker professionally, going on to snag a number of five-figure online scores in 2008, and a win at EPT Barcelona in 2009 for over $1.2 million.

In 2010 Phillips won his first gold bracelet, worth $482,000 and change.

“At the time the first bracelet was more important because it was such a new experience, but now it really does mean a lot to win two,” said Phillips.

“It’s true that a lot of people can win one bracelet but it’s special to me to be one of the guys that’s won two,” he said.

Since 2007 Phillips has spent a great deal of his poker playing time online but on April 15, 2011 he, along with the rest of the US, lost that privilege.

“After Black Friday I really had nothing to do. I didn’t want to move to play online poker because I love where I live, so I decided to go back to school,” said Phillips.

Carter Phillips 1
"It’s special to me to be one of the guys that’s won two.”

Phillips has won more than $2.5 million playing live poker tournaments, and almost $2 million online.

And with the financial security that comes with earning millions of dollars by the age of 23, Phillips is now turning his attention to his life off the felt.

“Poker will always be at least a part-time thing for me. I could really see myself playing in the summer when I’m not in school for the next few years,” said Phillips.

WSOP Bracelets Harder to Win in 2012

A major trend at the 2012 World Series of Poker has been smaller pro-heavy fields and more big names at final tables and in the winner’s circle.

There are two big reasons this has been the case.

First, there’s been a marked drop in recreational players at the WSOP. Most point to the struggling economy to explain why less rec players are registering for WSOP tournaments.

The second reason is Black Friday. With an army of successful online poker pros barred from online poker, many more are turning to the live game to help regain that lost income.

What that means for players at the 2012 WSOP is harder fields and a much tougher road to winning a bracelet.

“The fields are definitely tougher than they were, even in 2010 when I won my first bracelet,” said Phillips.

“Just look at the final table in the event I won. That was a $1,500 tournament,” he said.

Phillips had to take on 2009 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Cada heads-up, and that was only after he outlasted a tough lineup that included poker pro and coach Tom Chambers and former HPT hostess Cherish Andrews.

So far the list of pros who have won bracelets in 2012 includes Brent Hanks, Leif Force, Phil Hellmuth, Andy Frankenberger, Joe Cassidy, Matt Matros, Adam Friedman, Brian Hastings, Andy Bloch, John Monnette and Simon Charette, to name just a few.

For a full rundown of all this year’s bracelet winners click through to our WSOP 2012 Schedule and Results Page.

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