Sam Stein Breaks Through at WSOP with First Major Poker Win

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Third biggest score. First major win.

23-year-old poker pro Sam Stein has made millions of dollars playing poker but before this WSOP his record was missing a major win.

That changed in a big way Sunday night when he defeated 685 players in the $3,000 PLO event to win his first WSOP bracelet and over $420,000.

“It feels amazing to win a bracelet and the fact that this is my first big win makes it even better,” Stein told in Las Vegas.

Stein now has more than $2.8 million in live tournament earnings, in addition to a successful online MTT resume.

The list of close calls for Stein in major events is long, highlighted by a fourth at the 2011 PCA main event which earned him $1 million, second in the $5k NAPT Venetian main event last year for $522,000, fifth at the WPT Legends of Poker for $115,000 and most recently a third in the $10,000 PLO Championship for $264,000 just two weeks ago.

Having had so many near-misses in his short career it’s easy to imagine Stein feeling the pressure when he’s seriously deep. He told us that’s simply not the case.

“I’ve played a lot of poker and it doesn’t factor in when I’m at the final table,” said Stein.

“Things just haven’t gone my way in the past at these final tables and the cards will often be the difference between winning and finishing second,” he said.

Despite getting his start online, Stein told us he hasn’t felt much of an effect since Black Friday.

The fact that the WSOP began just a few weeks after Americans lost their ability to play online poker helped, but Stein has been increasingly shifting his poker schedule to include more live tournaments over the last year.

“I don’t feel like I need to play that much online right now because I’m having so much fun playing live,” he said.

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