The former Team PokerStars Online pro, who stepped away from the game professionally this year and made waves recently with an open admission of being a casual crack user, chopped the WSOP Circuit Main Event at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles last night for $151k.
Nipun Java took home the title inclduing the $226k first-place prize, the WSOPC ring and the seat in the WSOP National Championship.
New Podcast, New Lease on Poker
When Schleger announced in December he was leaving poker and Team PokerStars it came as a surprise to many as he was coming off his most successful year as a pro.
As Schleger described in his "goodbye" post on the PokerStars blog, he considered it "a privilege" to play poker profesionally for Stars but his recent $291k WCOOP score - the biggest of his career - was a chance to transition away from the game on a high note.
Diving headfirst into his writing and co-hosting a new podcast called Dope Stories - intended to further open and honest discussion about drug use and drug addiction in America - Schleger immediately turned a few heads with a post on Slate.com entitled "Fifteen Years of Smoking Crack."
As he explained to PokerListings in a follow-up interview, the response to the article showed how much poker and drug use are both still easily misconstrued:
New approach to poker already paying off.
"Writing that article, I learned that many people outside of poker still look at professional gambling as inherently corrupt or dubious way to make a living.
"To me, our profession doesn't seem much different than many other kinds of investing or banking or game-playing that are considered within the norm of society.
"Similarly, society accepts the idea of a 2-cup-of-coffee-a-day drinkers or the person who has a few glasses of wine at lunch but someone who smokes a joint with that first cup of coffee or does a line of coke after dinner isn't likely to be accepted so readily.
"I don't think it has much to do with toxicity, just the way it's viewed."
As for his future in poker, Schleger said "I think I'll play poker as a hobby, hopefully forever! I'd like to keep my game sharp and play occasionally for fun.
"I want to get back in touch with what made the game enjoyable and not 'work.' I want to fit poker into my life rather than trying to fit life around a full time poker career."
It's a formula that already seems to be paying off. Read more about Schleger's WSOPC run here; find the Dope Stories podcast here.