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Poker pro Noah Schwartz has a stellar record in live poker tournaments and in his career he's racked up more than $3.5 million in earnings. He's also successful online and in live cash games. But for Schwartz the money is important for more than just playing tournaments. Having grown up poor, and losing his father to lung cancer when he was a teenager, Schwartz is now working to organize a foundation that helps better the lives of other children in similar situations. Schwartz is in Paris at the World Series of Poker Europe and tells PokerListings.com about his plans.
I think I'm getting a little older now and as far as coming out here to play poker, I enjoy it. It is a bit of a lag and then you have to pay like 4% to send your money and 4% to send your money back if you win. It's a bit taxing but it's a nice change and I actually enjoy the weather this time of year in Paris believe it or not.
What motivates me to come out here is I have a couple prop bets to become one or two in the GPI the world. I'm currently in the top 25 so that kind of motivates me. Like I said, I really don't have much responsibility right now. No family or anything like that so I'm just trying to enjoy it and make the most out of life.
I've had, in the past 14 months, 7 final tables in which I won 1 but all in big event buy-ins. It's been a bit frustrating. I've found myself in some difficult spots and it really does make me hungry. It's sort of like LeBron not winning the first time or just constantly getting there, knocking on the door, getting so close and coming up a bit short. So it definitely does motivate me and it just drives me. I believe firmly in perseverance. Listen, at the end of the day, I'm playing poker for a living; it's simply amazing. I'm thankful. These kids say "Oh, I got a bad beat da da da." I'm like, "Listen, at the end of the day, be thankful for what you have. Stop complaining."
I think the transition, as far as the success in poker and what it's allowing me to achieve, there's more to it at the end of the day. That's why I haven't been traveling as much. I'm in the process of starting up my own foundation for underprivileged kids. I just kind of want to leave a legacy, not in the form of poker but just as who I am as Noah Swartz and help making a difference. I really came from nothing growing up so when I have the opportunity, we're only here for a short period of time, right? At the end, who knows what happens? I just want to make a difference, even if it's just in one person's life and just change someone's life for the better. It would mean a lot to me. So this is just enjoyment.
As far as the foundation is concerned that I'm setting up, it was just sort of something that I was intrigued in. A lot of my friends are involved and I have a lot of connections with a lot of very well-established, high net-worth individuals. So I thought, "Why not do something to create, for a cause essentially?" For me, I grew up...I lost my father at 17 to lung cancer and when he passed away, we were really, really poor. It was hard. I didn't have a car until I was 20 years old. I went to college and a kid who copied off me, we all went to the same class, he basically took me to school. So I want to try to help better kids who have less education, are less fortunate. Just show them that there's light at the end of the tunnel and not to give up hope because you can definitely make it.