Bill Edler is a name poker fans should be making note of. He may not be ranked as a poker star just yet in the public’s mind, but some of the top pros will tell you, he’s got what it takes to make it big.
He’s also got proof of that talent after winning a gold bracelet in the 2007 World Series of Poker where he took down the $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship.
But his poker journey began back in college when he was playing to help put himself through law school.
The poker pro was attending the University of California-Berkley, well-known for its law program, but he never bothered to take the bar exam and actually practice law.
He told PokerListings.com he knew as soon as he started studying that he would never actually practice law. Instead of focusing on grades then, he just enjoyed learning and after graduation moved on to poker.
He was hired as a prop player at the Casino San Pablo in San Francisco’s East Bay, where he worked on his game and was eventually promoted to poker room manager.
“It's an unusual step, but I think the law school connection helped,” Edler told PokerListings.com.
It was his position at the casino that led him to his friendship with Erik Lindgren. Edler hired the young poker pro when he was just barely 21 as a prop player. Since then he’s also become good friends with Gavin Smith and Chris Bell, who will probably tell you, along with anyone else Edler meets on the poker circuit, Edler is one of the nicest people in poker.
His reputation as a poker player has been growing on the circuit as well. In 2005 he had two cashes in the World Series of Poker and cashed in the World Poker Tour Second Annual Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship. That’s not counting the many minor tournaments he went deep in as well, including two Ultimate Poker Challenge wins.
Bill Edler grew his reputation
His streak of cashes continued into 2006, where he found himself once again doing well in lesser-known events and cashing in two WPT events and again in two WSOP events. One of his WSOP cashes was a final table in the $1,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo event, giving him a hint at what success in a major event would be like.
He came close to a major win again early in 2007 with a 13th place finish at the WPT Borgata Winter Open in January. He nearly made the televised final table of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic as well in February, going out in seventh place.
For a third time he went deep in a WPT event in March 2007, actually making the televised final table of the Bay 101 championship. He was the first one out though, taking home the sixth place prize, and probably more than a little determination to win an event soon.
In June 2007, he finally got his win at the World Series of Poker. In a field of 728 players and a final table that included Eric Friberg, who made the final table of the 2006 Main Event, as well as Dutch Boyd, Edler finally got his chance to shine.
He went into the final table severely short-stacked and battled his way back to go heads-up with Alex Bolotin and eventually get the win.
During what turned out to be the final hand of the match, Edler rubbed his wedding ring before making the final call that would lead to his win.
A family man first, poker player second, Edler was thinking of his wife as he worked out what he wanted to do. She’s saved him before – when he and a few pros got together to play Wii Bowling for a Main Event seat, she stepped in for his last few frames after his miserable performance and helped him win back a little money in side bets with her three-strike performance.
And she brought him luck again as he made the call with A-T against Bolotin’s A-Q, and then flopped a ten to put him ahead, where he stayed.
Keep an eye out for Bill Edler in future big events. It won’t come as any surprise to those in the know if he keeps up his success and lands a few more major wins.