Scheduled to attend and play on the
2007 WSOP Main Event Champion
Born in Laos, Jerry Yang grew up poor in a
politically unstable environment. His humble upbringing has helped him
keep his new stature as WSOP Champion and millionaire in perspective.
Yang told ESPN in a post-match interview: “The day the American
government called my father’s name and said, ‘Hey, you can come to
America,’ that was the happiest day of my life. My winning today also
means a lot to me, because I know that I can use this money to do a
lot of good for other people out there.”
Socially conscious, Jerry is
determined to give something back. He pledged 10% of his winnings to
three different charities − the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Feed the
Children, and the Ronald McDonald House.
Since his win in 2007, Jerry has
donated more than $1 million dollars to various charitable
organizations and has personally raised more than $800,000 for
charity. In July 2011, his memoir titled All In: from refugee camp
to poker champ, the Jerry Yang Story will be released. Medallion
Press (in Chicago) is the publisher of his book.
Player of the Year
Player and current WPT Player of the year Faraz "The Toilet" Jaka
is scheduled to attend and play in the Windy City Poker Championship
Season #2 on November 19th-21st. Faraz a native of Illinois has
recently seen amazing success on the tournament circuit. He has
amassed more than $2 million in career earnings and will bring his
unique poker skills to our event to compete in our televised
Player and Blogger Scott Clark, who likes to be referred to as
"Scotty" will be attending our championship weekend. Scott is a native
of St. Louis Missouri and recently won a WSOP H.O.R.S.E. event in
I received my poker experience
naturally. As resident of Madison, Wisconsin, I've been playing poker
for almost 20 years. There in a little joint called the Players Sports
Bar. In fact, It was in that very joint, that I met Madison's other
favorite poker son, Phil Hellmuth, and while Phil went on to, you
know, other things, I decided that I liked my home-away-from-home game
so much that I bought the bar we always played at and have owned it
I regularly travel to the big events on the poker tournament calendar,
such as the World Series of Poker® and the Aruba Ultimate Poker
Classic, or any WPT event.
I am currently a sponsored professional for Ultimate Bet. You can also
find me as an instructor at the WSOP Academies which I have done for
the last 6 years.
When not playing poker, I can be found down at my place called Players
Sports Bar making the worlds best burgers, or in the studio doing a
weekly Poker radioshow called Manup with Mark and Mike on 1670 WTDY.
Livin the Dream
It's no understatement
to say that Nick Brancato has A LOT of experience. As an Internet
Poker Pro he's logged over a million hands, equal to nearly 20 years
of full time live playing experience.
Nick began his poker career with
just $200 and promptly proceeded to lose nearly half his bankroll.
Disgusted, he purchased several poker books and began to truly study
the game. Nick relentlessly scrutinized his play, carefully analyzing
key decisions after each session, constantly seeking to optimize his
game. Initially concentrating only on Sit-N-Goes, Nick worked his way
up, eventually learning to consistently beat some of the largest
Single Table Tournaments available.
Nick then began to
focus on No Limit Cash Games. The experience of playing over a
thousand Sit-N-Goes made him an immediate low stakes winner. Since
then Nick has steadily moved up in limits, consistently crushing the
games, now playing eight high limit tables at once. Playing so many
hands has made the technical side of Nick's game nearly automatic,
leaving him free to focus on more advanced strategies.
college with a Computer Science Degree in only 3 years. At just 20, he
began a career as a Web Developer, soon becoming a Microsoft Certified
Systems Engineer. His heavily computer oriented and mathematical
background serves him well, as Nick has become a master at the
statistical analysis of poker.
Raised in New Jersey
by a family of educators, Nick soon followed in their footsteps.
Inspired by his late father, Jerry, a teacher who was also a great
high stakes Stud player, Nick left his lucrative computer job to
become a high school educator. This afforded him the opportunity to
not only play more poker, but also to do something he has always found
extremely gratifying, teach. Never doing anything halfhearted, within
the year, Nick went on to get a Master Degree in Educational
Now, Nick's primary
focus is just poker. While playing tens of thousands of hands a month,
he remains a true student of the game, spending countless time
reviewing his play, studying hand histories and devouring poker
material. His prior teaching experience, along with his online
expertise, provides an exceptional learning experience for students.
Nick currently lives
in Jersey City, NJ. When away from the tables he enjoys spending time
with family and friends, especially his mother, Karol, and long time
Rick Fuller has been
playing poker since being introduced to the game at the age of 8. He
has been playing in casinos and card rooms for the past 17 years. In
January 2004, Rick left his full time job as a Police Officer and
began playing poker professionally. In that time, Rick has won several
tournaments and made numerous final tables. He has made 3 final tables
in the World Series of Poker, just missing a coveted World Series
bracelet with two third place finishes and one ninth place finish. His
2007 World Series cashes netted him more than a quarter million
dollars with a third place finish in no limit hold'em and a twelfth
place finish in limit hold'em. Several money finishes in the game of
Omaha 8 or better garnered him a sixth place ranking in Card Player's
player of the year race for Omaha in 2004. Also in 2004, at the Reno
Hilton World Poker Challenge, Rick made two final tables, placing 7th
in the championship event, on the T.V. bubble for the World Poker
Tour. In 2005 Rick made an amazing 3 final tables on the Ultimate
Poker Challenge, playing on television for the first time, winning one
event and placing 3rd and 4th in the other two.
Rick has played
poker in more than 20 different states and 9 different countries
around the world and has studied the game extensively. In 2005 he
served for a short time as the Vice President in charge of marketing
for the United States Poker Association where he helped to make
policies and procedures governing poker. Rick is also a recognized
writer within the poker industry. He has written many articles for
several poker magazines, including Bluff Magazine, All In, and Casino
His skills as a player are complimented by the insight and knowledge
he has gained as a writer. Rick offers unique insight on tournament
play, and provides a wonderful perspective for any amateur looking to
move his or her game to the next level.
Read Larry's bio here.