Every professional poker player has their good years and bad years, with plenty of ups and downs in between. For one American poker pro, the ups just keep on coming. Steve Wolansky of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is having the best year of his 6-year career on the live circuit, collecting 10 cashes along the way including a WSOP bracelet win over the summer and last week’s $330k swoop of the Borgata Fall Poker Open.
In 2014 alone, Wolansky has racked up $469,520 in live tournament cashes, accounting for more than half of his career total of $880,494. Steve’s annual earnings have progressed year over year, aside from a hiccup in 2012. In his first year on the felt, 2009, he pulled in $28,769, followed by a $31,259 total in 2010, $45,426 in 2011, then the drop off in 2012 of just $5,620. From there, though, his poker prowess has been phenomenal, collecting $299,900 in 2013 across 17 cashes that included a 2nd place, $139k win at the WSOP’s $2,500 8-Game Mix, and 3rd place finish in the Florida State Poker Championship for $63.5k.
2014 saw Wolansky’s bankroll soar to new heights. The American poker pro started the year slow with a few small cashes, but the fireworks really started going off with the start of the 45th Annual World Series of Poker. Steve cashed in seven WSOP events, six of which paid out between $1.8k and $23k, and the other worthy of a WSOP bracelet. Wolansky whittled his way through a 241 field in Event #36 $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball, claiming the coveted bracelet and $89,483. What happened next, though, was the cherry on top for the Florida native.
Last week, Wolansky was amongst the 548 entrants to take part in the $2,500 Borgata Fall Poker Open NLHE Championship at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. After three days of intense chip tossing, Wolansky and 9 others became the last men standing. Hour after hour into Day 4, players slowly fell to the rails, eventually leaving Wolansky to battle it out in heads up with fellow American, Taylor von Kriegenbergh.
Steve had a slim lead of the Massachusetts native; a lead that he continued to build upon right up until the final hand of the match. Von Kriegenbergh peeked down at A♣-4♣, Wolansky at 10♠-8♠, but it wasn’t until the flop came down 9♠-7♣-5♣ that the chips really began to fly. Back and forth these two poker pros raised the pot until both were fully committed; Wolansky praying for the open-ended straight draw, Kriegenbergh leading, but silently pleading for a club.
When an A♠ fell on the turn, Taylor was relieved to be further ahead, but Wolansky still had plenty of outs – any 6, Jack or spade would do. The river answered his prayers with the K♠, completing the flush and sending all the chips his way.
Steve Wolansky earned the title and $330,887 for his impeccable efforts, while Taylor von Kreigenbergh collected a respectable 2nd place prize of $186,046. The final table results of the 2014 Borgata Fall Poker Open were as follows.
1st – Steven Wolansky – $330,887
2nd – Taylor von Kriegenbergh – $186,046
3rd – Lawrence Abrams – $119,601
4th – Paul Volpe – $95,016
5th – Brian Altman – $74,418
6th – Josh Spiegleman – $61,129
7th – Daniel Buzgon – $48,505
8th – Daniel Chan – $37,874
9th – Jackduyph Duong – $26,578
10th – Mark Sykes – $17,276