Poker Passions: Dan Lowery Leads By Example On The Felt And On The Sidelines

Matthew Clark November 18, 2017 1981 Reads
Poker Passions -- Dan Lowery

Dan Lowery achieved a new level of World Series of Poker Circuit immortality this week by winning his sixth career ring. The 43-year-old Lowery broke through to win the WSOPC Choctaw Main Event for his first ever championship title and $258,784. The win was a monumental one for Lowery, who is used to winning off the felt as well.

Getting into Coaching

The Arkansas sawmill owner carries a passion for coaching and although he is not currently on the sidelines, a proud time for Lowery are his years spent as a basketball coach.

Starting when he was 22 years old, Lowery has been a coach in a variety of facets. From coaching junior high to junior college, hundreds of players have passed through his watchful tutelage to improve their skills on the court and their life off of it.

Learning from his mistakes

Lowery had a promising college track career cut short by self-inflicted legal issues and has strived to ensure that his players not to make their own errors as he once did. In an effort to be a positive influence, Lowery tries to identify with his players by “reading their minds” to see what they might be going through. On multiple occasions, Lowery has been able to break through and turn a sinking ship around.

“I’ve seen a few boys where I feel like that I’ve had 100 percent had to with them turning around. Lowery said. “I could see them in me and told them about the past. They were shocked to hear about the trouble I got into. They didn’t want to be like that. I knew what they were going through.”

During his time as a coach, Lowery has presided over both men’s and women’s teams. He enjoys the challenge that both sides provide and says that adolescents are his favorite age group to mentor.

“I really enjoy coaching 12-15-year-olds because that is when their learning curve is the biggest. You see the lightbulb go off and see the improvement fast. They’re really coachable most of the time.”

Chance encounter with a legend

Lowery notes Mike Krzyzewski and the late Pat Summitt as two coaches he looked up to during his time on the sidelines. In an unintentional circumstance, Lowery spoke to Summitt on the phone without believing it was her.

When he was moving his way through the coaching ranks, Lowery had the chance to coach the all-time leader in Arkansas High School career points, Lakyn Garrison. When Garrison was midway through her high school career, there was a recruiting battle for her services. One of the coaches who reached out was Summitt.

The coach called Lowery who was shocked enough to hear Summitt on the other end of the phone that he said “bullshit” when she told him who it was.

Garrison eventually decided on Oklahoma State to further her career but the memory of being able to share a conversation with an idol of his stands out to Lowery.

Leading by example

Lowery is adamant about being a quality example for his players. By doing his part to try and identify with them as much as possible, he creates trust which helps his team’s overall. The many years of coaching for Lowery have also assisted with him learning about how players react to different basketball and life scenarios.

“The good qualities of a coach are leadership and being able to relate to your kids,” Lowery said. “If you can’t keep them stable and stay a step ahead, they’re not going to be stable on the court or mesh with their teammates and be a good team player. The best quality is being able to do what’s best for the team.”

Titles run in the family

Though he’s not on the sidelines now, Lowery is still in the gym to support his daughter Jenna’s volleyball endeavors. Last month, her school won their third straight Arkansas High School 3A Championship and Lowery was in the stands cheering for her the whole way.

The life balance of Lowery between poker, his work life, and his family is always on an even-keel and he appreciates that he is able to travel with his wife, Krista, and toddler-age son Gus to circuit stops.

Now that he has his main event ring, it will be interesting to see how much volume Lowery puts in over the next few months.

His coaching career is behind him for now but he is always learning and trying to improve his game, much in the way he’s improved the lives of those whom he has mentored.

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