New Jersey online poker grinder Ryan Dodd just couldn’t decide. He really wanted to play in the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Florida in April. But by staying home, he could jump in the $320 Super Circuit Main Event at WSOP.com.
“I was very back and forth on going to Florida for the WPT,” says Dodd, who lives in Runnemede. “I had some people trying to convince me. However I decided to stay home since all the top regs were going to be there [in Florida], and there were too many juicy events to pass up with the weaker fields than usual.”
Ultimately, the 23-year-old poker pro decided to stay home and that turned out to be a good move. He took down his largest online score to date on April 25, scoring his first World Series of Poker Circuit ring for $51,300.
Life at the poker table
With more than $1 million in cashes between live and online poker, Dodd isn’t letting the money go to his head. He celebrated his Main Event victory humbly by taking his parents and girlfriend out to dinner.
Dodd has no plans of slowing down his daily poker schedule. That grind includes playing plenty in the live and online arenas.
“I probably play live poker four to five times a week during the day mostly at Borgata and I play almost everyday the full multi-table tournament schedule at night,” says Dodd, who goes by “WHOSYOURDODD” at WSOP.com. “Sometimes if that’s not enough, I’ll even find a late night cash game.”
While he hails from New Jersey, a family trip to Canada laid the groundwork for his life in poker. His cousin Bob first taught him how to play while hanging out north of the border. The country would soon become home for a bit as he began playing full time.
“I quit working right before I turned 20 and moved to our family cottage in Canada where there was a casino a little over an hour away,” he says. “I had about $6,000 saved from working at the Nike outlet and umpiring baseball, so I’d decided to play $1/$2 cash games everyday.”
That initial dive into the poker world didn’t come with instant success. Dodd learned failure early on after seeing his bankroll dwindle.
“It was the worst financial decision I’ve ever made because I lost mostly everything I saved,” he says. “But I learned so much. It was the end of that summer, I had $100 to my name and I just dislocated my knee so I was incapable of working. I put $50 on PokerStars and never looked back and have been playing poker full time ever since.”
Dominating at Borgata
After finding some online success, Dodd returned to New Jersey and started grinding a full-time schedule. Between live and online sessions his skills sharpened and he found a rush of success that summer.
The 2019 Borgata Summer Open Series proved particularly successful at the live tables including:
- $1,090 Eight-Max – runner-up, $24,500
- $330 Deepstack – winner, $9,842
- $560 Black Chip Bounty – sixth place, $2,862
- $230 Deepstack – runner-up, $15,024
In total, he cashed for $52,228 – all only at age 21. The summer kick started his career in the New Jersey poker scene.
Study group for poker success, big WSOP plans
For most successful poker players, winning doesn’t come without preparation. Count Dodd among that group.
He credits his recent success from his work with some regular NJ online poker grinders. The group meets weekly to sharpen their edge – and that work has certainly paid off for Dodd.
This WSOP.com Main Event score has helped pad his bankroll and he now has his eyes on a new adventure. He’s taking his action to Las Vegas for the live WSOP.
With a sizable bankroll, sharp study skills, and a workhorse mentality, he hopes to make some waves this fall.
“When I was 21, I had nowhere near a big enough roll to head out to Las Vegas, and of course this last summer was COVID,” he says. “I played the WSOP Main Event online, but that didn’t feel the same.
“I’m really excited to get out there this summer for my first ‘real-ish’ WSOP.”