Massive Month: PA Online Poker Grinder Scores Bracelet, Two Circuit Rings in 30 Days 

August 1, 2022
Massive Month: PA Online Poker Grinder Scores Bracelet, Two Circuit Rings in 30 Days 

Most players spend their whole career chasing a World Series of Poker bracelet. Some also hope to be fortunate to grab a WSOP Circuit ring.

Pennsylvania online poker grinder Christopher Perkins recently accomplished those two feats in a single month. He won a bracelet and two circuit rings within 30 days – all in the Keystone State online poker arena.

“After I won the bracelet, I couldn’t sleep,” he says. “It didn’t feel real. It still doesn’t. I could only dream that one day I would get one. Now, I want another one.

With his recent run and online poker skills, don’t rule that out.

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New market success at WSOP.com

WSOP online poker launched in July 2021 and the 38-year-old player from Ellwood City dove in head first. He currently plays on PokerStars, BetMGM, and WSOP.com.

Perkins goes by the online names: “iamsmirk” on PokerStars, “mooooooooooo” at WSOP, and “Gail the Snail” on BetMGM.

A full-time player since 2016, Perkins doesn’t regret leaving his web designing job behind. 

I can’t imagine doing anything else at this point,” he says. “I love the challenges and freedom that poker gives me.

Even though he doesn’t have a 9-5, Perkins puts in a full workload each week on the online grind. He fluctuates between tournaments and cash games, but spends 80% of his time at online cash. In total, Perkins puts in about 40-60 hours a week.  

Grabbing some gold in PA

All Perkins’ hard work recently paid off when he collected more WSOP hardware in 30 days than many players collect in a lifetime. His trifecta of big WSOP wins include: 

  • $400 NLHE Ultra Deepstack (June 12) – 1st for $24,960 (WSOP bracelet)
  • $525 Main Event (June 26) – 1st for $21,650 (WSOPC ring)
  • $500 Big 500 (July 12) – 1st for $9,159 (WSOPC ring)

“At the end of the day, tournaments are tournaments,” he says. “You have to get lucky.  I’ve played quite a few live circuit events in the past and the closest I ever got to a ring was a second place at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.” 

Moneymaker boom sets path for Perkins

Originally from Evans City, Pennsylvania, Perkins got into poker during the Moneymaker boom.  After watching the 2003 WSOP on ESPN he began playing small home games with friends and playing online poker in 2004.

After some tough times in his teens, Perkins used poker to enhance his thought process. 

“Without going into too much detail, when I was a teenager, my decision making was very questionable,” he says. “I always seemed to take the wrong path at the wrong time.

“Poker has really taught me to think through decisions, weigh the pros and cons of each, and make a plan on how to implement them.”

During the pandemic, many players had to adapt their routines. For Perkins, the pandemic pushed him back to those days of jumping in the poker action via computer.

“The pandemic was actually good for my poker game,” he says. “Prior to the pandemic I was playing a lot of live cash in Florida. The pandemic forced me to get back to my roots of playing online poker.” 

Online poker is now a base for Perkins’ day-to-day grind.

“For me, online poker is a much better lifestyle than live poker,” he says. “I’m able to keep a better life balance when I don’t have to travel to and from the casino and spend long hours in a live poker room.”

Pennsylvania online poker player Christopher Perkins taking a seat at the live tables.

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Traveling south for the winter

Perkins plans on a healthy mix of games for the rest of the year. He just returned home from a stint at the WSOP in Las Vegas. Even though he didn’t cash, he got a chance to play in the Tournament of Champions.

The freeroll for bracelet and ring winners featured a $1 million guaranteed prize pool. Now back in Pennsylvania, Perkins is working on his online game while also preparing for some upcoming live action trips.

“I will most likely be playing online until it starts to get cold in Pennsylvania,” he says. “Once it starts getting cold, I will probably head south for a while to play live cash. I will probably go to the WPT stop in Tampa at the end of August, and the WSOPC stops in Aruba and Cherokee before the year ends.”

Now that he has accomplished his goal of collecting hardware, his mind is more set on financial stability. He feels he can be pickier about the events he chooses to play. 

“Winning a bracelet was a huge relief,” he says. “Back (earlier in my career), getting rings was all I cared about, I feel different about them now. I’m more concerned with money and less about tournament glory.

“Being a cash game player, I just worry about improving my win rate and getting closer to financial freedom.”

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