Perspective Propels Nick Schulman To Poker Masters Win At Aria

Martin Derbyshire September 15, 2017 2535 Reads
Aria Resort

Nick Schulman won the first event on the inaugural Poker Masters five-event schedule for just shy of $1 million Thursday. But Schulman did a heck of a lot more than win close to seven figures in cash and take the lead in a competition that will see the player with the best results throughout the series win some gaudy purple smoking jacket organizers are hoping will come to represent one of the game’s greatest accomplishments. Schulman showed that even in poker, a little perspective can go a long way.

Schulman was actually one of the early heroes of the poker boom. In November 2005, at ripe old age of 21, Schulman won the 2005 World Poker Tour World Poker Finals for $2,167,500. It remains one of the top WPT prizes ever awarded. It also vaulted the young Schulman into poker stardom only a couple of months after he became old enough to play in most casinos around the country.

From wunderkind to philosophical gambler

The New York City native didn’t exactly put the money into high-yield T-bills. In fact, what followed was a decade of ups and downs that saw him earn another $6 million in tournaments and two World Series of Poker bracelets. Legend has it he gambled away millions more in cash games, and by the time he appeared on the MTV show World of Jenks in 2010, he was the portrait of a struggling veteran gambler questioning the path his life was on.

Schulman didn’t exactly skip the biggest buy-in tournaments in the United States over the past couple of years, but he hasn’t played in them either. Instead, he hopped in the booth with veteran poker TV commentator Ali Nejad, taking on a new role as color man for the live broadcast of the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl.

A new perspective on poker

Praise has rolled in for his work. Right from the outset, Schulman displayed a calm, collected and cool demeanor in the booth. Plus, the poker world appeared to collectively agree he combines both a tremendous understanding of the game’s intricacies with an uncanny ability to translate them into a language any layman can easily understand.

However, Schulman’s time in the booth has proven more than just good for the game and his budding career as a TV poker analyst. It appears to have done wonders for his game. There’s an argument that the time, wisdom and maturity have helped the one-time poker wunderkind enjoy a bit of a resurgence on the felt of late. But even Schulman himself would probably agree that watching the game’s top players contest the biggest buy-in event of the year from the booth has helped.

The results roll in

After calling the Super High Roller Bowl in 2016, Schulman finished up the summer in Las Vegas, Nevada finishing third in the WSOP $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event for $183,779 and runner-up in the $10,000 Bellagio Cup XII tournament for $557,388.

This summer, he was back in the booth for the Super High Roller Bowl again, before finishing third in the WSOP $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship for $98,337 and winning the $50,000 Super High Roller at the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida for $440,000.

Thursday’s win, at the very same ARIA Resort & Casino where he does his commentary work for the Super High Roller Bowl, pushed the suddenly resurgent Schulman’s career tournament earnings over the vaunted $10 million mark.

It also proved there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Swaps and soft play aren’t the only paths to high roller glory anymore. In fact, perspective may be poker’s latest trick. So, don’t be surprised if some of the game’s top names start lining up for the chance to get a little for themselves.

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