There’s a huge misconception that gamblers tend to lack intelligence. We all know that this theory is the complete opposite of the truth. After all, some of the world’s best card counters are super geniuses. Just look at those MIT students who busted Vegas for millions of dollars (the guys who had a Hollywood movie made about them…21).
And it goes beyond Blackjack. Step into the Rio at the World Series of Poker and you’ll rub elbows with doctors, lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs, retired millionaires, pilots, and all sorts of people who don’t fit the old-school mold of what a poker player should look like.
If you’ve ever played in any large tournament including the WSOP, you might have even run into Alex Jacob, a currency trader from Chicago, Illinois. How smart is he? Smart enough to get on the hit television quiz show Jeopardy! and actually win.
Last Friday, Alex Jacob stormed through Final Jeopardy and won big, moving on to the Monday show with $23,200. His quiz show winnings are impressive, but his poker career is where he’s made a killing:
• His live tournament winnings include $2,603,701
• He’s cashed 25 times at the World Series of Poker
• He made 4 final tables at the WSOP
• His World Poker Tour winnings are also impressive with 3 cashes and 1 final table
His most recent cash was at the 2012 World Series of Poker, where he amassed $2,893 in Event #2 with a 198th place finish and $2,217 in Event #21, a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, with a slightly better 182nd place finish.
His string of success from 2010 through 2012 was fairly decent as he collected over $50,000 in winnings on the live tournament circuit. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s not exactly the type of money you can count on as a career.
But that doesn’t matter because from 2006 through 2009, Alex Jacob was in his poker playing prime, notching final table finish after final table finish and collecting millions along the way.
In April 2006, Jacob finished 2nd in the 2006 Foxwoods Poker Classic Championship event, winning $655,507. In October of that same year, Jacob placed first in the US Poker Championship, collecting $878,500.
In 2007, he had a pair of pretty sweet finishes, placing first in the Ultimate Poker Challenge Championship event for $105,380 and 3rd at the World Series of Poker to collected $282,367.
Bottom line? This incredible poker player has done exceptionally well at the tables and has appeared on a TV show that 99.999% of the world’s population could never dream of getting on, including many doctors and lawyers. There really are some smart gamblers out there, so it’s time we stop the misconception.