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Kevin Schaffel

2009 WSOP November Nine: Kevin Schaffel
by Chad Holloway of

Kevin Schaffel, a member of the 2009 World Series of Poker November Nine (Currently 6th with 12,390,000 chips), is a 51 year-old semi-professional poker player from Coral Gables, Florida. A life-long resident of Florida, Schaffel ran his family's direct mailing and printing business for 30 years before recently deciding to close the doors. It was at that time he decide to take poker, a game he had been playing since he was 11, a bit more serious:

For the last year and a half, Ive been playing poker. I had been successful over the years playing cash games, typically $10-$20 no-limit . . . I found out that (playing for a living) wasnt so easy. I started running really bad at the beginning of the year, and I had never experienced running bad for such a long period of time. I needed to show so much patience just to limit the losses when I was running bad.

Schaffel finished 324th out of 6,844 players in the 2008 WSOP Main Event for $32,166. This would pale in comparison to his success in the 2009 WSOP Main Event:

The patience Ive had to learn over the last four months of throwing cards away every hand for hours upon hours because there was just nothing there to play it really helped me in the main event, said Schaffel. I just never felt pressured to push with a bad hand. I just stayed calm and waited, and there were enough cards to get me through.

Needless to say, with sponsorship from Poker Stars and a guaranteed $1.2 million, Schaffel's life is going to take a dramatic turn. The recent divorcee with two children in college, Schaffel recognizes how his life might change:

Im renting a house from a guy who lives most of the year in Costa Rica, but his kids come back and forth, and sometimes they come when hes not there. Its just a little uncomfortable being there You never know when someones going to walk in. I think one of the first things Im going to do is to get a nice small townhouse at some point . . . Obviously, this is life-changing right now, and I just cant believe it.

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Tips and Advice

Introduction to Tournament Poker - Loki covers everything from the buy in to prize payouts!

Cash Games vs. Tournaments - Hank Cashman talks about the difference between the two and notes that just because you're good at one doesn't mean that you'll win at the other.