Scott Palmer, famous high-stakes online poker player, is thinking about retiring and focusing on something else, if he wins this year’s WSOP Main Event.
Being a professional poker player is a tough job, despite the glamor and profits, which come with it. There are all sorts of players and Scott Palmer is one of those who don’t consider spending all his life devoted to the game.
Black Friday effect
Palmer developed his great skills for high-stakes poker in US online poker rooms’ way before the Black Friday, making the game his profession. However, despite his talent and passion for poker, he is considering moving on to something different if he wins the $10 million WSOP Main Event first-place prize.
Poker pro Scott Palmer thinks about retiring
•He considers this opportunity if he wins the 2014 WSOP Main Event
•Palmer had his online funds frozen after the Black Friday
•He managed to stay calm and got his money back three years after
Palmer will always remember April 2011, when Full Tilt Poker and PokerStarslost their licenses and the shutdown allowed for him to lose his bankroll.
He remembered: “Black Friday was pretty horrible for me. I had a ton of money online, most likely more than anyone else on Full Tilt – I’m not 100% positive, but it was definitely top three. It put me in a tough spot because I didn’t want to move overseas. I liked where I was at, so I had to decide to stay and be happy or move and make money.”
This is when he turned to playing StarCraft 2, which seemed the logical choice as he loved both video games and competing online.
The lucky resolution
Another decision, which he deliberately made, was to stay in Maryland, where he is from and to try overcoming the online loss of $1.2 million, realizing that poker has changed forever and knowing the math of it was no longer one of the most important reasons for winning.
Palmer recalled: “I’ve played like three months every year since Black Friday, and I’m pretty much break even or slightly winning. The games have gotten a lot tougher over the past year or so, so I should have taken my money when it was possible.”
It was around three years after his Full Tilt account was frozen, due to the problems the operator had with the federal government and the lack of compliance with the US gambling laws, when Palmer gained again access to his online funds.
This was possible thanks to the PokerStars-Full Tilt Poker settlement with the government and the initiation of refunding all the poker players, who had lost their funds after the Black Friday.
Palmer commented on this great event for himself: “It was pretty nice. After the first couple of months I was feeling pretty crappy about not selling (the money). A few of my friends sold theirs for like 85 cents on the dollar, but I just assumed Full Tilt Poker would have held their end up. I guess it ended up working out, but it did take a while before I got it.”
Last Sunday at the 2014 WSOP Main Event, Palmer had one of the largest amounts of chips among the 48 players, which had remained in the tournament. Keeping in mind that they were more than 6,600 in the beginning, this small number was quite impressive.
Palmer explained that it was some sort of tradition for him to be done with his chips by the third day of the game, but this year he has implemented rather different approach. He clarified that so far he is using more tactics, which he has learned throughout the years and also from his friend, the amazing high-stakes poker player Dan “jungleman” Cates.
Palmer said: “I first met (Dan) when I was 15, and we both were dead broke. We both played together and talked about some things, and realized that heads-up was the way to go. I was playing six-max ($1-$2) back then, but switched to heads-up and so did he.”
Moreover: “He basically just climbed the stakes pretty quickly. He put a lot of time and effort into figuring out the math and what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Thankfully I knew him, and I hate saying it, but I sort of leeched off him.”
High high-stakes games brought Palmer his current fame and fortune and winning this year’s WSOP Main Event will definitely be an amazing end to his poker career if he seriously decides to quit playing at his young age of just 24.
He said for Card Player: “I would probably – I mean, I already sort of feel like I am retired – but I would probably not play at all.”
Palmer concluded: “The first couple of years I played poker it was interesting, but I’ve gotten to a pretty high skill cap. The fun was learning the game, but now that I’ve learned it I kind of want to move away and try to learn something else. So, if I win this it will reinforce the fact that I don’t have to get a real job, so I might retire.”