Steven Begleiter may not even be the best player in his home game, but he will most certainly have the highest earnings.
A recreational player, the 47 year old learned poker from his father as a kid, and has further crafted his skills in low stakes games at the Foxwoods Casino.
Off the felt Begleiter is a husband and father of three, and works professionally as the principal of a private equity firm.
When compared to the challenges of his day-to-day work, the Main Event pales into insignificance.
Underlining that statement is the fact that he recently witnessed the global financial crisis from the front lines. His former employer was a large investment bank that went under during the downturn.
“I think it’s emblematic of what people from Bear Stearns (his former employer) will be doing in other areas over the next few years,” stated Begleiter in a recent interview.
Investing other people’s money is not a new thing to Begleiter and as he comes into the November Final Table third in chips, he also carries the hopes of friends from a local poker league who will share 20% of whatever he picks up – that’s at least US$200,000 to his buddies already.
Begleiter won through to the world’s biggest tournament from a local New York based poker league. The structure of the league was such that Begleiter would share 20% of his score with the other regular players.
Much like chip leader Darvin Moon, Begleiter believes he is at a significant skill disadvantage against some of his fellow November Nine members.
He was quick to acknowledge he has dodged some bullets on his path to the Main Event final table and that just taking his seat in November is a victory in itself.
"I've already won. It's insane I made the final table. I'm not quite sure how I did it. My objective is to play well - so far I've played well,” said Begleiter.
"'I'm dancing between raindrops in the middle of a minefield and somehow I'm still standing," he added.
This will be his second attempt at Main Event glory after he made his debut in the 2008 World Series Main Event. Begleiter may seem to be lacking the big time results of some the high profile pros on the table, but he has seemingly proved wrong those who believe his run to the final table was all luck. At the recent Legends of Poker Championship, the amateur once again final tabled another major event.
Playing in the US$9,800 Main Event Begleiter powered his way to the final table, only to be eliminated in 9th place for US$39,240. A nice score, certainly, but pocket change when compared to what he stands to win when the World Series of Poker Final Table is finished in November.
Making the World Series of Poker Final Table has been a mind blowing experience for Beglieter but if he can continue his current good run form it’s not beyond the realm of possibility to think he could parlay his 29,885,000 chips into a World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet.
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