by David P. Greisman
Boxing trainer Sam Garcia has gone from the boxing ring to the poker table. As with boxing, he’s earned some money in preliminary outings. And as with boxing, he’s setting his sights on the main event.
Garcia, who works with the Garcia Boxing training and management company in Salinas, Calif., has played three events so far in this year’s World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
In late June, he placed 56th out of 1,607 people in a $2,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event, raking in $10,237 in prize money, according to the WSOP website.
Days later, he came in 25th place out of 1,001 people in a $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event, earning another $28,793 in cash.
The chips didn’t fall his way, however, earlier this week, when he busted out early in a $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event.
So far this year, then, he’s put down $9,000 and stepped away from the table with $39,030.
“I’ve done pretty well in the three tournaments that I’ve played [so far], which is a lot less tournaments than I normally play. So I’m being more efficient, and I feel better about that,” Garcia told BoxingScene.com on July 5.
Indeed, Garcia had only cashed in twice before at the WSOP in previous years, winning $2,895 in a $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament in 2009, and winning $5,207 in a $2,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament in 2011.
He’s already matched his previous number of cashes, and surpassed his prior prize-winnings.
Garcia’s aiming to do better than that $30,000 profit for this year, though. He’s put down $10,000 of that money and entered the World Series of Poker’s famed “Main Event,” where thousands vie for the spotlight of ESPN cameras and the chance to become a millionaire.
The Main Event began Saturday. With so many players, the first days are staggered; Garcia began his run on Monday. He finished his first day with 15,150 chips, about half what he began with, but will return for his second day on Wednesday.
If he’s successful, he’ll turn 30 this Thursday while still seated at a poker table.
“I’m guaranteed at least a net profit of $20,000 for my World Series this year,” Garcia said. “Everything will be over by the end of next week. I’ll either be really rich, or back to the grind.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at email@example.com