Sam Trickett is a bona fide poker legend, and not just in Britain. The Retford-based former plumber turned an obsession with the game into a poker career that yielded millions. He’s won the biggest prize any British player ever has in tournament poker, is a cash game legend and has even played at Old Trafford.
Despite all these bookmarks, do we really know the real story of ‘Tricky’? Let’s step back in time and look back at the life and times of one of poker’s most charismatic characters.
The Plumber with a Pipe Dream
Sam Trickett started life wanting to become a footballer, but a serious knee injury put paid to those dreams despite no lack of skill in that area. Told by doctors that he might not walk again if he damaged the knee further, the young Trickett thought he might become a professional pool player instead. Again, his natural application led him to pursue it with real dedication, but a chance game of poker one night at the pool hall transformed the young Trickett’s life.
Suddenly into poker, ‘Tricky’ started making money and stepping up the levels. He would bust and go broke on several occasions, but each time got back to winning ways, that was until having won the GUKPT Luton Main Event and overspent, Trickett was left almost out of funds. Offered the chance to reach out and help others learn about the game and earn a wage while doing so, Trickett took the plunge and got on the plane.
The South African
It was James Bord who made the offer to Trickett and with the young Brit over in South African, Trickett found himself pivoting between players and their questions about online hands. Desperate to play himself, Trickett found himself deep in his own personal well and when he resurfaced in cash games and tournaments, he was a big player in every game.
Blessed with terrific instincts, a superb pokerface and an utterly fearless nature, Sam Trickett became someone that others feared at the felt. An absolute monster in cash games in Las Vegas, London and Macau, Trickett would become one of the world’s most respected poker players. IT wasn’t only in cash games that he was ruling the roost, however, as Trickett won the 2011 Partouche Poker Tour in France for a cool €1,000,000.
Another tournament was around the corner, and one with a million-dollar entry. Trickett was ready, found the entry fee and was in his seat. History was about to be made.
A Drop in the Ocean
Trickett was one of the favourites to reach the latter stages of the $1 million-entry Big One for Pone Drop, but when he fulfilled that ambition and made the money, it was anyone’s game. Up against quality such as Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari, Trickett’s fate for a podium finish would come down to one of the best hands ever played at the live felt against WSOP bracelet winner Brian Rast. With six players left at the felt, this happened:
Trickett was surging and would make heads-up against Esfandiari is rude health. But the win would get away from Trickett and he would claim the runner-up prize of over $10 million -by far the biggest win of his career.
That same night, Trickett would be assaulted on his way back to the hotel he was staying in and yet would wake up in his very own “Hangover moment”. What could he achieve next having won an eight-figure score and been runner-up for the most valuable WSOP bracelet of all-time?
A Man for All Seasons
Sam Trickett may never have won a WSOP bracelet in his poker career, but he has come so close. Reaching six final tables from his seven money finishes in the World Series of Poker, Trickett is one of the best players never to have won the most famous trophy or trinket in the game and will want to tick that box off before the end of his career.
Trickett has, however, achieved a lot more than simply his poker achievements. With Trickett’s Room at Dusk Till Dawn, he has a cash game room named after him, something no-one outside Las Vegas can lay a legitimate claim to. This year, Trickett became a father for the first time. With thousands of aspirational players idolising him, Sam Trickett’s son, Bodhi Blu entered the world in October.
Where can we put a bet on him to be World Champion? If he follows in his father’s footsteps he has every chance.