The Anonymous Jeff Norman

Yesterday was 7/7/07, the day of luck for many. Today, sevens have been lucky for Jeff Norman.

"I've flopped two sets with pocket sevens," said Jeff.

"You flopped a full house once," said John Armbrust. John had qualified through PokerStars last year, near the chip lead in Day 2 then running through a torrid stretch where he busted out just short of the money. He tried to qualify through PokerStars this year but bought in instead.

"I got them under the gun once with them, and everyone at the table thought I had aces." He was smiling and chatting with John in the 7s and his new neighbor Erick Suh in the 8s. And why shouldn't he be happy? He sits on 56k after the dinner break.

Jeff Norman

Jeff has a daughter and son, and is happily married in San Diego. "My daughter is in Costa Rica, and my son is a surfing star. He's a grom." A grom is a surfing term for a guppie, and under-seventeen surfer.

I asked him if he used to live in Aptos. "Yes, how did you know?"

You see, Jeff is fairly anonymous in poker, that that is just fine by him. I thought of sending Team PokerStars own Humberto Brenes from Costa Rica over to say hello and see if he could help his daughter. But it seems that Jeff has actually met Humberto; that would be at the 1992 $2.5k NLH Final Table, where Humberto finished 2nd and Jeff finished 9th.

I asked him which was a tougher table, his 1994 $1.5k NLH Final Table or the 2002 $1.5k NLH Final Table.

"Which was which? You'll have to remind me," he said. "Both were pretty disappointing actually."

I backed away as he raised a pot and had a caller. The flop came 7d-5c-7h. The caller checked, he bet and took down the pot.

Well, you decide which was tougher.
  • 1994 $1.5k NLH: Jeff finished 5th, with Brad Daugherty (9th), Howard Lederer (3rd), and Phil Hellmuth (2nd)
  • 2002 $1.5k NLH: Jeff finished 7th, with Chris Bjorin (9th), Juan Carlos Mortensen (4th), TJ Cloutier (3rd), Johnny Chan (2nd), and Layne Flack (1st)
"On second thought, they weren't disappointing," he said. "I'm not greedy.

All of our discussion was in whispers, and I quickly backed away as he smiled and chatted with his tablemates. No one at the table knows that they are sitting with an extremely skillful player who has sat with the very best players in the game. No one playing with him on PokerStars knows either. At Table 58, he's just the friendly guy in the 9s who seems to just get lucky alot. If only they knew...

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in