2009 Supernova Elites enter 12 months on top
There was a time in Supernova Elite history in which we could write a story about every single player who reached the pinnacle of the PokerStars VIP Club. That time is long gone.
In 2009, 209 players achieved Supernova Elite status. Even for the Elite group, that's a lot of people. For their efforts the players receive the best benefits PokerStars has to offer.
A quick glance through the Elite files shows the top players coming in from around the world who end up as Supernova Elites for a variety of reasons.
Take, for instance, TimStone. In 2007, he graduated from college with a good degree, and worked for nine months for a company he didn't like.
"I started to search for a new challenge in a new city," he told us. "I wrote 85 applications, but got denied every single time. I realized at that time that I have lots of free time and still 500 bucks lying at PokerStars."
He worked that up to $4,000 when he decided he was going to go for broke. He was going to play for a living. He hasn't had to look back yet. Not only is he making a nice living wage, he made it to Supernova Elite.
And then there is wpr101, a man who up until last year had top secret clearance with an American defense contractor.
"I primarily worked on satellite imagery and the next generation of Army communication networks," he said.
When he wasn't doing that, he was in jujitsu training twice a week, collecting rare coins, and beating up the stock market.
So, what did he do? Yeah, he left his job, focused full time on poker, and made it to Supernnova Elite.
The man known as knifefish8 on PokerStars didn't actually decided to start working toward Supernova Elite status until June of 2009. A one-time college baseball player and criminal justice graduate, knifefish realized about midway through the year that, suprise, surprise, he was on track for a Supernova Elite finish.
"After I was done with baseball, I wanted another form of competition in my life and poker seemed like a good alternative," he said
Like knifefish8, BlGGIESMALLS (a free-styling Chicago Supernova Elite), comes from an athletic background. The hockey player is a sociology major at De Paul University who managed to live with his three best friends (all of whom don't play cards) and still managed to make it to the top level of the VIP club.
"My goals for this year are to get Elite again have another successful year at the tables, stake and coach more winning players, record some music, do some volunteering, improve my GPA, and get on the ice more," he said.
Also hailing from Chicago is Supernova Elite ZepHendrix, a 25-year-old stock trader and graduate student in analytic finance. In 2009, he switched from tournament play to cash games and discovered his 24-tabling would probably get him a long way toward becoming a Supernova Elite. It wasn't always easy.
"Basically, I like to set very lofty goals and I follow through with them almost always," he said. "I learned a lot about myself, and achieving Supernova Elite with work and school was the hardest thing I've ever done. The swings are insane and a lot of times I wanted to quit, but instead I just complained a ton (thanks to the people that put up with it) and played sub par poker. This next year I plan on changing that."
That is one thing we have learned about this year's class of Elites. While they have reached the VIP Club summit, many of them feel like they can still improve, both on and off the tables.
"I feel very grateful to be able to play poker for a living. It is something I have enjoyed for a long time--roughly five years now. However, this past year has been very draining," siad Sipernova Elite grpoker2. "I will be looking for opportunities outside of poker. Whether it is starting a small business or going back to school, I may start heading in another direction. This will be impossible to predict, and I am excited to see what opportunities may be in store. Until then, I'll be at the tables!"
Those are just a few of the stories behind the Supernova Elite Class of 2009. There are dozens more out there just like these folks who choose to stay in the shadows, rake in the money, and reap their rewards. Most of them are average, everyday Joes like the played called showtime. He's played professionally online for the past seven years.
"I spend most of my time outside of poker with my wife and dog. I try to stay in shape and just enjoy life," he said. "'I probably fit a demographic most recreational poker players would relate to away from the table. I enjoy fantasy sports, tv, video games, working out and time with the family."
That is, he's just an average guy--an average guy who will get Supernova Elite rewards for the next year.
Will you be one in 2010?