Calvin "cal42688" Anderson wins 2014 SCOOP Player of the Series
Calvin "cal42688" Anderson has wanted to win the SCOOP Player of the Series almost as long as SCOOP has existed. He's gone for it almost every year.
"I've always fallen short, mostly due to not being able to play all of the events, or simply not being good enough," he said in an interview this weekend. "But this year I was prepared."
Anderson, an American grinder displaced to Mexico (and other locales) by Black Friday, always looked at the Player of the Series as the ultimate test for a mixed game and hold'em MTT player.
"I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it," Anderson said. "I didn't make any bets. I didn't join a fantasy team. I just wanted to do it to show myself that I could."
It was a tight race all the way through in the SCOOP Player of the Series contest, but in the end, Anderson's exemplary performance put him head and shoulders above the crowd on the overall leader board. Anderson had 20 cashes over the 134 events he played. Among those cashes were an astounding seven final tables, one of which was a win. For his efforts, Anderson gets a trophy and PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final Package.
Anderson rented a place in Playa del Carmen and made arrangements to have back-up internet. He was ready to play anywhere between ten and 16-hour days for two full weeks. He ignored the liquor cabinet. He stopping eating meat. He slept as much as time allowed and practiced yoga when he had the chance. He also had an assistant of sorts.
"There are a lot of things that I would of had to do to get me through SCOOP if I wouldn't have had my girlfriend, Kami Hudson, there helping me," Anderson said. "She took care of all the basics, like keeping me fed throughout the day, making sure I always had what I needed, and many other miscellaneous things to help me out. Without her, I would have had a really hard time doing as well as I did. Her and the OneRepublic album, Native."
Anderson's adjustment to Mexico came easier than you might imagine. He finds the food healthier, the weather better, and everything he buys cheaper.
"I would say most people here are much more grateful for what they have than the people in the US are, and in my opinion being grateful is the key to happiness," he said.
It's been three years since Black Friday hit Anderson's native country. Since then, he's been going non-stop, meeting new people, and seeing the world.
"I wouldn't really say that I have a home, or rather, that I am always at home," Anderson said. "I haven't had much downtime to look back."
Ask Anderson what he plans for the future, and you won't get an answer that talks about retirement and grandchildren.
"I rarely plan ahead because I'm never sure exactly what I will want to do when the time comes," he said. "My goal is simply to always be as happy as I can and to live in the moment as much as possible wherever I am now."
In the short term, he's heading to Las Vegas for the summer before stopping off in Hawaii, and then heading to Thailand where his girlfriend will be training in Bikram yoga.
If you think you're reading about a man who is in a really good place right now, you're right. Over the past year, Anderson has changed his life in almost every way: his beliefs, his way of thinking, his diet, the people he hangs out with. All of it, he said, has been changed for the better.
"This past year has been the best of my life so far, and I hope to be able to say that about every year to come," he said.
Congrats, Cal, on an outstanding performance in SCOOP.
Want to see where you or a friend finished? Check out the SCOOP Player of the Series leader board page. Here are the winners of the individual flights.
Low flight: pantri (SCOOP Trophy and a PCA 2015 package)
Medium flight: Jackal69 (SCOOP Trophy and a PCA 2015 package)
High flight: paulgees81 (SCOOP Trophy and a PCA 2015 package)
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging