WCOOP 2012: New resident on Champion's Avenue
Spend some time looking at the first picture below. It's a simple snap, one obviously taken in a park. A father and child. There's a french fry, a cup of ketchup, and some messy fingers that need attention. There's what might be a bee flying a little too close to the father's arm. It may need some attention, too if it decides to get too close to the child.
It's more than just a day in the park, though, because this is a picture of one of the newest WCOOP champions. Dan Scott--known as woodbine ave on PokerStars--won the $320 Badugi title last week. It was worth $17,000 to him, which doesn't come close to matching his biggest score.
"But by far its my biggest Badugi cash ever!" he said. It was a bit of a joke, because, really, almost no one has big Badugi cashes. What's more, the goal wasn't the money so much as the title.
"One of my poker goals was to win a WCOOP event, so it was definetely a big deal," he said.
But, when it comes to the really big deal--the deal that matters most to Scott--you have to go back to the picture. This picture.
That's Dan Scott with one of his five children. Chew on that. He is a fulltime poker pro who has five kids.
"My family and little guys are my world right now," he said. "I'm not sure how interesting that is, but it's the truth. I have five rug rats. Four boys, and our newest addition is our little girl."
Scott has been playing professionally since the turn of the century and has managed to carve out a life for himself and his family that has enabled him to support five children. There is many a poker pro who has a hard time keeping track of his socks. Meanwhile, one of the newest WCOOP champs has to make sure his kids' hands are clean and that bee doesn't sting them. When he banks a score like this one, it goes into the "bad month" fund.
"I see lots of up-and-comers who have talent blow their first and second big wins because they forget about those hard times," Scott said. "And when (the bad months) do come, there's nothing left. And then there they go off to get a real job, never to return."
If there remains any doubt about Scott's homebody credentials, you need only to look at his screen name. Through more than a decade of playing online, Scott has used his street address as his his nom de guerre. He is, through and through, a man who puts a great deal of important on his home life.
That doesn't mean, however, that he's carrying on any sort of family tradition. The niche that he now calls home is one he carved out for himself.
"My entire family is very frugal, the complete opposite of gamblers," he said. "I'm the only one who probably even knows what a one armed bandit is or the nuts! When I told the folks I was going to do this as an income, they were less than impressed, to say the least. Now I think they like it."
Which brings us back to that picture above, and the rest Scott sent when we asked him for a photo of himself.
It's fairly common for a poker player--including most WCOOP champions--to have no photos of themselves. Those who do send in photos usually offer pictures of themselves behind a mountain of chips at a table. Scott sent pictures of himself with his kids, the one thing in his life he considers truly interesting and instructive about who he is.
Scott gives the credit and thanks to his parents. They may not have seen eye to eye with him when it came to his chosen profession, but they've learned nonetheless that they raised a man with a good work ethic and sense of priority.
"I honestly could not have asked for a better upbringing, and it's made me who I am today," Scott said.
Which, again, brings us back to photos like this.
Dan Scott has somehow found a way to live life in poker's fast lane while dictating the pace on his own terms. No matter whether's he's grinding away his monthly nut or winning WCOOP gold, he's doing it with only his family in mind. When the cards go back to the stub, he makes sure he has enough money, love, and time in reserve for the five kids who call him dad.
"Every day is new and exciting to them, which makes it exciting for us, from catching frogs, to riding motorcycles, to just hanging out in the backyard, there's no greater love than the one you have for your kids," he said.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging