Mike “goleafsgoeh” Leah has worked hard at the poker tables for years and it shows in his long resumé. The Canadian pro has won $7.8 million in live tournaments since 2006 and another $3.4 million online, including $2.3 million on PokerStars. But nothing in all those experiences quite prepared him for the run he’s enjoyed the last few weeks.
First he grabbed two wins during this year’s SCOOP, the third and fourth of his career. Then his son Grayson was born (“I’m trying to get the hang of a new game, I guess”) and the Toronto Raptors won their historic first NBA championship. And as if that weren’t enough to make this one of the more memorable summers of his life, Leah topped it all off by winning more than $79,000 from the Deal jackpot.
“Obviously it’s an amount of money that I’ve won before, but I didn’t have to spend anything to win this one, so it feels a little different,” he told me by phone this morning. He said he occasionally buys a tournament ticket with his StarsCoins, but usually he saves them up until the Deal jackpot gets big.
“Then I fire them all,” he said. “My girlfriend has always thought it was a waste to use them that way instead of using them for tickets or dollars. I said we’re not going to notice if we get an extra $100 ticket, but if we hit the jackpot we’re definitely going to notice that.”
They noticed, all right — though it all happened so quickly they almost didn’t get visual evidence.
“She was in the other room and I don’t really watch it when I do them. So I was standing up in the kitchen doing something and I saw the jackpot screen pop up and I was like, what’s going on? I saw the avatar of my dog and thought, oh my god, that’s us. So I took the first 30 seconds trying to convince her to bring the baby over to watch. She didn’t believe me, she thought I was trolling her.”
Eventually Leah convinced her and she turned on her camera to capture the moment:
Baby run good off to a good start ?
— Mike Leah (@GoLeafsGoEh) June 7, 2019
Suddenly a house already brimming over with happiness had more cause for laughing and celebration.
“One of her friends was over and she witnessed us win that. She’s a nurse so obviously to a normal person that’s a lot of money and life-changing,” said Leah. “And it was great timing because we just had a baby and just bought a house right before that so it definitely helps out with a lot of the expenses and repleneishes the bank account a little bit — or pays for a week of buy-ins in Vegas. It’s either a really good salary for a year for someone, or a week of tournaments.”
The only question now is whether Leah can keep this hot run going when he actually gets back to the tables again. “A lot of people have a baby and then win a tournament or have a big score,” he said. “So hopefully that’s the beginning of some ‘baby rungood’ that will last a while. That’s what I’m anticipating.”
There’s no telling yet when Leah will unleash his newfound power on the world. A room awaits him at the WSOP, but he isn’t ready to leave home yet. Whenever it is, his opponents had better watch out — #babyrungood is alive and kicking.