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A Poker Life: Jeff Sarwer

by Brian Pempus |  Published: Feb 01, 2011

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Even though poker pro Jeff Sarwer is a kindergarten dropout, he is still one of the most lucid brains on the tournament circuit. The 32-year-old Sarwer was a chess prodigy, on pace to become one of the best grandmasters in the world, until a cruel upbringing caught up with the wunderkind and cast him into oblivion. However, after a childhood of living on the road as a fugitive with an abusive father, and years more of existing in the world with a fake name, Sarwer re-emerged a few years ago as himself to play in a chess tournament. Since 2007, he has been showing the world the charisma and intelligence that made him a child celebrity in the early 1980s. He recently found the game of poker as another outlet for wreaking havoc on opponents. Card Player caught up with Sarwer to talk about his troubled past, the similarities between ...


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