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Look Out: Harrison Wilder

Look Out: Harrison Wilder

by Ryan Lucchesi |  Published: Jul 13, 2011


Harrison WilderMost poker players are met with skepticism when they decide to leave a college education and head into the career as a professional poker player. That was not the case for Harrison Wilder, who was encouraged by his parents to suspend his enrollment at the University of Oregon and to take up poker full time. The 29-year-old professional poker player fulfilled the confidence bestowed upon him by his parents when he won event No. 6 ($1,500 limit hold’em) at the World Series of Poker.

“They have always been very supportive of me. When I was in college, I was racking up student debt. They told me to drop out of college and start playing professionally. One of the biggest regrets I have is that I did not listen to them, and I continued to be responsible and stay in college. They encouraged me to get better,” said Wilder. His parents were in attendance at the final table as Wilder outlasted such seasoned tournament professionals as Scott Clements and John Myung on his way to victory. Wilder took home $205,065 in prize money and his first gold bracelet for his first cash at the WSOP. The win also gave Wilder 960 points in the Card Player Player of the Year race.

Wilder recently decided to move to Las Vegas to continue his professional poker career after the events of Black Friday made it impossible for him to play online in his hometown of Beaverton, Oregon. “For me, playing poker for a living is a dream job. Internet poker came around, and then it happened. It’s the reason I moved down here. I did not know what to do. It was a temporary move to stay here, because it happened right before the WSOP. I was thinking of moving to California. But I may stay here now,” said Wilder.

He now plays in $40-$80 limit hold’em games in the Las Vegas area. His parents also made the move to Las Vegas in search of a sunnier climate than the one they had lived in for so many years in the Pacific Northwest. With his victory, it appears that the Wilder family will be calling Las Vegas home for quite some time, and he will be a player to look out for this summer at the WSOP. ♠