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Poker Stories Podcast With Benny Glaser

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jun 02, 2021

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Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

To listen, use the player above or download it directly to your device from any number of mobile apps, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or Spotify. Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Bryn Kenney, Justin Bonomo, Antonio Esfandiari, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Dan Smith, Mike Sexton, Maria Ho, Patrik Antonius, and many more.

Age: 31
From: Southampton, England
Live Tournament Earnings: $2.1 Million

Top Live Tournament Scores

Date Tournament Place Winnings
June 2016 WSOP $10,000 Omaha 8/ob 1st Place $407,194
June 2018 WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship 5th Place $260,578
June 2016 WSOP $1,600 Omaha 8/ob 1st Place $244,103
June 2017 WSOP $10,000 Stud 8/ob 2nd Place $197,838
June 2015 WSOP $1,500 Triple Draw 1st Place $136,215

Benny Glaser didn’t earn his first cash at the World Series of Poker until 2015, but the Southampton, England pro has been able to accomplish a lot in his limited time on the felt. The 31-year-old part-time musician has won three WSOP bracelets during his short career, which is enough to make him the UK’s most decorated player at the annual summer series.

Glaser’s first title came in 2015 in the $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw event, where he earned $136,215. A year later, he went back-to-back in Omaha eight-or-better events, taking down the $1,500 buy-in for $244,103, and the $10,000 Championship buy-in for $407,194. In the years since, he’s also made final tables at the €25,000 WSOP Europe Mixed Games Championship and the $50,000 WSOP Poker Players Championship, and finished runner-up in the $10,000 Stud eight-or-better Championship. The mixed-games specialist has also been very successful online, winning five SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online Poker) and three WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) titles on PokerStars.

Highlights from this interview include his first love of music, embarrassing band names, being introduced to poker by his father, the gradual process of turning pro, bricking his first summer in Las Vegas, why he excels at Omaha eight-or-better, being England’s top winner at WSOP, close calls, trying to find mixed-game action, $1,000-$2,000 in Bobby’s Room, his short-lived career as a paperboy, how poker ruined speed dating, and learning new poker variations like badugaha.

The Transcript Highlights

On Winning Back-To-Back Omaha Hi-Lo Bracelets, Taking Lead On UK List

Julio Rodriguez: Let’s talk about the difference in fields, because you win the $1,500 buy-in version of the event, and three days later you win the $10,000. Are these massively different final tables or are people still making the same errors?

Benny Glaser: Final tables, not so much. But overall fields? Massively different, for sure. I still remember my starting table day one in the [$1,500]. The average age is like 60, and you have a guy who is like half falling asleep at the table. Compared to the $10k fields, which are much, much tougher.

I think overall for the final tables, though, I was relatively comfortable. The $1,500 for sure, I was able to kind of put pressure on most of the other guys who were less experienced. At the $10K final table, everyone there was a known name and was successful. So yeah, that one was much tougher, but at the same time, I still felt like I had a good edge over the remaining players.

JR: What’s crazy is that earlier that week, you had final tabled the $10,000 no limit 2-7 event, your favorite game, and you finished fifth. But other than that, you had made four final tables and won three of them. Was there something magical about being a closer or was it just a matter of variance hitting you at the right time?

BG: Yeah, that is definitely one of my favorite stats, when I had six cashes and three of them were wins. It’s a combination of things. I think I understand tournaments well, and felt like I was able to put pressure on people and then accumulate chips. But yeah, it was just a bunch of variance as well. I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of luck to win a tournament. The run good came at the right time, really when it mattered for those final tables.

JR: You are currently the record holder for the most bracelets won for the UK. Is that a weird stat for you to have?

BG: It’s an awesome stat for me to have. I love that!

JR: Because, you’d think, given the proud history of [players from the UK at] the World Series of Poker, that there would have been one player out there with a few. But you just came in here in the last five years and snatched that record up.

BG: Yeah, I know what you’re saying and I agree. When I did win the third one, and then became aware of that stat, that was wild and surprising to me. Obviously, I loved to take that title, and it’s definitely something I plan to try and keep hold of.

On His Time Playing In The Legendary Bobby’s Room At Bellagio

JR: How big was the game?

BG: It was $1,000-$2,000.

JR: So does something like that make you sweat?

BG: (Quickly jumps in) Oh, yeah!

JR: (Laughs) I guess I’m used to dealing with players with such egos who are like, ‘No, I’m the greatest in the world, they were all bowing down to me by the third deal.’ So, who’s in the game? What was the lineup?

BG: That game? Well, I’m not playing that high unless it’s kind of a good game. I think that one had Jared Bleznick, Keith Lehr, Matthew Schreiber, and another Bobby’s Room reg I can’t think of right now?

JR: Was this one of those games where the fish names the games?

BG: This particular time, the format was already made when I had arrived. I was previously playing some lower stakes before, I think it was $80-$160 or even $50-$100 limit before I got the call to go in when there was a seat open. And I played it because it was a good mix for me as well, as it had five of my best games. So I was pretty confident that I would do well in that mix. But yeah, it was it was fun, and as you said, it’s an experience and something awesome to take off the bucket list.

JR: Did it go well?

BG: It did. Yeah, a nice profit. I think it was about $20,000 or $30,000 on that one.

On What He Tells People He Does For A Living

JR: Do you like telling people that you’re a professional poker player?

BG: Oof. Mostly not. [There have been] mixed reactions.

JR: Is the attitude different in the States than it is [in the UK]?

BG: I think it is. Typically, when I’m in the States where I’d be giving that answer, I’m in Las Vegas, where generally people are going to be more excited by poker and more familiar with that culture. Whereas in the UK, they’ll say, ‘Oh, I’ve never met a professional poker player before.’ It is interesting to a lot of people, but then you’ve got to answer a whole bunch of questions that you’ve answered a million times, most of which are kind of absurd.

Or they might have some less than favorable preconceptions about it. So essentially the answer is no, I’d rather not tell people [I play poker for a living.]

JR: Do you have a good lie set up?

BG: I once randomly went on a speed dating thing. About halfway through, after telling people the whole time that I was a professional poker player, I had to text my friend, asking him if he could give me some other suggestions for occupations that I could be. [He came up with things] like underwear model, or I could be a pilot or a neurosurgeon.

JR: Yeah, jobs that aren’t red flags like professional poker player. Everyone loves underwear models. ♠

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