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Two-Time World Poker Tour Champion Alan Goehring Makes Return To Poker With Deep Run In WSOP Main Event

54-Year-Old Former Poker Pro Took A Decade Away From Poker To Focus On Trading Financial Markets

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During poker’s heyday in the early and mid-2000s, Alan Goehring was considered one of the best players in the world. He won World Poker Tour titles in 2003 at Bellagio and in 2006 at Commerce Casino. Those two titles alone make up $3.4 million of his $5.2 million in career tournament earnings.

But starting in 2008, Goehring began to spend more time away from the felt. Over the last 10 years, Goehring only has nine recorded cashes, and none more than $12,937 from a 59th place finish in the 2011 WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

Now, he’s back on poker’s biggest stage, deep in the money of the World Series of Poker main event, and already guaranteed his biggest cash of the last decade.

“I’ve been trading futures markets,” said Goehring on the first break of Day 5. “It’s a bigger challenge and there are some bigger rewards from bigger markets.”

Before becoming a professional poker player, Goehring worked on Wall Street, but in the late ‘90s, Goehring realized that there was more money for him to be made playing poker. He finished third in the 1997 $3,000 no-limit hold’em at the WSOP for $61,855 and followed that up with a runner-up finish to Noel Furlong in the 1999 main event for $768,625. It is his only other WSOP main event cash.

He spent the next decade traveling the tournament Circuit, but his desire to trade overtook his desire to grind out a living on the felt.

“I’m a little bit of a gambling addict,” said Goehring with a laugh. “Futures are as close to gambling as you can get while still calling it investing. And it trades all over the world, so I would wake up at weird hours to trade with the Asian markets and the European markets.”

Goehring at the 2018 WPT ChampionshipThis year, however, the Henderson resident decided he wanted to come back to the felt and take a few shots at a bracelet. Before the main event started, the only cashes he had at this year’s WSOP were in two of the online events.

“I played a couple $1,000 buy-ins, and some $1,500 buy-ins, but it’s funny. I told my wife that I just didn’t enjoy playing those events as much as I enjoyed playing $20 and $50 buy-ins online,” said the 54-year-old.

There’s a very specific reason that Goehring enjoys online more than live. He enjoys the quicker pace of play.

“If they don’t implement a shot clock, I don’t think I’ll continue to play these,” said Goehring. “The tanking is bad. That’s why I liked online. I don’t have to deal with these people.”

When Goehring was in the prime of his poker career, he was considered one of the most aggressive players in the tournament. He was aggressive before it was cool to be aggressive.

Now that he’s a little older and the general population has become more aggressive, Goehring is taking a contrarian approach to his style.

“When you get a little older, you become a little more conservative,” he said. “I’m not as crazy with my preflop raising as I used to be.”

With about 1,500,000 in chips coming back to blinds of 15,000-30,000 with a 30,000 big blind ante, Goehring will likely be putting up with the slow pace of play for the foreseeable future, but when his main event run ends, he has the perfect plan to relax.

“We bought a summer home in Colorado,” said Goehring. “Last year, in 2018, I didn’t play a single hand of poker and we spent the whole summer vacationing up there. I didn’t play a single hand of poker. This year, I said ‘Let me just play a little poker first and then we’ll head up there.’”