19Jul
David Williams

David Williams is among the top poker players in the world today. He is best known for his 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) win. He is also a top ranked ‘Magic: The Gathering’ player, a collectible card game. In spite of his aggressive card play, stylish clothes and good looks, David admits to being a geek. He has a keen interest in math and science, and his being one of the best Magic player proves this fact.

David Williams Poker

The Geek Of The Poker World

Early Years

David Williams was born on the 9th of June 1980 in Arlington, Texas. The relationship between his Iranian father and African–American mother was short lived. David was brought up by his mother and never knew his father. The Williams family consisted of David, his mother Shirley and Tina, his half-sister, 8 years younger than him.

Shirley worked as a flight attendant and had to stay away from home often. When his mother was away, young David had to stay with his grandparents. But by the time he was 12, he was staying on his own at home, looking after himself, getting ready for school and even cooking, while his mother was away on work. This seems to have instilled a strong sense of responsibility and self-discipline, which this talented poker player demonstrates in his money management and poker.

David aspired to make it to one of the Ivy League schools. Having excellent grades, he was accepted in all the best US universities including Princeton, Harvard and Stanford. Initially he joined Princeton, but soon shifted to Southern Methodist University near home. Here David has a GPA of 4.0 and needs just a few more credits to get an economics degree.

Long before trying his hand at poker, David’s love for card games began with Magic – The Gathering. He had a natural aptitude for this geeky game. He had earned close to $30,000 playing the game, before entering the world of poker.

Poker Career

After returning to his hometown from Princeton, David started taking a keen interest in poker. He tried his hand at many online as well as illicit live cash games around town. He got his big break, a seat in the 2004 WSOP, while playing poker at the Bodog room. In this tournament, this unknown player managed to get the 2nd spot, just behind Raymer, earning $3,500,000 and catching the attention of the poker world. He was the 1st African American player to have made it this far.

The big win was followed by a number of failed performances, but winnings close to $600,000 and 2nd place in the Borgata Open World Poker Tour established Williams as one of the best poker players in the world. This was also the year when he managed to get the top placing for the first time in the Five Diamond World Poker Classic tournament for Limit Hold’em. It added $121,000 to his poker earnings.

Year 2005 was unremarkable for David, but by 2006, he was a regular at final tables making big money. His first gold bracelet came from $1,000 Seven Card Stud in the 2006 WSOP. His other major wins include fourth placing in the main event of 2006 WPT held in March and once again in the WTP main event two months later, which added $280,000 and $221,950 respectively to his poker winnings. David also won the World Championship of Online Poker by defeating Alexander Kostritsyn in 2009 under the name of ‘RugDoctor’. Last year he defeated Eric Baldwin to win the WPT World Championship and more than $1,500,000.

With a gold bracelet for 2006 WSOP, a WPT World Championship win and over $7,900,000 in live tournament wins, David has had an amazing poker career. He was sponsored by Bodog since 2004 WSOP until the 2010 WPT World Championship, but became a member of PokerStars team in June last year. David’s personal blog provides a glimpse into his world. Poker video game ‘Stacked’ has featured him along with the likes of Erick Lindgren, Daniel Negreanu and Evelyn Ng. He has also made an appearance in the ‘King of Vegas’.

Although presently located in Vegas and concentrating on his poker career, the inner geek in David wants him to get his economics degree and start his own business. His mother is often seen cheering him during his games. She even took part in one of the poker tournaments and managed to outlast him. Wherever possible, David loves to play Magic. As a PokerStar’s team pro, his priority remains poker as he prepares for his next big win.

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