"The nicest guy in the game." "A gentleman." "Completely deserving of all his success." These are just a few of the responses you'll hear if you ask around the poker world about Bill Edler. The intelligent, soft-spoken 43 year-old has enjoyed improbable success on the tournament circuit in 2007 and is currently ranked first in the Bluff/ESPN Poker Power Rankings after a year of final tables and first-place finishes that catapulted him into the top echelon of tournament players today.
Bill Edler was born in Evanston, Illinois and caught the poker bug while attending law school at the University of California at Berkeley. He initially used his winnings to help pay his tuition. Though his grades were impressive and he enjoyed his coursework, Edler knew even then that he wouldn't be taking the bar exam or practicing law. Immediately after graduation he moved on to playing poker full time, getting a job at the San Francisco-area card room Casino San Pablo. Edler initially ground out a living as a prop player, eventually moving up to become the poker room manager. It was there that he met a young man that would become one of his best friends in the years to come—a blonde, baby-faced poker player named Erick Lindgren whom Edler hired as a prop player.
Edler turned to the tournament circuit full-time in 2005, racking up two WSOP cashes, a WSOP-Circuit final table, and two first-place finishes at the Ultimate Poker Challenge. He started off 2006 with a bang, annihilating the preliminary NLHE events at the WSOPC-Tunica and finishing 15th in the $10,000 Main Event. 5 more final tables followed for Edler in 2006, including his first WSOP final table in the $1,000 stud hi-lo event, where he came in 5th.
It wasn't until this year however that Edler truly made his mark in the poker world. In February, he won the inaugural $10,000 Heads-Up Championships at the Crystal Park Casino in Southern California for $215,000, defeating Barry Greenstein in the final match. Edler followed that up with a 7th place finish at the L.A. Poker Classic and his first WPT final table at the Bay 101 Shooting Stars where he finished 6th. But that was only a warm-up for what he would accomplish in the second half of the year.
At the 2007 WSOP, Edler won his first bracelet, taking down the $5,000 six-handed NLHE event for nearly $905,000. Only a week later, he finished 23rd of 6,358 players in the Main Event, pocketing another $333,000. In September, Edler headed down to Biloxi, MS to play in the WPT Gulf Coast Championships and despite being down to only two chips and a chair late on Day 3, Edler mounted the largest comeback in WPT history, winning the event and the top prize of $747,615. Now that's living up to the nickname fellow pro Gavin Smith bestowed upon him—"The Stunning One."
Edler lives in Las Vegas, NV with his wife and continues to travel the tournament circuit. He can also frequently be found playing online at Full Tilt Poker, where he is a 'friend of Full Tilt'.