If you've played multitable tournaments on PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker since 2009, there's a good chance you've played a pot with Ami Barer. The fresh-faced poker pro has been one of the game's most determined grinders in recent years, playing in tournaments ranging from the $1 rebuy to the $5,200 PokerStars SCOOP Main Event — and virtually everything in between.
Barer, a 21-year-old from Vancouver, will be playing in his first World Series of Poker this summer. It will be the first taste of poker's summer camp for Barer, who has made a living playing online tournaments since he was in high school.
Unlike many of his peers who were forced to pack up and find a new home to resume their poker career after Black Friday, Barer kept his grinding station intact and continued crushing online tournaments like he had been during his career. And while that career may seem brief, his list of accomplishments rivals many of the most talented online tournament players on the planet.
In just three years playing under the moniker "UhhMee" on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, Barer has accumulated more than $3.6 million in online tournament cashes. His best result came in the 18th Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) where he claimed his first gold jersey and a top prize of $122,000. He also has a fourth place finish in another FTOPS event for $82,500, and a fifth place result in a recent SCOOP event on PokerStars, not to mention dozens of five-figure scores that would take us hours to catalog.
Most of Barer's exploits have come on the virtual felts, but the youngster made several appearances at live events around the globe. He burst onto the live scene in 2009 with a 25th place finish at the €10,000 European Poker Tour Grand Final for $59,168. Barer gained some early attention in that event by finishing Day 1b as the chip leader and was among the leaders heading into Day 3, but an unsuccessful face-off with Ludovic Lacay on Day 4 left Barer hitting the rail short of his first live final table.
Barer hasn't cashed in a live tournament in 15 months but won't have much dust to shake off when the WSOP kicks off later this month. Barer has been grinding online nonstop since the beginning of May; in fact, between May 3 and May 16, the hold'em specialist racked up 135 cashes on PokerStars alone, making 14 final tables. That amounts to a final table every day.
Obviously, those numbers aren't attainable in the live realm. Multitabling WSOP events isn’t advised unless you've wagered millions in bracelet bets like Tom Dwan. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if Barer can translate his high-volume approach to the slow, daily grind inside the Rio Convention Center. But since endurance and work ethic play huge factors in success at the WSOP, we're expecting big things from the Vancouver pro this summer.
PokerNews will be keeping a close eye on Barer in the coming months, so be sure to check our Live Reporting Page for the duration of the 2012 WSOP. Stay tuned for more rookies to look out for, as well.
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