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Rapid Reaction: Calvin Anderson Breaks Through at the WSOP

Calvin Anderson

Calvin "Cal42688" Anderson is one of the most accomplished players in the world of online poker - routinely contending with Chris “moorman1” Moorman for the title of top tournament performer on the virtual felt — but on Sunday he made a major breakthrough in the live arena that not even Moorman can match.

Anderson made his Father's Day one to remember by winning Event #30: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low for a $190,538 score, but more importantly than the money, he claimed the poker's most coveted prize. By besting fellow pro Joe Tehan for the title and defeating a talented final table lineup, Anderson added his name to the short list of online wizards to wear World Series of Poker gold.

It's Getting Better All the Time: Anderson has cashed at least once every year since 2010 in WSOP competition, recording 15 in-the-money finishes over that span while improving on his results with remarkable consistency. His WSOP career started humbly enough with a near min-cash in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event, but in 2011 Anderson added a cash in $2,500 Seven Card Razz to his résumé along with another small cash in a $1,500 NLHE tournament.

The following year saw Anderson string together three cashes, with a his first final table coming in $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha (8th place), and two more deep runs in $2,500 Seven Card Razz (11th place) and $2,500 Eight Game Mix (17th place). Last year Anderson had his best WSOP performance, adding six more cashes to his record while making deep runs in multiple disciplines, and in 2014 he has already earned three cashes, two final tables, and of course, his first gold bracelet.

Deep Blue C: Anderson made his bones in the rough and tumble world of online multi-table tournaments — cashing 3,882 times for $5,571,363 in his career according to PocketFives — but his record at the WSOP is equally impressive considering the smaller sample size. Over years of high-volume tournament play online, Anderson has trained himself to build a stack suitable for a deep run or bust out trying, and that approach has influenced his live results to an incredible degree.

Anderson has developed a penchant for deep runs at the WSOP. Of his 15 cashes at the Rio he has made the final table three times, including an appearance at the Mothership stage in Event #22: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship where he finished in eighth place. More impressively, Anderson has been in position to make the final table seemingly every time he cashes, registering six top-15 finishes, and nine cashes in the top-25, along with 26th and 27th place results last year. This means that when Anderson makes the money at the WSOP, he puts himself among the final 30 contenders more than 66 percent of the time. And when his global results on the live circuit are added to the mix, Anderson has made it 21 top-30 finishes in his 35 career cashes, proving that he plays to win every time out.

In the Flesh: By winning his first WSOP bracelet Anderson distinguished himself from a number of peers from the nosebleed stakes online community. Including the aforementioned Moorman, several of the best online poker players in the game have never grabbed the gold, with Alexander "PostflopAction" Kostritsyn, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Patrik “FinddaGrind” Antonius, and Alexander “IReadYrSoul” Millar all among the beasts who have failed to bag a bracelet thus far in their careers.

The Study of Stud: Tehan's runner-up finish was noteworthy for two reasons, as he continued to stamp his name on the seven-card stud hi-low scene by reaching his second consecutive final table in the variant. Just a few days before falling to Anderson, Tehan placed fifth in Event #25: $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low — his end coming, ironically enough, in the Omaha round of the game. Tehan cashed in both the $1,500 (52nd place) and $5,000 (17th place) buy-in versions of seven-card stud hi-low last year, added another cash in a $1,500 tourney in 2012, and made a legitimate run at the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better World Championship event 2011, where he finished seventh.

Seven Wonders: Sevens are a special number for any gambler, but in 2014 seven cards seem to be Ted Forrest's specialty. Searching for his seventh WSOP bracelet, Forrest navigated yet another stacked field to give himself a shot, but his run ultimately came to an end when he bubbled the final table and exited in ninth place. And it was another seven-card game that saw Forrest win his sixth bracelet earlier in June, as he took down the title in $1,500 Seven-Card Razz - which was, naturally, the seventh event of the series.

Mo Money No Problems: Earlier in the week Christopher Wallace accomplished a long held dream by winning Event #22: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship to earn his first WSOP bracelet and a $507,614 payday. His bankroll bolstered by the B.I.G. score, Wallace hopped in the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low event and nearly made it two bracelets in a week, as he ran deep en route to a 16th place finish.

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