Biloxi, Mississippi (September 19, 2016) – Chris Savage navigated through three days of grueling, tournament poker and a field of 382 players to win his first Circuit gold ring. His crowning achievement came in Event #10, the No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, nonetheless. The tournament featured two starting flights. To claim the victory Savage had to get through a tough final table with notable poker pros, such as Tim “T.K.” Miles and Caufman Talley. Savage shed some light on the mindset needed to play against the aggressive, young guns, such as Talley.
“I can change gears with the best of them. You have to adapt to his style,” said Savage.
Talley was the predominant chip leader throughout a majority of the later stages of the tournament and the final table. He lost a large portion of his stack by doubling up Lytle Allen when play was five-handed. Shortly after, a pivotal hand occurred. Talley moved all in on the button with pocket nines, Steve Bierman, with a big stack, shoved as well with ace king suited, and Savage, holding pocket aces, happily called both his opponents. The rockets held, eliminating Talley and crippling Bierman. The hand left Savage with a commanding chip lead, which eventually carried him to victory.
Savage, who is a businessman and father of twins, explained that he does not play poker on a permanent basis, but did once upon a time.
“I used to play professionally. I stopped when my kids were born in ’05,” said Savage. “I’ve always been in business, so for me it was easy for me to step away and get back to the family life and just play recreationally.”
Even though he claims a part-time role in poker over the last decade, Savage’s résumé is still an impressive one. When it comes to live tournaments, Savage sticks to playing the bigger ones exclusively. He has won some other Main Events, outside of the WSOP, and took first place at the Jack Binion World Poker Open in Tunica, Mississippi.
His biggest claim to fame, however, came in the virtual realm. Savage was the number one online player in the world for six to eight months back in 2004/05. He humbly explained that his ranking came during the time before online poker blew up and a younger crowd flooded the scene. Savage mentioned that his number one ranking was eventually relinquished by “JohnnyBax” (Cliff Josephy), another seasoned veteran, who Savage will be cheering for when the “November Nine” face off for the 2016 WSOP Main Event Championship.
“The old guard, online people, are pulling for him. I’ll be pulling hard for him at the final table of the World Series of Poker Main,” exclaimed Savage. “I struck for the old school,” said Savage, alluding to his victory being in solidarity with his long time peers.
It was a big win to say the least. Not only did Savage walk away with a Main Event gold ring, he also banked $126,059, which surpasses any of his tournament payouts to date. Savage was also awarded an automatic bid to the 2016/17 Global Casino Championship. He will be one of two, IP Biloxi horses in the prestigious tournament.