“The hamburger man” takes Tahoe by storm, grabbing two titles and nearly $175,000.
Stateline, Nev. (November 5, 2018) -- Scott Sanders, a.k.a. “The Hamburger Man,” is the newest World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event Champion. The 30-year-old from San Jose, California navigated through three days of tournament poker at Harveys Lake Tahoe, conquering a field of 442 entrants in Event #10: $1,700 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event.
The crowning achievement was actually Sanders’ second of the series. Before becoming Main Event Champion, Sanders first captured the title of Monster Stack Champion by defeating 332 entrants in Event #8. Between his Monster Stack payout ($25,201) and six-figure payday in the Main ($147,314), Sanders banked nearly $175,000 in WSOP earnings during the Harveys Lake Tahoe Circuit.
At certain points, a deep run in the Main seemed unlikely for Sanders. In a somewhat crazy situation, Sanders lived to see another hand when his Main Event life should have most likely been extinguished.
“I actually made a mistake to where I should have been out of the tournament,” Sanders explained. At one point during Day 2, Sanders sat with 13 big blinds and accidentally shoved out of turn, bypassing Michael Hubbards’ action.
A Tournament Director came over to his table and ruled that if Hubbard decided to limp, Sanders all-in bet would have to stand, but if Hubbard raised then Sanders would have the option to fold. Hubbard did raise, and Sanders opted to fold. Another player behind woke up with pocket queens, a hand that would have sent Sanders packing.
“So, basically, I made a mistake that should have busted me in 36th place,” said Sanders.
This was not the case though. Fate kept Sanders alive and from there he began to climb the chip counts. Eventually, Sanders made it all the way to the end of Day 2, a feat only three other players accomplished as well.
It was a stacked final four going into Day 3 of the signature tournament. Sanders was up against the likes of Stephen Song, a young gun who won his first ring early in the series, two-time gold ring winner, Nick Pupillo, and three-time gold ring winner, Brett Murray.
“Yeah, just trying to play the best I could against tough opponents,” Sanders responded when asked how he was taking on the final four stage. “They all play really well so I felt out numbered, but I felt like just make the right decision and just go with it.”
Murray and Pupillo were each striving for their second Main Event title. Song and Sanders were both in contention for the Casino Championship. Song ended up placing 4th ($49,392), Murray went out in 3rd ($66,521), and Pupillo fell just short of another huge Circuit win, finishing as the runner-up ($91,036).
Sanders is a frequent player, mostly online, but does not claim to play poker for a living. The California kids’ main gig is serving up delicious burgers at In-N-Out, a job that he is noticeably proud to be a part of. In fact, Sanders is headed straight home because he works at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.
With a couple big wins in his pocket, Sanders will be looking to play a bit more, and possibly travel to tournaments more often. Poker is a game that holds a special place in Sanders’ heart.
“I definitely want to continue to play and help grow the game, for sure. I got into poker from breaking my hip and being disabled. It really changed my life and my outlook on everything,” Sanders divulged “It stimulated my brain and gave me something to fight for when I couldn’t walk for a few months.”
“So, that’s why I want to spread the game,” he continued. “Because it has a lot of great things in it that people don’t understand what it could do to your mind to stimulate it and just make you feel positive and just have something to compete for even if you feel like you have nothing.”