Some people are simply born to succeed whatever they do.  Andy Frankenberger is such a man.

Frankenberger is the latest World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner.  He won the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship, overcoming a massive field size, totaling 2,500 entrants.  Frankenberger collected the hefty sum of $599,153 in prize money.  However, more than a half-million dollars awaiting him in the cashier cage seemed almost an afterthought, as Frankenberger beamed for television cameras and photographers, proudly displaying the luminous treasure from his first-ever WSOP-related victory.

No doubt, the 38-year-old professional poker player from New York City is one of this year’s most fascinating new poker champions.  A native New Yorker, Frankenberger actually grew up in Massachusetts and  later lived in Siberia (Russia) for one year, as an exchange student.  He learned to speak Russian and remains fluent in the language.  Frankenberger attended and graduated from Duke University, earning his degree in economics.

Following graduation, Frankenberger took his ambition and energy to Wall Street and succeeded as an equity derivatives trader.  He made a lot of money.  He loved his job.  Then, during the absolute pinnacle of his success as a trader, Frankenberger did the unthinkable.

He quit.

Frankenberger decision to leave a highly-successful and lucrative career on Wall Street reveals a lot about the man he is, and what he most values in life.  Frankenberger explained his decision this way:  He could have hung around for another year or two and continued to make a lot of money.  But he felt he was not growing as a person.  He sought new challenges.

After taking some time off, Frankenberger began playing tournament poker.  He played in several mid-grade tournaments around the country.  Much to his surprise and delight, he quickly discovered an affinity for the game.  Indeed, the lessons he had learned from his previous life -- of risk management, maintaining emotional control, and complex problem solving – served him well at the poker table.

Last year, Frankenberger started playing full-time on the tournament circuit.  He traveled around to major tournaments.  He won two major events in 2010, in the process earning an honor as the tour player of the year.  But as impressive as Frankenberger’s rapid ascent seemed, he had yet to prove himself on poker’s grandest stage.

That all changed on the night of June 19th, 2011 when at 1:45 am Frankenberger was dealt A-K and called an all-in bet by eventual runner-up Joshua Evans, who tabled A-10.  The better hand won, giving Frankenberger his first WSOP title.

If there’s such a thing as validation for a poker player, the WSOP gold bracelet brings all that to its recipient -- and more.  But for Andy Frankenberger, his victory in poker’s most prestigious tournament series reveals that life’s winners can and will succeed in any endeavor they so chose.

Now, Frankenberger’s opponents in the future can only hope he has another rare moment of epiphany – and eventually moves on to something new.  Wishful thinking, indeed.    

For a comprehensive recap of Event #28, please come back to WSOP.com for the official report of this event.