PHOTO CAPTION:  In one of the most highly watched final tables of the year, Andy Frankenberger shocked the poker world by rallying from a short stack to defeat eight-time gold bracelet winner Phil Ivey heads-up and capture the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em World Championship bracelet, as well as $445,899.
Ivey dominated much of the stacked final table that also featured Hoyt Corkins, Matt Marafioti, Shaun Deeb, and Ali Eslami.  But it was Frankenberger who prevailed in the end, rallying from a chip deficit heads-up to claim the victory.  The win is Frankenberger's second gold bracelet in as many years and the six-figure payday pushes the derivatives trader turned-poker pro's lifetime earnings to almost $2.5 million.
Ivey, who has never won a gold bracelet in a Hold'em event, had to settle for second place and a $275,559 payday at his second final table appearance at the 2012 WSOP.
(Photo by Neil Stoddart for WSOP/PokerNews)

Vegas, NV (June 11, 2012) -- Some people are simply born to succeed in whatever they do.  Andy Frankenberger is such a man.
Consider the remarkable story of the Major League Baseball game that Frankenberger attended several years ago.  The Boston Red Sox were playing the New York Yankees.  One of 60,000 fans crammed into Yankee Stadium that day, Frankenberger caught a foul ball.  No big deal, right? 
Then, he caught another.
That’s right – two foul balls in one game.  Not just any game, a Yankees-Red Sox game.
To put this into some perspective, most fans – even season ticket holders – would rarely snap up more than a single ball in an entire baseball season, if that.
But as we said, Andy Frankenberger lives a charmed life.
This is not to say he’s lived an easy life, nor has he skated through what self-imposed challenges he's faced -- whether it was getting his education, an early career on Wall Street, or playing poker at the highest level.

Frankenberger is the latest World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner – make that two-time winner.  He won the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold'em World Championship, overcoming several chip disadvantages along the way, not the least of which was against the player many call the best in the world.
Frankenberger collected the hefty sum of $455,899 in prize money.  However, the notion of nearly half-million dollars awaiting him in the cashier cage seemed almost an afterthought, as Frankenberger beamed beneath the bright lights of the ESPN television stage, proudly displaying the luminous treasure from his second WSOP victory.

No doubt, the 39-year-old professional poker player is one of this year’s most intriguing personalities.  A native New Yorker, Frankenberger actually grew up in Massachusetts and later lived in Siberia (yes, as in Russia) for one year, as an exchange student.  He learned to speak Russian fluently and remains conversant 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's 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 and exploring the world, 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.  He also discovered a new passion.  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.

Two years ago, 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 World Poker Tour (WPT) 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 last year in a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event when Frankenberger won his first WSOP title and the whopping sum of $599,153 in prize money.
But incredibly, for all his seemingly instant success --- there were still detractors.  Annoyed at a playing style that can only be described as unorthodox, Frankenberger's unique methodology flew in the face of just about every poker principle.  He seems to bet when others thought he should fold.  He'd raise when others thought he should call.  He'd fold when others thought he should call.
Of course, the "others" of this Frankenberger morality tale -- loud and as obnoxious as they were and are -- remain mostly cyber-anonymous, behaving like jealous schoolboys after seeing the other guy get the girl and the gold.  
And so -- preposterous as it may sound, despite winning multiple major tournaments including a WSOP gold bracelet a year ago, Frankenberger still thought he had something left to prove.   He got his chance to do just that in the most challenging test in the grandest arena possible.
Frankerberger could not have written a more perfect script to not only quiet his critics, but kick them in the groin, and then laugh all the way to the bank.  He final tabled one of the toughest tournaments of the series, and then managed in gradual succession to topple Hoyt Corkins, Daniel Weinman, Matt Marafioti, Shaun Deeb, Manuel Bevand, Alexander Venovski, Ali Eslami, and then finally.......drum roll please....
Phil Ivey.
Indeed, with all eyes focused on "the man," Frankenberger dug in, dug down, and played the heads-up match of his life.  He was down to Ivey a few times during the duel, but still managed to scratch and claw back.  Finally, Frankenberger got it all in after the flop with a pair of aces.  Ivey found himself on a draw for his tournament life.  It was Ivey that needed to get lucky.  But, that wasn't going to happen.  Not against Frankenberger.  Not on this night.  Not with stakes this high.
Alas, a second gold bracelet now belongs to Frankenberger -- representing two WSOP victories. 

Which again brings up an incredible story.  Did you ever hear about the guy who went to a Yankees-Red Sox game and caught two foul balls?


The 2012 World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em champion is Andy Frankenberger, from New York, NY.

Frankenberger is a 39-year-old professional poker player.

Frankenberger was born in New York City.  However, he spent much of his childhood living in Massachusetts.

Frankenberger was an exchange student for one year.  He lived in Siberia, Russia.  During that time, Frankenberger became fluent in Russian.  He decided to pursue language studies when he attended college.

Frankenberger attended and graduated from Duke University.  He earned degrees in economics and Russian.

Frankenberger worked on Wall Street as an equity derivatives trader.  He was very successful financially, and also enjoyed his work immensely.

Franknberger made what many would consider to be an unthinkable decision to leave his career.  He took some time of and gradually became interested in poker.

Frankenberger’s first recorded live tournament cash took place in January 2010 at the Borgata Winter Open.  Since that time, he has won more than $2.5 million in live tournaments.

Frankenberger has a stellar poker resume, considering that he has been active for only about four years.  He won the 2010 WPT Legends of Poker Main Event.  He also won the Venetian Deepstack Championship in 2010.  Frankenberger was also awarded the WPT’s “Player of the Year” honor for 2010.  To top things off, he won a WSOP gold bracelet in 2011 and again in 2012.

For this victory, Frankenberger collected $445,899 for first place.  

According to official records, Frankenberger now has 2 wins, 3 final table appearances, and 5 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.  He also has three WSOP Circuit cashes.   

Frankenberger is to be classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats).

Question:  How do you feel at this stage of your poker career?
Frankenberger:  I’ve had my share of controversies in my brief career, but I couldn’t be any happier right now for how I’ve started out.

Question:  In the time since you had your first major win until now, has the amount of time that you want to play the game changed?
Frankenberger: Yeah.  Well, you know, I left Wall Street having no idea that I was going to play poker professionally.  With the successes, I decided to do so.  And it was a great decision.  I’m really enjoying myself.  I’m traveling, playing poker.  And I couldn’t be any happier with the decision.

Question:  Does beating Phil Ivey make it any sweeter?
Frankenberger:  Yeah. I’d have to say, winning a bracelet is everyone’s dream, but beating Phil Ivey is like a fairytale.  I can’t even believe it just happened.  He’s such a great player; I learned a lot from playing with him at the final table.  I adjusted my game.  He plays unlike anyone else that I’ve ever played.  Obviously, I have a very short career, but I tried to adjust my game to his style.  And what else can I tell you?

Question:  You have a very unorthodox style.  So does Ivey.  What was the dynamic like, playing against someone who wasn’t your standard player?
Frankenberger:  You’re right; my style is pretty unorthodox as well.  I try to adjust to my opponent, and one of the things that I realized against Phil Ivey was, this mid-raise the button just ain’t working.  He’s betting big and putting me in tough spots.  It’s better to play big pots against him because the one thing I had going for me was: he didn’t want to play big flips against me.  And I don’t blame him.  He’s a better player than I am, so why should he wanna’ flip when he can play small pots?  So, I had to use that to my advantage, and just kept going pot on him and stop playing the small pots that I kept getting crushed on, and just, you know, put him to tough decisions.  He was folding pretty quickly, when I was betting pots.  So, you know, when I bet pot, and he fold, I showed the 5-10, just to put in his head, “Hey, I might be doing this light.  I wanna’ get a call when I actually get the hand.  I’m gonna’ want him to go along.”  So, I just tried to adjust to that reality, which is he’s gonna’ outplay me post-flop, so let’s just try to get in his head a little bit pre-flop.

Question:  Do you pay any attention to the people who might not understand how you play? And do you think this win will silence the people who might have some stuff to say about you?
Frankenberger:  I don’t think there’s anything I can do to silence the people.  I mean, people love to criticize people who have success. That’s part of the game.  I’m a very competitive person, so I’ve just had to learn to deal with that.  I really haven’t even looked at the sites since earlier in the series, when I read some stuff that kind of annoyed me.  People are saying, “Oh, this will show that the last one wasn’t a fluke.”  Well, when I won the last one, they were saying, “Oh, this shows that the WPT player of the year isn’t a fluke.”  So, whatever.  I’m just gonna’ stop reading them.  And hopefully my record speaks for itself at this point.  But I am a very competitive person, so it’s tough.  I had to work on that.

Question:  What’s the most important thing that you take away from a victory like this?
Frankenberger:  Well first, I just love the competition.  It’s like the ultimate intellectual game, poker.  You know, there’s money on the line.  There’s odds.  There’s numbers.  I love all that stuff.  And I’m really happy that I have the ability to make a living playing poker.  I’m really, really fortunate.  Couldn’t be any luckier to be able to do this for a living.

Question:  Which win was more satisfying – the first or the second?
Frankenberger:  Wow.  Which is more satisfying?  I would have to say this one.  Just beating Phil Ivey.  I mean, it’s a tournament where a lot of people love to say, “Oh, he gets lucky.  He wins flips.”  I mean, you’re gonna’ see in the final table; I lost some flips too.  Pot-Limit Hold’em is not all about getting it in pre-flop.  I had to battle my way here. So, given the toughness of the field...obviously in the 1500 I had pretty good players, but it’s kind of like avoiding the mines in the mine field.  But this tournament was just loaded with good players, and I just tried to adjust my game throughout.  You know, coming away with the victory in this one just feels extra special.

Question:  What’s with the pink pants?
Frankenberger:  Well, I was deciding what I was going to wear today.  And I was like, “Oh, it probably won’t matter. I probably won’t make the final table.  But if I do, it sure would be cool to have my pink pants on at that point.”  And the red shoes…I could’ve either gone with my black shoes, my running sneakers or my flip flops, so I’m like, “The red shoes it is.” They’re my lucky pants.  What can I tell ya?  If you see me at a final table, I’ll have them on again.

Pot-Limit poker made its WSOP debut in 1984, when two Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments were offered.
There were no Pot-Limit tournaments of any kind played at the WSOP from 1970 through 1983.
The only Pot-Limit variety that was played at the WSOP between 1984 and 1991 was Pot-Limit Omaha.  At the time, Pot-Limit Hold’em action was restricted to cash games.
The first Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament at the WSOP took place in 1992. The game has been a fixture on
the WSOP schedule ever since. During most years, it was one of the first tournaments on the schedule.
No player has ever won more than one WSOP gold bracelet in Pot-Limit Hold’em. There are 48 players
who each hold a single gold bracelet in this form of poker.
The player with the most career WSOP cashes in Pot-Limit Hold’em events at the WSOP is Jason Lester with nine. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, T.J. Cloutier, and Ken Flaton each have eight.
by Nolan Dalla