Ben Scholl Knows His Limit-ations

26-Year-Old Equities Trader Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Scholl Wins 2012 Limit Hold’em World Championship

Susquehanna Finance Produces a Third Gold Bracelet Winner – Chen, Ankenman, and (Now) Scholl

Twenty Gold Bracelets Won – 41 More at Stake!

Benjamin Scholl, a 26-year-old financial analyst from Trappe, Pennsylvania won the most recent World Series of Poker event, held at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Scholl's debut victory took place in the $5,000 buy-in Limit Hold'em World Championship (Event #20), which is the highest buy-in tournament of its kind.  He collected the handsome sum of $206,760 in prize money, in addition to the most coveted trophy in poker -- a WSOP gold bracelet.

The tournament was played over a three-day period, starting with 166 entrants.  The turnout was one of the smallest fields of the year, perhaps illustrative of a gradual decline in popularity of Limit Hold'em in recent years.  Ironically, there was a time that Limit Hold'em used to be the dominant form played in the United States.  Now, No-Limit games are far more popular.
The final table of nine players was played on a Monday evening which extended well past midnight and concluded in about eight hours.  The runner-up was Andrew Prock, a software designer originally from Minneapolis, MN and now living in Foster City, CA.

The new poker champion Scholl was born in York, PA.  He graduated from New York University and works as a trader with the same powerhouse financial firm that produced fellow-gold bracelet winners Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman.

Scholl previously cashed just two times at the WSOP.  The first was a big one.  He took fourth place in an event back in 2009, worth $150,000.  By his estimate, he's played about a dozen events since then, resulting in just one min-cash a few days earlier.
Name:  Ben Scholl

Birthplace:  York, Pennsylvania (USA)

Age:  26

Childhood:  Pennsylvania

Current Residence:  Trappe, PA (USA)

Marital Status:  Single

Children:  None

Education:  Graduated from New York University

Profession:  Equities Trader (Finance)

Number of WSOP Cashes:  3

Number of WSOP final table appearances:  2

Number of WSOP gold bracelet victories (with this tournament):  1

Best Previous WSOP finish:  4th (2009)

Total WSOP Earnings:  $361,885


Question:  Tell us about your final table experience and the atmosphere in here tonight.
Scholl:  I think Limit Hold’em lends itself to a more entertaining final table.  Once you get down to short-handed play there’s a lot more action.  There are more show downs, so the crowd can see what’s going on.  And Prock (my last opponent) had a great rail chanting out different ‘80s rock songs every time he won a pot.  It was an entertaining night.  It’s fun for me and fun for all I’m sure.

Question:  You came in fourth in an event in 2009, for 150 grand - which was pretty nice score.  Is there anything you took away from that experience that maybe helped you close the deal here?
Scholl:  It gave me confidence to keep trying.  I didn’t really come close to a final table the next few years.  But here I am back at one and it was a lot of fun.  So I kept trying, and finally actually won a bracelet this year.

Question:  Can you estimate roughly how many WSOP gold bracelet events you’ve entered in the last three or four years?
Scholl:  Sure.  That first year was my first time here when I made the final table, and I entered just two events that year. In the past two years I’ve probably done five to ten events each year.

Question:  Would you give us a short bio?  We know you’re a graduate of NYU and worked in finance.
Scholl:  Yeah, I worked for Susquehanna International which is outside of Philadelphia for four years when I got out of school and traded options for them.  In school, I studied actuarial science and finance.

Question:  Bill Chen works for the same firm.  Do you know Bill?  Do you talk poker strategy?
Scholl:  No, we haven’t discussed much poker strategy.  But we were co-workers and I have spoken to him out here.  He’s housemates for the series with the second-place finisher (Andrew Prock) so he was rooting for him a little bit.

Question:  What was your transition from being involved in equity training and getting involved in playing poker?  Has it been a hobby for a while?  How did you pick it up?
Scholl:  Well I picked it up like so many after I saw Chris Moneymaker on TV winning the World Series.  Just played for small stakes in college, and then started playing for small stakes on Party Poker and reading a few poker books.  And, I was playing no limit in college.  Then I tried limit and actually took a liking to that and kind of concentrated on that for the next few years because I preferred it.  Now, I kind of play all the games, but Limit Hold’em was my first love, if you want to call it that.

Question:  So, it must feel really special to win your gold bracelet in this event.  Especially in one of the larger buy-in ones where it’s probably a tougher field.
Scholl:  Yeah, it’s great.  It’s an honor – especially against 166 really good players and a really tough field

Question:  What is it about limit that you prefer?
Scholl:  I think you get involved in more pots.  You don’t have to risk your entire stack.  So you don’t have to play quite as carefully.  It’s kind of more tactical.  There are more decisions throughout the end.  You’re not going to be in all-in pre-flop every hand you play late in the tournament or anything like that.  You’ll play flops, turns, and rivers.

Question:  If you won a couple more gold bracelets and a few million dollars, would poker be enough for you?  Would you just want to pursue this and possibly be a pro?  Or, do you prefer to be involved in other things?
Scholl:  No, I think I’d set other goals for myself outside of poker.  Maybe running a business or something.  I still consider poker just a hobby.


This was classified as WSOP schedule Event #20, since it’s the 20th gold bracelet of 61 to be awarded this summer in Las Vegas.  The tournament was played over three consecutive days and nights, starting on Saturday at noon and concluding Monday night.

The final table began at 6:30 p.m. and ended at 2 a.m.  

The final table included two players who have stellar tournament records and more than $2 million each in WSOP earnings, but no gold bracelet wins, so far.  Jeff Shulman, of the Card Player magazine empire, took third place.  Matt Glantz, a poker pro from the Philadelphia area, finished sixth.

Also of note was Terrance Chan, the 12th-place finisher.  This was his sixth in-the-money finish, to date in 2012.

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s victory (or some hours later when the tournament end very late).  The ceremony takes place inside Brasilia.  The ceremony begins at the conclusion of the first break of the noon tournament.  The ceremony usually starts around 2:20 p.m.  The national anthem of the winner’s nation is played.  The entire presentation is open to public and media.  Video and photography is permitted by both public and members of the media.