Timothy Adams Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Adams Becomes Third Canadian Gold Bracelet Winner in 2012

Four-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Tournament Debuts to Rave Reviews

21 of 28 Gold Bracelets Won By Americans – To Date
28 Gold Bracelets Won – 33 More at Stake!

Not too long ago, if anyone would have proposed that a game called "Four-Handed No-Limit Hold'em" would debut at the World Series of Poker and attract 750 players from 35 different nations, the notion would have been unthinkable.

But that's exactly what happened at the Rio in Las Vegas this weekend, when a new Hold'em format -- four-handed play -- was introduced for the first time ever as a gold bracelet event.

The genesis of the game can be found in the online poker world. Like its closely-related Six-Handed Hold'em counterpart and cousin, the game was initially an oddity.  But as time passed and online players began looking for a greater variety of games and new challenges, Four-Handed Hold'em became popular enough to warrant its own world championship class.

Naturally, the game has strongest appeal with short-handed specialists. There are no nits and campers in Four-Handed games and/or tournaments; and the passives who do exist, often get see their chip stacks reduced to mere skeletons, erased from the table by the more aggressive and talented vultures, constantly pecking at the scraps.

Timothy Adams, a business school graduate, proved to be the ultimate vulture capitalist, devouring everyone who posed the least bit of resistance to his perpetual acquisition mode.  The 26-year-old professional poker player from Burlington, Ontario (Canada) took three days to end up as last player sitting at the final table, which played out on the ESPN Main Stage on a late Saturday afternoon.
Adams collected the lion's share of a $1.7 million prize pool -- pretty impressive considering that a tournament of this type had never previously been spread in a live setting.  His cut of the giant poker bounty came to $392,476, plus the most coveted prize in the game -- the WSOP gold bracelet.  With his victory, Adams became the third Canadian gold bracelet winner at this year's WSOP -- following victories by fellow maple-leaf waving countrymen Ashkan Razavi and Simon Charette.

Indeed, the response to this new tournament was nothing short of overwhelming by virtually everyone who played it, saw it, or covered it.  The $2,500 entry fee didn't dissuade nearly three dozen nations from having players in the tournament race.  The final four players were from Canada, Taiwan, Australia, and the United States.

Based on the big turnout and overwhelmingly positive response to this year's inaugural, there's little doubt this four-handed format will be a staple on the WSOP schedule for years to come.  It's just as certain that the WSOP will continue to push for new games and innovations that allow the world best poker players -- and those that aspire to be great -- to continue putting themselves to the ultimate test.
It's a test that Timothy Adams passed proudly, and with flying colors.  Whatever happens in the future, he will forever be able to claim he was the first (and right now, only) Four-Handed No-Limit Hold'em World Champion.

Name:  Timothy Adams

Age:  26

Childhood:  Burlington, Ontario (Canada)

Education:  B.A. Business (Commerce)

Current Residence:  Burlington, Ontario (Canada)

Profession:  Professional Poker Player

Number of Years Attending WSOP:  5

Number of WSOP Cashes:  6

Number of WSOP final table appearances:  1

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

Best Previous WSOP finish:  (Round of Final 32 – in 2010 Heads-Up Hold’em Championship)

Total Career WSOP Earnings:  $487,285


Question:  Is this what you expected?
Adams:  To be honest, like, I always tell my friends that in tournaments—and in poker in general—that I have no expectations.  I mean, I don’t ever want to get my hopes up or get emotional regarding my results.  All I can do is play one hand at a time, and just try to make the best decision on every possible street or whatever.  So, I mean, my expectations are usually pretty low.  And I don’t know if that’s like a security thing or…I don’t know.  Basically, I play tournaments to hopefully win, and winning is the best possible outcome.  And it just happened.  It doesn’t even seem like it happened.  I don’t even know.  It’s all such like a blur right now.  

Question:  Talk about Four-Handed No-Limit Hold’em.
Adams:  I mean, three days of four-handed poker is crazy, because most of the time you’re playing deep.  So it’s like your playing a deep cash game, four-handed, for 12 hours a day.  And I mean, yeah, I have a lot of experience playing short-handed.  Like, that’s kind of what I specialize in online, playing three-handed, four-handed, five-handed, six-handed.  So, not once did I really feel uncomfortable during the poker tournament. It’s an incredible tournament.  Awesome.  I mean, I hope the World Series of Poker has more four-handed tournaments, because I think everyone that I’ve spoke to had great things to say about it.  I understand why the World Series may not want to do it because it takes up so many tables, but players just busted so fast that it works out.  I mean, at the end of the day—the last few days especially—the tables were extremely difficult.  My tables were stacked with just very talented poker players.  And I mean, things just went my way, and that’s it.  They just went my way.  I’m very thankful, and I don’t know what’s next.

Question:  You’ve talked a lot about how you play four-handed.  It must be pretty cool to win the first Four-Max tournament and have that distinction?
Adams: You just saying that…like, I didn’t even realize that. Yeah, it’s cool.  This is like my fifth year at the World Series of Poker, and I usually stay the whole summer, but this year’s a little different.  I decided that I was only going to come down for a week—well, I decided before this—that I was coming down for a week just to play the Six-Max and the Four-Max, fly home, then come back for the 10K Six-Max and the Main.  And I came down just to play the short-handed tournaments because, like I said, that’s kind of what I specialize in.  I mean, it all worked out.
Question:  It seems like you have a pretty established rail of supporters.
Adams:  Yeah. I’ve been playing poker for a long time now.  And I mean, I play primarily online.  And like, a lot of these guys, they travel to play all the tournaments and EPTs, and I just don’t do it because, I mean, what I’ve done—the kind of way I’ve made money playing poker—is kind of…I guess I just have less gamble in me, I guess.  I’ve gone out and bought homes and stuff instead. I’ve kind of, you know…what’s the word?  Like say you have X amount of dollars, you want to go build it to whatever.  So, you travel to Europe, and you play EPTs, hoping for a big score.  The variance is crazy.  Expenses are crazy.  And I just don’t do it. I come to the World Series of Poker once a year, and I go to the Bahamas usually.  So, I go twice a year.  And a lot of these guys become really good friends because they’re all similar age and whatever.  And everyone is friendly and partying and pooling, whatever, but I kind of missed out on that because I didn’t get to experience all those experiences that they’re having all together.  But luckily, I’ve made really good poker friends over the years.

Question: How did you meet them if you’re not really traveling?
Adams:  Because I’ve played online for so long.  I keep in touch with some of them.  Tristan Wade is one of my best friends outside of poker and obviously my best friend in poker.  I’m good friends with Jason Koon as well.  It’s nice to have that kind of support from my friends, and it’s good to talk to them on breaks.  And I mean, they kind of pump up my tires a bit and tell me, ‘You’re playing perfect.  You’re playing perfect.  Oh, man, you’re so sick. You’re just playing perfect.’

Question:  You said that you own homes, like investment properties?
Adams:  Yeah. I’m kind of getting into that. I have two now.

Question:  That’s very admirable.  Why do you think you’re different from everybody else?
Adams:  I think it’s just because I don’t want a job in the future.  And some people go broke, and I don’t want to do that.  I mean, I have my degree in commerce and everything, and that’s always a back-up.  But I don’t want to do that. I want to build a future, and I’m trying to build the foundation.  I don’t get rushes from…like, I could play high-stakes cash games and stuff, if I wanted to.  But I don’t.  I’d rather grind, and that’s what I’ve always kind of been known for.  Like, I always play very over-rolled.  And it’s good psychologically as well.  I don’t want the big swings to affect my mood outside of poker.  That’s just not what I want to do.  For some people, they like the rush.  They like the swings.  Some people thrive off self-destruction.  I’m not saying everyone does,   I’m just saying I don’t.  I live in the city that I was born in back home, a suburb of Toronto.  And I live really, really simple at home.  I play online usually, and I see family, I hang out with my girlfriend, I play soccer. I try to really have a balanced life.  You know, I enjoy like the degenerate lifestyle.  Just, I don’t like the kind of chaotic feel of it.

Question:  Can you give us a little more about your background?  Like, what would you be doing, if you weren’t playing poker?
Adams:  I went into the university, wanting to go into investment banking.  I really didn’t know.  I was interested, but I just played poker through school.  So, to be honest, I was really focused on poker.  But I did my studies, and I got through school.  I mean, I was interested in school as well, but I have an addictive kind of personality.  It’s like, when I was younger, I was addicted to soccer.  I was just obsessed with playing.  So, I became really good at soccer at a younger age.  And I think that’s…I know everyone says this, the competitive spirit kind of thing, but it kind of applied to poker as well.  I looked at this strategy game, and I was intrigued by it.  Then I just kept on wanting to learn how to become better.  And the only way to get better is to play a ton and have trial-and-error.  It’s not through learning from someone.  So, no one can tell you how to do something.  You have to kind of understand how to do it.  You can’t just do something because you saw someone else do something.  So, I mean, I think the best players are those kind of players.  They’re not afraid to make mistakes or do silly things


This was the first time in history that a four-handed tournament had ever been offered.  This was included on the schedule largely as the result of the game’s emerging popularity as an online poker game.  A similar effect occurred about eight or nine years ago when Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em made its live tournament debut at the WSOP.

This was classified as WSOP schedule Event #28, since it’s the 28th gold bracelet of 61 to be awarded this summer in Las Vegas.  The tournament was played over three consecutive days and nights, starting on Thursday at 5 p.m. and concluding on a late Saturday night.

The final table began at 4 p.m. and ended at 10 p.m.  The total duration was about six hours – which was longer than expected given the four-handed format.

The final table – consisting of four players -- included no former gold bracelet winners.

Among the former gold bracelet winners who cashed were -- Eric Froehlich (15th), Sam Stein (16th), Michael Banducci (19th), Brain Rast (22nd), Jeff Madsen (25th), Annette Obrestad (41st), Humberto Brenes (55th), Gavin Smith (58th), Leo Wolpert (69th), and Davidi Kitai (79th).