Michael Malm Wins Eight-Game Mix Title

Third Gold Bracelet Victory of Las Vegas Series for Canada

Michael Malm defied just about every facet of conventional wisdom in the most recent WSOP tournament held at the Rio in Las Vegas.

He didn't plan on entering the event he eventually won.  Moreover, he didn't have a clue as to the strategic nuances of several of the games he would be playing.  It was like a complete novice sitting down, and then three days later, winning the tournament.

That's precisely what happened as Malm won the $2,500 buy-in Eight-Game Mix tonight, earning his first WSOP gold bracelet in the process.  The 29-year-old salesman from Mission, BC (Canada) pocketed $225,104 in prize money. 

Malm had previously entered four gold bracelet events at this series, “barely missing the money four straight times,” he said.

Fed up with the course of events during opening week, Malm stepped into a $235 buy-in Deep Stack tournament and took second place.  That gave him some renewed confidence to return the next day and enter another event.  Unfortunately, the tournament Malm wanted to enter had closed registration.  That left him few poker options other than to play a higher-than-usual buy-in tourney with several games in which he had no experience, which was the eighth event on the schedule.

Malm ended up being a fast learner.  The first day, he made a number of mistakes that gradually faded and became less apparent as more hands were dealt and day one became two, and then three.  By the time Malm took a seat at his first WSOP final table, he felt confident that he could play with and beat just about anyone.  And he proved it.

Malm becomes the third Canadian gold bracelet winner at the Las Vegas summer series, through the first eight events.  His victory comes in the footsteps of previous winners Charles-Andrew Sylvestre and and Millionaire Maker Benny Chen. 


Name:  Michael Malm
Birthplace:  Coquitlam, British Columbia (Canada)
Current Residence:  Mission, British Columbia (Canada)
Age:  29
Marital Status:  Single
Children:  None
Profession:  Salesman
Hobby:  Part-time poker player
WSOP Cashes (including this event):  4
First WSOP Cash (year):  2011
WSOP Final Table Appearances:  1
WSOP Wins (with this victory):  1

WSOP:  What's the story of how you got to the great moment?
Malm:  I've been coming to the WSOP for three years now.  That first year was just for the experience.  I came down and was nervous.  I was sitting next to all these pros I've been watching on television my whole life.  I was like, "I can't play with these guys.  What am I doing?"  Then, after I played a bit with them, I realized they were not doing that much differently.  They just knew how to play well.  The second year, I came down with a lot more confidence.  I felt like I could play with the pros and know them how.  This year, I came down with the intention of winning a bracelet.  And it happened.

WSOP:  Tell us about how you came to enter this tournament.
Malm:  Before this one, I played four events.  I almost cashed in all of them.  I basically bubbled all four.  Then, I played a Deep Stack tournament the other day because I busted out of the “Millionaire Maker” twice.  So, I entered the $235 Deep Stack and got second place.  After that was over, I slept five hours.  The next day, I wanted to get into the $185 Deep Stack but they had closed it already.  I was just a few minutes late.  I found out the only thing left was the $2,500 buy-in Mixed Game.  I said, "why not give it a shot?  Let's give a try and have some fun."  It just worked out. 

WSOP:  Talk more about the Mixed-Game experience, particularly since you were not too familiar with some of the variants.
Malm:  I had no clue what I was doing.  I made quite a bunch of mistakes.  I had no clue.  I knew how to play these games, I mean the basics, but I did not know the strategy of the proper way to do things.  I picked it up as I went through the tournament and got better at the games.  I don't know, I guess I was a quick learner about that.

WSOP:  You have an unusual occupation that may have helped you win a gold bracelet.  Can you tell us more?
Malm:  I've been doing door-to-door newspaper sales my whole life.  For the last ten years, I mean.  That's where I think picked up my skills on how to read and understand people, from working in sales.  I have a good sense of when people are bluffing me.

WSOP:  Can you tell us about your poker background?
Malm:  When I have some spare time, I play poker.  I went to some other tournaments around, like the PCA (Bahamas).  I finished 31st in the Main Event down there, and then I got sixth place after that, and then another cash in the next tournament.  I like to travel around, a week at a time.  I love the game, I just don't have a lot of time for it.  I do save up though and take time to come to the WSOP.


Among the previous gold bracelet winners who made the final table were – Greg Mueller, Dario Alioto, and Mike Wattel.  Moreover, the 10th-12th place finishers were also former winners (Chris Tryba, Randy Ohel, and Chris Reslock).  That meant half of the top 12 were WSOP title holders.

“Miami John” Cernuto cashed, the 55th such occasion for his career.  That moves him into a 14th-place tie on the all-time WSOP cashes list.