Whoever woulda thunk it … that the first big winner of 2010 would’ve graduated high school with the Class of 2009?
But Harrison Gimbel, 19, now a freshman at the University of Alabama, became the youngest PCA champion ever, winning $2.2 million by besting a record field of 1,529 in the $10k main event.
But Gimbel — now arguably the Doyle Brunson of Generation Z — didn’t come out of nowhere. He began playing poker at age 13 … and hit the Florida poker rooms at 18 (the legal age there) while still a student at a tony Palm Beach prep school. In June of last year, during the 21-and-up World Series, he won the Florida State Championship — a $900 main event that paid $65k. He followed that up during the November Nine, final tabling a PokerStars Sunday Million for $47k, and then the next week taking down a $125 tourney on Stars for $25k.
He won his way into the PCA via a $1,000 live satellite. On Day 1, he got it all-in pre-flop with 4-6 offsuit to crack Barry Greenstein’s Aces.
* He plays online as Gibler321.
* He’s been a member of Daniel Negreanu’s Full Contact Poker community since 2006.
* The NAPT-PCA champ will be too young to compete in the NAPT-Venetian event.
Barry Shulman, the only actual grandpa at the final table, btw, finished 3rd, booking his second million-dollar tournament win in the past four months.
CORRECTION: Turns out Gimbel dropped out of Alabama three weeks into school. Way to go, kiddo! You have chosen the right career path, as nowhere but in poker is dropping out of school more celebrated.