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Trump Card and Large Chips, Please

Simon Trumper started playing poker in his humble beginnings in Reading, outside London, in 1995. But it didn’t take long until his first major success at the 1997 European Championships in London, finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in four different events. Then the ball started to roll, winning events all over Europe. His meteoric rise had an equal and opposite demise through 2002 and 2003, which is documented in his famous article "Tournament Rollercoaster." But in the spring of 2004 he bounced back with a 22-month £200,000 (approximately $370,000) sponsorship deal with UK Betting, which finished in December 2005. During this time he won some small No Limit events but his main success came in Pot Limit Omaha where he topped the European Rankings in 2004 and finished 4th in 2005. Highlights include a 1st and 2nd in the €500 ($630) Pot Limit Omaha at The Master Classics in Amsterdam in consecutive years and his highest payday to date: $93,600 in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha at the 2005 WSOP.

Already a household name in the UK with his own website ( and winning among the likes of Phil Hellmuth and Dave Colclough, Trumper is sounding through the US and is heralded to make a royal impact, with sponsor help from Purple Lounge, at the 2006 WSOP.

When did you start playing the WSOP?

In 1997 and have played the Main Event every year since 1999. The first three times I made the second day, and since then I have been bust on the first day.

What was your highest finish?

Seventy-six, but there were only 350 players compared to last years 5,600. Most years I have only played three or four events but in 2002 I played seven. And in the $3,000 No Limit Hold-‘em, which at the time was the second biggest event, I finished 4th of 352 winning $59,560. I was knocked out by Johnny Chan—one of my poker idols.

Break down your best successes over the past couple years.

Last year I played the most events—nine out of the 42. I cashed in the $2,000 No Limit but my biggest win to date was in the first-ever $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. I had finished 2004 ranked number one in Europe in this game and was determined to do well. The field was small at 165 but it was a who’s who of poker. By the end, I was chip leader with 117,000 when the average was 28,000. By day three with 17 left, I was 11th. I made the final and finished 5th for a payday of $93,060.

How’s this year looking so far?

I’ve signed an exclusive deal with, who asked me to pick the three most prestigious events in the WSOP. I selected the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha, the, the $5,000 Short Handed and of course the $10,000 Championship event. My sponsorship with them playing The Prestigious Triple is big news and I look forward to getting exposure at the WSOP where the world’s poker media are in attendance.

Out of those three, which one has the most prestige and how are you preparing?

The WSOP is the event every poker player wants to attend whether it’s for one of the side events or the Main Event itself. To prepare, I start playing a lot of single-table satellites online as these are run all day every day during the WSOP. And when I’m not playing events, they’re great ways to make money. This year they’re expecting up to 9,000 players for the Championship event, so to play well in a 14-day event you need to be mentally and physically fit. I have planned the events I’m playing with plenty of rest time in-between and will take at least four days off before my first day in the big one.

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