Jake Balsiger made a name for himself on the poker circuit during 2012 when he had an excellent run at the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event when three-handed play began. His opponents were Greg Merson and Jesse Sylvia and not many gave the 21 year old Balsiger a chance to make a mark.
However, he proved to be a tough opponent to beat as he held his own for 11 hours and played a great hand, eventually taking 3rd place. This finish ensured that he would receive $3.8 million for his efforts along with a 888 sponsorship deal that allowed him to travel the globe and play poker.
Since then, Balsiger has gone on to make his mark, especially at the Crown Casino in Melbourne where the Aussie Millions tournament takes place every year. During 2013, Balsiger had a fabulous run making 3 final tables and coming in 2nd place. This finish ensured that he would receive $3.8 million for see Balsiger at the 2014 Aussie Millions as he came back to make his mark.
Yet Balsiger says it’s not just the tournament that he finds attractive but the Aussie lifestyle and culture is something that he finds appealing. In a statement, Balsiger said
It’s a really friendly environment. Aussies are very cool – I like talking at the table because a lot of them are recreational players and they have a lot of fun. Their life stories are awesome, and I like getting recommendations for things to do around here, different beaches and things like that.
Jake Balsiger has had a decent run at the 2014 Aussie Millions and plans to extend his stay in Australia after the tournament is finished. He released a tweet which confirmed that he will be staying in Australia for at least 3 months before heading back to the U.S.
Moving to Australia today for the next three months to play aussie millions and get my yearly kangaroo fix
— Jake Balsiger (@JakeBalsiger888) January 11, 2014
He says that while he loves playing poker and is focused on winning major tournaments, at some point of time in his life he expects to move away from the game and become a history teacher.
Balsiger plans to return to Arizona State for graduate studies in the field of history. Due to his participation in the 2012 and 2013 poker events, he was unable to complete his graduation but is determined to complete it at the earliest.
If he ends up winning a major poker tournament this year, those plans might take a back seat because it’s not every day you get a chance to make millions and travel the world at someone else’s expense.