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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Where Are They Now – Chip Jett

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Where are They Now is a series of an in depth look at all poker players - not just the pros - as they travel through one long game. Some of the players profiled are deceased but not forgotten.

Very few people have the stamina and mental wherewithal to have what it takes to be a full-time poker player.  As the poker adage goes, “it’s a hard way to make an easy living.”  It’s not just the poker playing, it’s the traveling, the bad beats, and willpower required to keep proper bankroll management at all times.  Not to mention, if you want to have any life outside of poker you must find a way to successfully combine a poker life with a social life.  Chip Jett is perhaps the most active player in tournament poker today.  Over the last few years he has averaged over 300 live tournaments a year, not to mention whatever else he plays online as a Full Tilt Poker pro.  It also helps that his wife, Karina, is also a professional poker player, also under the Full Tilt banner.

Charles “Chip” Jett was born in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 22, 1974.  With a nickname like Chip you would have naturally expected it to be a nickname he earned at the poker table, but that’s not the case with Jett.  Shortly after his birth, a nurse suggested the nickname “Chip” to his parents.  What the reasoning was behind her picking that nickname we may never know, but his parents liked the name so much that they set the name Charles aside and started calling their son “Chip” exclusively.  If that’s not a name that sets you up for poker fame, then I don’t know what does, although perhaps “Moneymaker ” challenges for that title.

When Jett was 18 years old he got a job at a local Indian Casino as a poker dealer.  Like many of the other players we’ve showcased in our “Where Are They Now” series (Johnny Chan and Cyndy Violette to name a couple), Jett used his time “in the box” to his advantage.  Jett eventually took a job at another casino where he became a prop player, which is a player paid by the casino to either start new games or keep games going.  Jett quickly found that his time was spent more on playing poker than dealing it.  After six years of dividing his time as a dealer, prop player, and part time poker-pro, he had acquired a fairly decent sized bankroll, one big enough for him to put all of his eggs in one basket and hit the road as a full-time professional.

For the rest of the 1990’s Jett became a fairly well known player in Arizona.  During this time Jett also perfected a style of poker that can truly be called unique.  He calls it his “limping and trapping” technique, a strategy that sees him play a ton of hands because he believes he can beat you after the flop.  It’s been compared to Gus Hansen’s similar style of playing a ton of hands, hoping to trap their opponents.  Admittedly this type of style has gotten Jett into some trouble, but as the results below indicate, more often than not it has come through for him.   

He was a respectable cash game player, but his true interest came in the form of tournament poker.  He began to play in as many smaller stakes tournaments he could around the Arizona area, and made a decent amount doing it.  He realized that he could stay in the Arizona area, make a nice living, and be close to home, or he could go challenge the “big boys” of poker.  Because I’m writing about him today, I think you know which decision he made.

In 2000, Jett moved to California where he could play against some of the top pros at the toughest card rooms offered.  One of the first major tournaments Jett played in upon his arrival in Los Angeles was the $1,000 No Limit Championship at the California State Poker Championship.  He finished 5th in this event, adding close to $6,000 to his bankroll, but also helped him know he made a good decision moving to the West Coast.  Jett would finish in the money in four more tournaments in the year 2000.

In 2001, Jett really made his mark on the poker world when he made the final table of five events at the L.A. Poker Classic, winning over $36,000 in the process.  What made this feat even more remarkable is that each final table was in a different event.  Those included Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, H.O.R.S.E, and 7 Card Stud.  With this performance, Jett showed that he was one of the better all-around poker players the game has to offer.  He also won the award as “Best All-Around Player,” which is a huge achievement at any poker tournament, let alone one as respected at the L.A. Poker Classic.

Jett’s best year as a professional came in 2003.  That year he finished in the money of 20 tournaments, which included 15 final tables.  Jett has proven time and time again if he accumulated a decent size chip stack early in an event, he knows how to use it and he’ll probably see you at the final table.  This was the year that Jett also cashed in a World Series of Poker Event for the first time, making two final tables in the $2,000 H.O.R.S.E Event and the $2,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split event.  His biggest win of that year came when he finished second to Howard Lederer at the 2003 Party Poker Million II for $175,900.  Jett finished the year of 2003 with over $863,000 of prize money  and a long way from being a prop player in Arizona.

Perhaps his most memorable experience as a professional came in August of 2005 when he ended up at the final table of the $10,000 Championship Event of the London Open with is wife Karina.  Jett would outlast his wife, finishing in fourth for $150,000 compared to her 8th place finish for $45,000.  Although neither one of them managed to win the event, it still must have been a nice feeling that all of that money was going into the same bank account.

All said, Jett has made the final table of nearly 70 events in his poker career, and has been in the money of an event almost 100 times.  He has made the money of a WSOP event 12 times, and in the eyes of many, he is the best player to have never won a bracelet.  But, I would bet good money that he will accomplish this task soon, as would he, as his confidence is and always has been sky high.  To date, Jett has won over two million dollars.

When Jett isn’t playing poker, which is hardly ever at 300 tournaments a year, he shares a column with his wife in Card Player Magazine where people ask them questions and they answer them in a he said/she said format.  I wonder what he would say or she would say if they ever find themselves at the final table heads up at a WSOP event.  Knowing the Jett’s fierce competitive drive, I doubt they would be talking about a deal.

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