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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Where Are They Now – Scott Fischman

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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.

In the “Where Are They Now” story about Chris Moneymaker, I pointed out that his name is an aptronym.  An aptronym is a name defined as being “specifically suited for its owner.”  Moneymaker obviously earned this title by winning the World Series of Poker, and has gone on to have some pretty solid results since then, particularly online.  Other aptronyms I mentioned in his column include the baseball playing father-son combination of Prince and Cecil Fielder, and also the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt.  If there was ever an anti-aptronym, it would come in the form of Scott Fischman.  On the rare occasion Fischman has made a mistake at the poker table, I’m sure he has had to put up with an endless stream of jokes regarding his last name, but he has proven time and time again: an aptronym, he is not.  The Full Tilt Poker sponsored pro continues to be one of the best young players on the tournament circuit, after making a huge bang shortly into his career.

Scott Fischman was born in 1980 in the small rural Pennsylvania town of Langhorne.  Soon after his birth, the family moved to southern New Jersey.  For the first 12 years of his life he lived there, until his parents both got jobs in a place about as far away from Southern New Jersey you could possibly get – Las Vegas.
When Fischman got to Las Vegas he met a kid his age named Jordon who introduced him to poker.  Jordan was used to poker, as his family held a weekly game, and his father made routine trips to the casino to sit down in cash games.  Jordan taught Fischman everything he knew, and together they spent the majority of their free time playing poker with any of their classmates who would sit with them.  When Fischman was a teenager he had already come to the realization that he not only didn’t want to sit behind a desk at a job for the next fifty years, but that it scared him.  Fischman thought the idea of being a professional poker player sounded beyond cool, and decided that he would put in the time necessary to make his dreams come true.

Unfortunately when he first turned 21 he didn’t have the money to fully go after his dream, so he did what so many successful poker players had done before him and got a job as a poker dealer.  If you can’t play, then the next best thing is getting a front row seat to those that can, and learning and getting paid for it.  Fischman’s first dealing job came at the Sahara, but he was only there for a couple months before heading to the Mirage.  While at the Mirage he got to deal to many of the best players, and sometimes he was lucky that some of them would talk strategy with him when they weren’t in hands.  After just over a year of learning and saving up his money Fischman was ready follow his dream.

Fischman worked his way up gradually, starting at smaller stake buy-ins, but at the same time building his bankroll in a safe way, instead of risking it all going for the big score.  From September 2002 to the beginning of April 2004, Fischman didn’t play in any tournament with a buy-in of over $2,500.  His biggest cash during this time was just over $5,000, but he had a total of 8 cashes in the four figure range, helping his bankroll to increase.  During this time he was also playing online in both low-limit cash games and tournaments.  During this time his name on the handful of sites he played on was “Emptyseat88.”  Now with his deal with Full-Tilt, he plays under his own name.

At 24 years old, which almost seems ancient by today’s standards, he decided to play in his first World Series of Poker.  When he first started off on the tournament circuit he had set what he called “attainable goals” and one of them was to win one WSOP bracelet over the course of his entire career.  Fischman would prove he wasn’t only capable of that, but he was capable of doing it in short order.  On April 30, 2004, he won his first career bracelet, winning the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event, winning by far and away the biggest cash in his career to that point, $300,000.  Just three days later he doubled his career goals by winning his second bracelet.  He also showed the versatility of his game, as this time he won the $2,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, this time winning $100,200.  At the time he became the youngest player to win two World Series of poker bracelets.

While Fischman has been unable to secure another bracelet, he has gone on to earn the reputation of “The Hardest Working Man in Poker” (not to be outdone by “The Hardest Working Woman in Poker,” Linda Geenen!). Despite missing out on the bracelet, he has had continued success in just about every other poker tournament around the world.  Since his history WSOP run in 2004 he has 25 five-figure cashes.  

He also has four additional six-figure scores.  The first one came one year after his $1,500 No Limit Bracelet win, this time finishing second, but earning $352,125.  The next huge score in April 2007 at the $25,000 Buy-in at the World Poker Tour sponsored Fifth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic, finishing 8th for $247,525.  Just five months later he finished 3rd at the Caesars Championship event with a $9,800 buy-in, earning $245,450. His most recent monster score came in 2008, when he won $312,727 dollars by finishing 6th at the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event.  For his career he has won upwards of $3,000,000.

When he isn’t playing on the live Tournament Circuit, which isn’t much, he can be found playing a ton of tournaments at Full-Tilt.  He has also gained some fame on message boards because he will “rail” many live tournaments, giving his advice to players, not in a sarcastic way, but in a true effort to help players if they ask for it.  What’s unique about this is that many professionals charge hundreds of dollars an hour for training and lessons, and if you are at the right place at the right time, you can get it for free.

*Read Billy Monroe’s Blog*

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