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 world of poker we have the newcomers, the occasional player, people who play a lot, but consider themselves just a player, and we have professional poker players and professionals that play poker. Bernard Lee certainly isn’t a newcomer or just a player—what he is, is a media professional that plays professional poker.
Lee (born May 16, 1970 in New York, New York) lives in Wayland, just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, with his very supportive wife of 10 plus years and their two young children—Noah and Maya. He was educated in the New England area and holds a BA and a MA degree from Harvard University and a MBA from Babson College—a private business school located in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Before Lee took 13th place in the Main Event of the 2005 World Series of Poker (WSOP) and became a recognized poker professional, he was a senior marketing representative at one of Massachusetts largest biotechnical facilities. After his success in the Main Event, Lee decided it was time to go back to school—the school of poker that is—and his wife often jokes that by now he should have a PHD in poker.
He started reading more and more poker books and forums, studying strategy and probability, and of course he began playing in more live tournaments. It was then he realized that he could bring two of his life passions together—he could play poker and teach it too. He has been teaching private students who want to play in top tournaments like the World Poker Tour (WPT) and the WSOP since 2005. Many of Lee’s students have made final tables in various tournaments, proving that his advanced poker concepts truly work.
Because of Lee’s ability to train students in both tournament and cash game strategies, he was recruited by the WPT Boot Camp, which gives a crash course in the knowledge of playing poker. He participated in several training camps before joining the elite teaching staff of the WSOP Academy in 2009.
If Bernard found life to be even the least bit boring prior to his 2005 Main Event appearance, the pace has increased at least three fold. In September of that year he started writing a weekly column in the Sunday Boston Herald, taking readers on a venture through the increasingly popular and fast growing world of tournament poker. Using his own experiences and real life scenarios he creates a poker lesson that is understandable even to the novice player.
In April of 2006, he was proud to join the ESPN.com Poker website as a regular columnist, highlighting his own experiences playing satellite and main event tournaments. A year later the Boston area embraced the first and only poker radio show in the metropolitan area—you guessed it “The Bernard Lee Poker Show.”
The show incorporated interviews with prominent industry personnel and well known players such as Joseph Hachem, Sam Farha, Chris Moneymaker, Norman Chad, Phil Hellmuth, Mike Sexton, Joe Cada and Daniel Negreanu and it covers current poker news and related issues.
Additionally he finds time to co-host ESPN’s “Inside Deal,” contribute to PokerNewsDaily and act as commentator for many poker events such as the WSOP and the Eastern Poker Tour (EPT). Bernard Lee has become the busiest poker media personality of all times, his expertise can be seen in print and heard and viewed on radio, television, and the internet. Did we forget to mention that he is also the author of two books: The Final Table, Volumes I and II?
If you think that there wasn’t possibly any more time in the busy life of Bernard Lee, you were wrong. Since 2005 he has placed in two dozen major tournaments, his most recent cashes coming in two separate No Limit Holdem (NLH) events at the 2010 WSOP tournament. Perhaps Lee’s most impressive feat was taking 1st place for three consecutive years at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods—winning the $5,000 NLH event in 2006, the $2,000 NLH event in 2007 and $600 NLH event in 2008.
In fact, Lee’s poker career started at Foxwoods (a charter member of the WPT) in 1992 when the casino first opened—he played his very first tournament there, entered his first main event, and won his first tournament there. So when Foxwoods, one of North America’s largest gaming destinations chose an official spokesman in February of 2010, it was no surprise that it was Bernard Lee.
Foxwoods became the first major casino to sponsor a professional player, Lee says, “I’m proud and humbled that Foxwoods would choose me to be their official spokesperson among the millions of poker players in the world. If there is such a thing as home-court advantage in poker, for me it’s at Foxwoods.”
With the hiring of Bernard Lee, Foxwoods may have set the stage for things to come. With more and more land-locked casinos opening everyday it might prove profitable for them to mimic what was strictly an online poker room trend—by hiring top name professionals as their spokespersons and people they sponsor at high profile gaming events.
Bernard’s future ambitions, aside from being the best husband and father he could be, is to be the best poker player possible. His most admirable players are Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu for the way they are able to read their opponents, but Joe Hachem is his true hero for being such a great champion and ambassador for the game of poker. Aside from the competition at the tables, Lee is also competitive at tennis and on the golf course—and has been a Boston Celtics season ticket holder since 1997.
When asked if he could change any thing in the world of poker, what it would be—he simply answered—“WHAT???”