From Rags to Riches: How Rick Alvarado Went from Serving Burgers to Crushing in Poker

1 year ago
From Rags to Riches: How Rick Alvarado Went from Serving Burgers to Crushing in Poker
12 Jul

Some say that the third time's a charm but for Rick Alvarado it is definitely the seventh. The persistence of this young man is truly amazing: having failed six of his previous attempts to snatch the prize in the $888 Crazy 8’s Tournament, he kept his chin up and finally made it the seventh time around. On July 3, the California native Rick Alvarado graced his first ever WSOP bracelet after delivering a thrilling performance at the Event #64 of this year’s World Series of Poker, playing the $1.5K Limit Hold’em. 

Standing head and shoulders above the competition

The 2019 World Series of Poker, its $888 Crazy Eight Event, in particular, had literally drawn a massive crowd of lovers of table games and golden bracelet seekers. Precisely 10,185 players from all corners of the globe have applied from this tournament, marking a staggering 18% increase compared to last year’s showings. Naturally, such a humongous turnout resulted in the more than a lucrative price pot which amounted to a little over $8 million. 

After four days of nail-biting poker action, Alvarado had let the sigh of relief followed by the roar of the winner, who had just realized that his bank account will soon be loaded with a hefty sum of $888.888. This undoubtedly sizable win has made a young Californian a genuine poker millionaire since he had already bagged $386 thousand over the course of 26 WSOP tournaments in which he took part.

On a more sentimental note, Rick’s mother flew all the way from Los Angeles to witness her son’s poker triumph, though catching only several last hands of the tournament, which were, obviously, the sweetest since it was the time for Alvarado to shine. 

The last matchups, where Alvarado faced the 3rd placed Thomas Drivas, were especially absorbing as the latter was having a 140-million stack which he lost after responding to Rick’s all in play. In the final, Alvarado had calmly ground down Mark Radoja who had a weaker stack initially. 

The burger flipper turned poker king 

Ricky Alvarado is a gleaming example of how one’s life can turn around thanks to poker. According to the bracelet bearer, he had been working at the “In’n’Out Burger” - which is, presumably, the name of the fast food joint - for nearly six years before making the final decision to join the ranks of professional poker players. His first stint with pro poker wasn’t particularly successful, so he had to take a break right before the occurrence of the infamous Black Friday in 2011, when the US Department of Justice had slammed down several major poker sites for offshore machinations. 

At some point, Ricky Alvarado even tried his luck in online casino, but ultimately decided to remain faithful to poker, even after he had to go back to serving burgers. He even remembers these times with a bit of nostalgia, saying that some of his former workmates have been following his poker career and showing the much-needed support. Obviously, this kind of resoluteness and unbending will did pay off, in thousands of US Dollars.

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Writer and semi-retired poker pro from Edinburgh (UK).Read more


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