Brandon Cantu

The 36-year old pro from Vancouver in Washington state is a well-known face in the poker world.

The 36-year old pro from Vancouver in Washington state is a well-known face in the poker world, his two WSOP bracelets mixed in with public squabbles with some big names in the game.

His first recorded cash was actually a bracelet victory at the 2006 WSOP when he took down the $1500 NLHE event for $757,839, a huge win at the time which saw him re-locate to Vegas, where he followed up his success with a fine 2nd spot at the 5th Annual Five Diamond World Poker Classic, taking home $136,835.

A couple of years later he was in the big money again, winning the Bay 101 Shooting Stars in San Jose for $1million, as well as setting a record for the number of ‘bounties’ he took, inspiring the nickname ‘The Bounty Hunter’.

However, the negative side of Cantu appeared in this event also – a huge internet-fuelled story about how he didn’t tip the dealers a single cent, and such things would only become more common for him.

He took down another bracelet in 2009, a win of $228,867 in the PLO 8-or-better showing he had game across several variants of poker, but with his victories came a gamlbing problem which was to erupt in several different places.

In 2014, Cantu was involved in no less than 3 altercations at the WSOP, the first when no-nonsense Aussie pro Jeff Lisandro pulled him about non-repayment of debts after Lisandro vouched for him.

"Apparently, the guy's got a gambling problem, I guess," told Bluff Magazine. "I feel sorry for him. This is the world we live in, though. Some people can't control themselves. There weren't any punches thrown, but it was a bit of a shouting match. The gambling world's tough and if you want to gamble, you got to have the money."

This was followed by Cantu getting physical with Jesse Martin, punching him in the stomach after Martin shouted:

“You’re an angle-shooter Brandon. Nobody fucking likes you.”

The 3rd incident was when he accused Maria Mayrinck of angle-shooting, to which she tweeted:

"The worst moment of my poker career was today in front of a complete scum bag who accused ME of angling. Brian Cantu THE ANGLER. #DIESOON".

Despite occasional though smaller successes from about 2102 onwards, Cantu has failed to keep his place among the world’s best tournament pros, and his reputation has only gotten worse over the years, recent problems with failing to repay loans to the likes of Jason Mercier making the news in 2017.

According to HighStakesDatabase, “It all started after recent World Poker Tour winner Daniel Weinman called out Brandon Cantu over an unpaid $50,000 Open-Face Chinese poker debt,” and on  Twitter things rarely settle down quickly, both Marcier and Shaun Deeb getting involved against Cantu.

No-one has ever called into question Cantu’s poker abilities, but his moral and ethical behaviour is a different question entirely.

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