Jason 'jdtjpoker' Wheeler

In the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, Jason Wheeler's life appeared to be going south as he lost his job in the financial industry.

In the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, Jason Wheeler's life appeared to be going south as he lost his job in the financial industry. Although he might not have thought it at the time, this cloud had the most silver of linings, as it pushed him to commit to playing poker full-time. In a classic poker-dream story, Wheeler ran up the $6,000 he received from his old employer for being laid off by playing Sit & Go's online – multiplying the modest sum into a $70,000 bankroll in only a couple months. Less than a decade on with a combined total of live/online tournament earnings that exceeds $11,000,000, Jason has never looked back since.

The Chicago-born tournament specialist is more decorated in the online poker world than the live one, with over 65% of his winnings coming from behind the computer. He's won more than $5,000,000 on PokerStars alone, and is arguably the king of the $1,050 Super Tuesday event. He has won this prestigious online major four times – once in 2011, twice in 2013 in back-to-back months and again more recently in November of 2016. He also has a WCOOP title in the $1,050 No Limit Hold'em event, where he shipped the tournament for $182,340. Back in the day when Full Tilt was the big player in the world of online cardrooms, Wheeler also won an FTOPS title in 2010 for $85,614.

Jason's early success in the game may be attributable to the unique way that he developed his strategy. In an interview in 2016, he spoke about this interesting approach to coaching material: 'I think some players watch the videos and then try to copy what they see. My approach [in 2009] was to watch the videos and then come up with a way to beat what I saw. Within two weeks, I had completely retooled by game . . . I was crushing everything'.

His experience with live tournaments have also been positive. In his opening year on the circuit, he made four cashes at the 2009 WSOP – including a runner-up finish in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event for $418,122. Had the deck fallen slightly differently, Wheeler would have gotten to enjoy a WSOP bracelet around his wrist less than 8 months into his live tournament career. Now a veteran of this series, Jason has more than 40 cashes, two final tables and almost $900,000 in winnings from the WSOP alone. In 2016, he won his first notable title by taking down a WSOP circuit event – the $1,675 No Limit Hold'em Main Event at Bally's Casino in Vegas – for $323,236.

Away from the table, Wheeler has a keen interest for cryptocurrency, describing himself as a 'part-time crypto addict' that has put together a sizeable portfolio of such investments.

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