Stephen O'Dwyer

There are a few people whose TV appearances are liked as much by the poker audience as those of Stephen (Steve) O’Dwyer.

There are a few people whose TV appearances are liked as much by the poker audience as those of Stephen (Steve) O’Dwyer. This Colorado native, born on April 6 1982, is often jokingly called “The Beast” by fans and poker commentators alike because of his large stature, long hair and indisputable poker skills. He spent most of his childhood traveling around the globe with his father, who was the military man, his mother, younger brother and the sister. All this, in his own words, did not help much with his personal development. He developed into somewhat introverted person with a certain degree of fear from the unfamiliar. This did not stop him from becoming a great poker player. Like many others, Steve O’Dwyer got hooked on poker after the 2003 ESPN coverage of the legendary WSOP Main Event won by the unknown accountant Chris Moneymaker, becoming a part of the famous “Moneymaker Effect” as it came to be known in poker circles. After starting carefully with small on-campus games and beta-testing for Full Tilt poker, he really got into it. He spent nights grinding online poker, clearing different deposit bonuses, until he eventually managed to get a roll big enough to try his luck and his newly acquired knowledge in Las Vegas. With about $14,000 to his name, he tried to grind the living out in the desert, but poker has shown its ugly side and variance did not work in his favor. He managed to get his everyday expenses covered, but the big score seemed to remain an elusive dream. During 2007, he got more involved with online poker again, with help of Scott Seiver and Isaac Haxton. For the next two years he grinded online HU cash games, making a decent income and was pretty much done with the tournaments, until he started again in 2009. Luck was not favoring him again, and he quickly got deep into makeup with his backers. When Black Friday hit in April of 2011, it really hit hard. O’Dwyer was left practically broke. He moved back to Vegas once again. Staying with Seiver and sleeping on his couch, he was basically borrowing the food money. But his backers still had faith in him, and the things eventually started turning around. He was building his way out of the makeup slowly until he hit the biggest score of his career in October of 2011, winning EPT London for over 700,000. After this breakthrough, he continued the great run that extended into the next year as well. Years of hard work finally started paying off the dividends. Today, The Beast has over $4 million in live tournament cashes. His biggest win happened in 2013 when he took down the EPT Monaco Grand Final for nearly $1.6 million. Although the WSOP bracelet still eludes him, it is probably just a matter of time before one of those lands on his wrist.
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