Born in 1983, William Thorson played poker professionally for almost a decade before giving it up in 2013 after converting to Islam. According to a Swedish poker podcast, Thorson’s new religiosity saw him donate all of his winnings from the game to an Islamic charity. Considering the amount that the Swede made during his career, this was an extremely generous donation.
William rose up through the online ranks during the golden age of poker – right after Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP victory. He became a sponsored pro for PokerStars and became an MTT specialist, generating a great deal of money under the screenname ‘William’ on the site (yes – that sort of screenname was available when Thorson registered for PokerStars)!
William began playing live poker more regularly in 2005 and is best known in this realm for his deep WSOP Main Event runs. In 2006, the final table was in Thorson’s sights as he made it down to the final thirteen players. However, he ended up getting busted in this position by none other than eventual winner Jamie Gold. In a hand that he deeply regretted, he 4-bet jammed with JJ versus Jamie Gold’s 3-bet who snap-called with KK. Speaking on this moment, William explained that Gold had been extremely active at the table and he was waiting for an opportunity like this one (or so he thought) to exploit his aggression. Unfortunately, the Varberg-born former pro took a stand at the wrong time and had to settle for $907,128 while the player that busted him went on to win the biggest WSOP Main Event prize to date - $12,000,000.
Four years on, William had another shot at the most significant accolade in poker when he made it down to the final few tables in the 2010 Main Event. This time around, the Swede busted in 22nd place for $317,161 and it was French-Canadian Jonathan Duhamel who went on to take the gold.
Aside from his WSOP scores, Thorson has picked up an EPT title along with seven other six-figure finishes to bring his live poker earnings well beyond $3,000,000.