Thomas Keller

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 22:01

Thomas Keller

A poker biography of Thomas Keller.

Quick Information

Name - Thomas Keller

Born - Riverside, California, United States

Poker Room - Not Available


The "Thunder" first roared in the town of Ann Arbor in Michigan in the person of Thomas Keller. This future card master, who was eventually nicknamed "The Thunder," first established his poker playing career while taking his economics degree at the Stanford University in Michigan. Very much inspired by the poker movie "Rounders," which starred Matt Damon and Edward Norton, Thomas realized at that time that playing poker is the career that he wanted to pursue.

But Thomas does not only thank a flick for the improvement of his poker skills. Thomas, like his fellow poker players Noah Boeken and David Williams, pays homage to the game of "Magic: The Gathering" for playing an important role in the establishment of his name in the poker industry. From playing this game, he learned the ability of studying what kind of mentality a particular gamer has. Thomas also credits this particular card game for being the first to teach him how to formulate his own game theory and other playing strategies.

After enhancing his skills and finally deciding that poker is his destiny, Thomas's next challenge at the time was to convince his parents about his "calling." He admits that it was never easy for him to tell his parents about his passion. Thomas grew up always having to prove to his parents that he is worthy of their high expectations. Furthermore, his mother, a vice president for a publishing house, and his father, a professor, apparently had other plans for him. Because of these, he found it hard to convince his parents that there is indeed a career in playing poker.

Despite his parents' reluctance, Thomas still pursued what he loved to do. Right after getting his economics degree, he went to Arizona and started playing in many poker tournaments in Phoenix, where he eventually making his own name as the "poker king." Thomas quickly graduated from playing poker games of $15 to $30 worth to poker games of $50 to $100, and later on, to much higher bets and prizes.

He found himself competing in Arizona's highest limit poker game at the young age of 22. At this point, Thomas, with his excellent playing skills, was already grabbing the attention of many veteran poker players in the area. He was described as the distinguished player who plays with a great level of consistency and is able to achieve consecutive wins rapidly. There was even a time that Thomas won so much, he stashed all the $100 chips he got from the casino in his car trunk just because he didn't want to cash all of them out. When some big money players planned to play, Thomas sold, straight from his car trunk, $100 chips in racks for every $10,000 worth set to these players.

But Thomas hit the big time when he became popular around the world. Thomas achieved international acclaim when he became a gold bracelet winner in the prestigious "World Series of Poker" 2004 at the young age of 23 -- a success which made him among the youngest winners of the gold bracelet. In the said event, Thomas first defeated Allan Cunningham in the "Five Diamond World Poker Classics's $2,500 No Limit Hold'em" tournament where Thomas took home the first prize worth $281,525. He then moved to the $5,000 event where he defeated Martin "The Knife" De Knijff. After that, Thomas went straight to the "No-Limit Hold'em" finals and defeated poker legends such as Howard Lederer, Johnny Chan, and Chris Moneymaker.