In the relatively brief history of New Jersey online poker, only three players can lay claim to tournament winnings in excess of $1 million within the state’s borders. On October 16, Freddy ‘BiggDaddy’ Ferrell became the third member of that club joining Jeremy ‘Jermz’ Danger and Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon.
A staple of the NJ community and perennially a part of the New Jersey rankings, Ferrell’s accomplishment is a testament to the hours he has put in to better his game.
When online poker first became regulated in New Jersey, Ferrell used online poker as a way to earn supplemental income and recognizes his achievement is one that didn’t happen overnight.
“Over time, when the money started flowing in consistently, it was a reality check that I can really better results living. As for the million dollar badge, it just means that I play a high amount of volume of poker and the more time that you put into this game you will have better results,” Ferrell said.
Prior to the start of the recently finished NJCOOP series on PokerStarsNJ, Ferrell realized he was about $100,000 short of reaching the seven-figure mark. Ferrell says the milestone was not a major target for him but he is pleased with the manner in which achieved it, even though it meant not winning a tournament that night.
“The cash that made me go over the milly mark was the partypokerNJ GSSS Fall ’17 #2 – $50,000 GTD NLH High Roller that I came in 2nd which was pretty cool. It would have been sweeter if I got the win, but I am happy with my performance and the result. Every day business now. Now that I reached that goal it is time for bigger and better goals.”
Ferrell picked up $8,750 for second place and marked off his 10th top-three finish of the month.
He says he didn’t do anything specific to celebrate the achievement and feels blessed to not have to “Wake up miserable like the people who have real jobs and hate what they do.”
The game of poker is a profession for Ferrell but he still immensely enjoys the chance to play it as his primary means of a living, which differs from when he first started in 2013.
“When I look at poker now I see it as a fun game that you can win a lot of money playing,” Ferrell said. “I do not look at poker the same way as I did a few years ago. I used to want to just make extra money, now I want to make all the money and be happy and get to do what I love every day of my life.”
In terms of future players reaching the $1 million mark in New Jersey, Ferrell thinks there will be more who will soon break the barrier, provided they have the patience to put in the necessary hours.
With the recent announcement of New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada agreeing to merge player pools, grinders like Ferrell will have more money to play for in the coming months.
Ferrell is not as excited about the prospect as some would expect as he says tougher players will inevitably be in the fields now, but he does look forward to larger guarantees on Sundays.
For the next few months, Ferrell will continue to battle against the players in New Jersey and has a clear mindset about where poker stands in his life.
“The grind is super real for the time being and poker is life.”