Michael ‘JohnnnyDrama’ Haberman Continuing Streak Of Elite Play


Michael Haberman is showing no sign of slowing down after years on top of the New Jersey online rankings.

The competition at the top of the PocketFives New Jersey online poker rankings becomes tougher with each passing month. The top of the ranks has remained relatively consistent for the larger part of 2016 with Michael ‘JohnnnyDrama’ Haberman among those prominently featured in the top-10 at the end of each month. Haberman has been playing online in New Jersey since the state regulated online play in 2013 and has put together over $670,000 in tournament cashes in that span.

Haberman’s online monicker comes from a character in the HBO show Entourage, who was known to be excitable with the potential for unpredictability. Despite the associations that might come with choosing that specific avatar, Haberman’s results have been remarkably consistent.

Haberman was ranked number one in the Pocket Fives NJ rankings toward the start of the year and achieved the elusive Triple Crown in June when he won three unique tournaments tracked by PocketFives with at least 100 players and at least a $10,000 prize pool on three different networks within seven days. In accomplishing the feat, Haberman became the first player in New Jersey history to do so.

One of Haberman’s strengths that he attributes to his constant track record is an ability to do well in a variety of different tournament structures.

“I’m not so sure there is a specific format or structure that caters well to my game, and I certainly don’t mind playing most tournaments that are on the NJ sites.I do like some of the longer structures as it gives you more room to maneuver, but people sometimes play a little too cautious in turbos and I enjoy the fast paced play.”

The preference to play nearly anything on New Jersey’s sites paid off immensely for Haberman as he won the WSOP Ultimate Warrior $50,000 guaranteed in November for a career-high score of $13,500.

Due primarily to buy in size, live tournament cashes generally top those of the online realm. That is not the case for Haberman, though, who does not play many live tournaments but thinks that could change in the new year.

“I had other commitments in 2016 that kept me from playing as much as I would have liked live, so I definitely see myself getting out to some more high-value tournaments, how many more, we’ll see, It’s a good change of pace, and you never know what kind of characters will be at your table.”

The clash for NJ online supremacy remains fierce and although he has been among the top players for a few years now, Haberman is looking for new ways to improve his game in order to keep his edge sharp.

“I’ll be working on keeping distractions to a minimum, it can be pretty easy to lose focus while playing, and it can make a world of difference to be in the zone when you play. An extension of that is to close the gap between my ‘A game’ and ‘B game’ as some people would say.”

With a multi-year sample size already in play, it is clear that Haberman’s “A game” is among the best in the entire state. Given his already immense accomplishments, an even more improved Haberman is plenty for the rest of New Jersey to look out for.