Thomas ‘pompyouup Pomponio’slife changed forever on June 6 when he won the World Series of Poker Colossus event for $1 million. That type of score in poker’s biggest lottery would change anyone’s life and it’s done so for Pomponio, but not in the way that you would expect.
When the 28-year-old Pomponio won Colossus, he said he would go back to work the next day and resume his profession as a butcher. Pomponio did just that and has basked in the spoils of victory in his own way.
Pomponio claims to be a “regular” guy but he is starting to expand his lifestyle thanks to his windfall.
A lifelong Green Bay Packers fan, Pomponio made his first pilgrimage to Lambeau Field on November 6 for the Packers game against the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.
The largest addition to his life is the house he recently closed a deal on to build in his hometown of Manahawkin, New Jersey. Pomponio has always wanted a home of his own and is now in the beginning stages of entering a new stage of his life with his girlfriend of five years, Samantha.
Although he has these positive changes in his life, Pomponio’s close allies still look at him as the same person he always was and he feels he is emulating that depiction.
“I’ve always been true to myself and tried to not let this score change it,” Pomponio said. “The biggest compliment I got, coming from a close friend of mine, was that one of the great things about me is I’m still the same person. If I never won this tournament, you would never know any different.”
Pomponio credits the support of Samantha for his deep run and she maintained enthusiastic support for the full duration of the tournament. Now that he has his major win, Pomponio hopes his new house can provide a home base for the years to come.
“Before the win, Samantha and I were looking for a home. Once the win happened, I was able to build. I leaned toward building new so I can do it the way I want it. I hope this home is our home for the next 30 years. The whole process has been smooth.”
A glance at Pomponio’s Hendon Mob page shows that he does not have a single live tournament cash since his Colossus win. This is by design, as Pomponio has only played one event in that time. Pomponio played the Borgata Poker Open World Poker Tour Main Event in September and busted within the first three hours of play.
Pomponio is busy with other part of his life like his day-to-day job working as a butcher and his newfound hobby of daily fantasy sports. The game piqued Pomponio’s interest and he recently hit a sizable score to justify his invested time.
While traveling in San Diego a few weeks ago, Pomponio won roughly $200,000 in an online NFL tournament on FanDuel.
The future for Pomponio doesn’t need to be decided tomorrow but he is in the early stages of planning out the next step in his life. His job as a butcher offers him stability but the allure of poker remains. Come next spring, Pomponio estimates he will know which direction he wants to head then. Among the choices he is considering are DFS, poker coaching, and perhaps staying on as a butcher.
Pomponio entered the job after graduating with a background in business and accounting but found himself unable to find any worthwhile positions for him to utilize it. At the store where he works, Pomponio applied to be a clerk but made a transition to the world of meat once a position opened up.
“I’ve always been a guy who loves meat. I picked up quickly and ever since then, I’ve enjoyed it. It’s not a hard job, but it takes time to master,” Pomponio said.
With the future awaiting him and no rush to move on to anything permanent yet, Pomponio is taking things a day at a time. Pomponio’s ability to keep a level head after having his financial life change overnight is to be credited to his parents, according to him.
“My parents have been the best. They’ve supported me my whole life. They raised me to be a good person and be true to who I am and not let money change me. When this happened, why should a win like this change who I am?”
The holidays are near and Pomponio can look back fondly at a year of accomplishment. 2018 is going to present its own group of challenges but with his girlfriend by his side and a house being built, Pomponio stands on a strong foundation built on years being true to himself.