WSOP: Former #1 Brian England Ends Summer with Main Event Run


Brian England finished 208th in the 2017 WSOP Main Event.

For one week, back in February 2014, Brian England was the #1-ranked online poker player in the world. This past week, England has spent every day battling against 7,220 other players in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event.

England started Day 5 as one of the shortest stacks in the room, but was happy with his table draw after fighting through some tough ones. .

“It’s the best table I’ve heard surprisingly since Day 1. I’ve had extremely tough tables the past few days,” said England.

His summer in Las Vegas hasn’t gone all that well. He estimates he’s played somewhere around 20 tournaments between the WSOP and some of the other properties around town. He’s cashed for just $9,084.

“It’s been a terrible summer overall,” said England. “This could be a good trip saver, absolutely.”

Despite a decent table, England wasn’t able to survive the second level of the day, busting in 208th place for $46,096 The hardest part of the summer for England has been being away from his girlfriend and three year-old son.

“It’s been 45 days without them and that’s by far the longest I’ve ever been without him,” said England. “That’s tough because they change so much at that age, week to week. Looking forward to getting back. I want to get back there as soon as possible.”

“There” is San Jose, Costa Rica where England ended up in 2011, not long after Black Friday. While he still makes most of his income playing online, he’s made a concerted effort this year to play more live. The transition is being driven by some of England’s concerns about the future of online poker.

“Obviously it’s getting tougher and with some of the sites not caring so much about security, you have to worry about other things on top of the games getting tougher,” said England. “I just don’t feel like it’s going to be a thing in a few years, online, to be honest, with machine learning and artificial intelligence as it progresses. There will always be live.”

So far this year he’s made trips to the PokerStars Championship events in the Bahamas and Panama as well as a trip to Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, but the vast difference between being able to multi-table at all hours of the day and playing a single live event is presenting a bit of a challenge for the 28-year-old former New Jersey resident.

“Trying to get more used to it. Not sure I have the patience, it just feels like you’re never going to see the long run. But I’m trying, a few trips this year, we’ll see how it goes,” said England. Even though he’s concerned about the viability of online poker as a career, he’s not sure he’ll ever give it up entirely.

“Very unlikely. I still like having the option. All I’ve ever known is playing online poker for a living,” said England.