Andrew Robl is a 23 year-old professional poker player from Okemos, Michigan, who’s career began after witnessing Moneymaker parlay a $39 satellite to the World Series of Poker Main event into a $2.5 million win.
Like many impressionable teenagers, Robl thought, “I can do this.” He and his high school buddies began hosting 25/ 50-cent home games, but Robl discovered he could lose money as quickly as he earned it. He became a student of the game, spending countless hours at Barnes & Noble pouring over poker books because he couldn’t afford to buy them. After weeks of study, he dominated the home games, sometimes winning every dollar on the table and then stashing his winnings - as much as $1,000 in worn and wrinkled small bills - in a sock drawer at his parent’s house.
After mastering home games and frequenting a local Indian casino, Robl discovered online poker. He honed his skills, playing up to 800 poker tournaments a month, and eventually became a single-table tournament master. By the time he entered college, he was making a decent living, and eventually found it difficult to focus on school. By 2007, Robl had traveled to Europe and the Caribbean, bounced back and forth from Las Vegas, and eventually dropped out of college. Today, Robl lives in Las Vegas, has earned millions of dollars playing in online and live poker games, is a Team Victory Pro, and enjoys spending time with his fellow professional poker player friends.
“I am amazed at how far I have come since those home games after school,” said Robl. “It was not an easy path. There were a lot of bumps and bruises along the way. I am often asked how I got to where I am, and it is not an easy answer. But, I can say, it took a lot of hard work and a lot of luck at the right times.”
At 21 years old, Robl was selected to appear on NBC’s Poker After Dark. “As I sat at the table with Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson, I could not help but laugh inside, wondering if it was all a dream,” he added. “Sitting with two of the greatest poker players of all time was a real honor and I will always look back at that day as a very special one.”
A few months later he made a televised World Series of Poker final table. He remembered those times during high school, when he would watch legendary pros compete on television, dreaming of the day when he might bask in the same spotlight. This time, the eyes of the world were on him.
Robl finished third, but at 23 years old, there’s the promise of many final tables in his future.