NBC heads up champion
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Paul Wasicka has thrived on competition from as early as he can remember. The youngest of three siblings, Waskicka played soccer in the afternoons and learned chess and backgammon from his parents at night. When he was seven, his family moved to Boulder, Colorado, and that’s when he believes his competitive drive kicked into high gear. He immediately started skiing and bowling. By middle school he was on the chess team, and it wasn’t long before he was competing against high school kids. At 15, he played five sports a year, running track and cross-country, skiing, wrestling, and playing volleyball.
Wasicka’s first poker experience was in 2004 at an underground tournament in Denver. Having never played before, he got a 15-minute lesson from a friend. He finished ninth out of 100 entrants, and that was enough to keep him hooked on the game.
Wasicka began his poker career online, and after building a significant bankroll playing ring games, he turned his attention to tournaments. In 2004, he officially went pro.
This ambitious player already has more than $7.5 million in tournament winnings. His largest cashes include a second-place finish for $6.1 million in the 2006 World Series of Poker main event, he earned $455,615 by finishing fourth in the 2007 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic championship, and won the 2007 NBC Heads-Up Championship for $500,000 and the title. He also made an appearance on GSN's High Stakes Poker.