Black Poker Pro Eases on Down the Road to Success

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Seneca Easley

Can you name a professional poker player who is black and not named Phil Ivey?

Probably not, and that's the problem.

The problem for professional poker, that is.

Pro poker, an activity with about as much diversity as a meeting of the Pat Boone Fan Club, desperately wants to appeal more to black America but it has a huge dearth of talent available for that particular role.

The only top poker pro who is black is Ivey, and he famously shuns most press attention--he has as much interest in growing the game as George W. Bush has in reading a book.

That's why the world of professional poker was thrilled last month with the unexpected success of a young, up and coming black poker pro--Seneca Easley.

Easley, who is 33 and hails from Fort Worth, Texas, USA, won a huge tournament in California on March 26--the Harrah's Rincon Poker Tournament Main Event, held at the Harrah's Rincon Casino and Resort in Valley Center, near San Diego.

The tourney was a World Series of Poker Circuit event and featured no-limit Texas hold 'em.

It had a field of 188 players, a buy-in of $1,600 and a total prize pool of $270,720.

For the big win, Easley earned $70,384, easily the biggest payday of his professional career.

Before the win, he had earned just $18, 251 in his career playing live tournament poker, according to official tournament records.

The pro poker world is hoping--some would say praying--that Easely continues to have success.

Because if he can attain just a fraction of the success that Ivey has attained, Easley could become a poker pro role model for black America and that will help grow the game, both participation-wise and TV ratings-wise.

Just look what Tiger Woods did for golf.

By Tom Somach Staff Writer

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