One player who typifies all these qualities is David Peters, who has become the 7th most successful live tournament poker player of all time. But how did the quiet man of elite poker who hails for Toledo, Ohio do it? Let’s take a step back in time and find out.
Free-Rolling the Dream
Inspired by Chris Moneymaker’s incredible 2003 victory in the 2003 Main Event, David Peters started out life as a poker player by paying nothing at all to win money. Yes, Peters was one of the many millions of players who play freeroll poker tournaments for nothing and hope to spin their entry into some real money. Peters did exactly that, winning $600 having risked nothing and that gave him the shot at playing for real money.
Naturally blessed with a great temperament, Peters’ nickname has become ‘The Silent Assassin’ and for good reason. He’s immaculate at the table, gives nothing away and could easily be glanced past if you didn’t know his face. Don’t let that fool you, however, as Peters is one of the most accomplished players in poker history and that voyage into playing at live tables as well as playing online began in 2006 in Barcelona.
Peters’ record for cashing in ranking live events began in the Ongame Network Poker Classic in Barcelona, where the $5,000 buy-in was transformed into $56,549 with his 7th-placed finish. In the next two years, Peters would cash another half-dozen times, including close calls at the final tables in Canada and America, with bulkier results coming at the PCA and in the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, where a run to 12th netted Peters $88,505.
Peters’ first live tournament win came in 2008 when he won a $1,060-entry event at Caesars Palace for $86,908. A good run at the following World Series of Poker would follow and Peters would win again on the Heartland Poker Tour, but his first bracelet win didn’t happen. For many years, he was the go-to guy for the title of best player never to win a bracelet. Peters would continue to fall short in the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour also, but with just three final table appearances across both tours (and 22 cashes), he has focused on even bigger tournament entries.
The High Rolling Pro
Peters performed brilliantly in multi-table tournaments, but in high roller events, he was to reach a new level. From 2015 to 2020, Peters has cashed ten times for seven figures and over, and often it’s been in high roller or super high roller events. Peters biggest cash was for just under $2.7 million in the Triton Super High Roller Series in the Philippines, where he finished as runner-up to Fedor Holz.
Peters has plenty of seven figure cashes, but oddly, the biggest four of these came without winning events. Outright victories in the 2018 Triton Jeju event, 2018 Poker Masters and 2019 U.S. Poker Open all contributed to over $3.5 million heading into his tournament winnings, but incredibly, this amounts to only just over 10% of Peters’ lifetime winnings. With $33 million in live tournament earnings, David Peters is the 7th most successful tournament poker player of all-time and is still only 33 years old.
What’s Left to Win?
With so much already achieved, what has David Peters got left to win in his career? With a WSOP bracelet finally won in 2016 in the $1,500-entry NLHE event for $412,557, Peters added a second bracelet to his collection in the summer when he won the online World Series even, the $10,000-entry Heads-Up NHLE Championship – a major achievement in any year, but particularly from home. Peters earned $360,480 for that second bracelet and discussed some of his success in this Poker Life Podcast with Joey Ingram back in 2018, well worth listening to in our opinion. With a glittering list of achievements in his poker career to date, few would argue that David Peters has the opportunity to win plenty more millions of dollars over the course of his life at the felt and could well be the biggest winner in the world at some point. He’s a genuine poker idol and will only go from strength to strength over the next few years.