WSOP Bracelet Winner Profile: Ylon Schwartz

Ylon Schwartz has one bracelet to his name now. (Heather Borowinski photo)

The moments after a player wins a World Series of Poker bracelet can tell you a lot about that person. Saturday afternoon, after winning the $1,500 HORSE event, Ylon Schwartz sat back down in the chair he’d been sitting in for 12 of the previous 24 hours and let out a long, deep sigh. Mission accomplished. Schwartz, who has been playing for a living since 2004, had finally accomplished the ultimate goal for a poker player and it was obvious a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

“I’ve been a professional poker player for a long time and it means a lot to get this. When you’re doing something forever you want to get a feather in your cap, you get to the pinnacle of whatever it is you’re doing, and for a poker player this is it,” said Schwartz.

The $267,081 payday that came with the bracelet was nice, but it’s not even close to the biggest of his career. In 2008, just months after the WSOP had rolled out the concept of the November Nine, Schwartz made his way to the final table and eventually finished fourth for $3.775 million. Back then Schwartz wanted no part of the fame that came with the November Nine. He famously told the ESPN producers he intended to head to Mexico to hide until the final table.

That side of Schwartz was long gone Saturday and he was nothing but smiles for the media and hugs for the friends who’d come to rail him. Those railbirds were going to be a big part of Schwartz’s celebration, but there’s no VIP bottle service at some swanky Las Vegas club.

“I’m very surprised and I’m going to go have a nice evening, get a bottle of expensive wine and hang out with the friends and let this marinade with this moment,” said Schwartz, who paused to think when asked if winning the bracelet in a mixed game format like HORSE meant more than winning a No Limit Hold’em bracelet. “Yeah, I guess it does to me. It shows that you can play all the games well. I’ve had some no limit success so I feel like being wellrounded palyer is good. It makes me feel like a real decent poker player. I feel like all the games are the same anyways; its just pressure, enertia, memory, some statistical knowledge. I don’t think there’s much difference between any of the games.”

Name: Ylon Schwartz

Age: 42

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Occupation: Pro Poker Player

Education: Attended Borough of Manhattan Community College for one year.

Lifetime tournament earnings: $4,587,686

Notable poker accomplishments: Finished fourth in the 2008 WSOP Main Event.

Memorable quotes: (On whether the bracelet means more than making the November Nine). “It’s about the same. The money was obviously different but I finished fourth in that one, so it was bittersweet. The money was great. This, this is awesome. The Main Event was probably more intense because of all the hype, the break, the original November Nine, the hassles, the amount of money people borrowed from me. This one they can’t really hit me up for that much. They can’t mess with me now. That was crazy. It’s all good. Everything here at the Series is huge.”

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