Introducing the October Nine - Michael Esposito, the Enduring Amateur

Poker Players | estimated reading time
2012. October 21.
<strong>Michael Esposito</strong> is not touched by the promise of millions of dollars. He just wants to enjoy poker and his attitude might well get him straight to the top.
Michael Esposito, 44, is a tradesman of household articles, living in New York City. Although playing regularly and entering the WSOP Circuit several times, he considers himself an amateur player with less skill than his opponents in the WSOP 2012 Main Event Final Table. Still, he is well aware that endurance and luck can get him straight to the championship title.

Esposito started to play poker in 2002, Seven Card Stud above all, and finished 8th in the World Poker Finals $2,000 Seven Card Stud event for $3,480 in the same year. In 2003, he reached a number of ITM finishes, including a 3rd place in the United States Poker Championship $4,000 Seven Card Stud Championship for $33,600, playing against the likes of John Cernuto and Freddie Ellis in the finale.

Michael Esposito

Prior to the WSOP 2012 Main Event, Esposito’s greatest result was a 9th finish in the WSOPC Atlantic City $9,500 Championship, an NLHE game, for $47,310. His only WSOP Main Event in the money finish was in 2006, dropping out in 540th place with $22,266.

A former triathlete, Esposito says to have a lot to gain from sport at the poker tables, especially in terms of concentration and endurance.

“I believed going in that if I played focused I would have a good shot at a deep run. From the start, my goal every day was to play well and have a shot at the next day, which didn’t mean I didn’t [sit back] but I wasn’t reckless. I folded J-J, A-Q and 10-10 when I felt I was at too much risk. So I felt good about my chances for the final table,” Esposito told Pokerfuse.com.

One of the key moments in Esposito’s run was a hand against Daniel Strelitz on Day 7, going all-in with pocket tens against Strelitz’ AK on a neutral board. Esposito grabbed a 12-million pot and jumped to the top percents of the field, eventually making it to the finale. During the endgame, he mostly played to survive the dropping out of the shortstacks.

Esposito, much like Steven Gee, considers it particularly important for the future champion to be a proper ambassador of the game.

“I think any player in the spotlight has responsibility to treat others with respect, and to realize the line from success to failure in the game is very thin. (It’s important) to show the game as a game of ladies and gentlemen, not degenerate gamblers,” he said.

For Esposito, to enjoy the game is the most important factor and this is his attitude towards the finale as well. Even though there are millions of dollars at stake, he does not consider money, with the admission of the fact that already having secured a minimum of $754,798 is reassuring.

“Honestly, I’d just go live the same life I live. I have a pretty happy life. The $8.5 million, believe me it would be the greatest thing. But I have a pretty content, happy life. I don’t need cars, I have a nice house, I have a nice quiet life.”

Esposito sits back behind 16,260,000 in chips as the 6th in the chipcount on 28 October.

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