– General Information –
Robert Campbell is an Australian professional poker player. He was born in 1984 in Melbourne, Australia.
Before getting into poker, he was a professional esports player and even a stand-up comedian.
In 2019, Campbell won two WSOP gold bracelets. He was also awarded the Player of the Year after an infamous mishap by the World Series. They originally gave the PoY award to Daniel Negreanu because of misrecorded online tournament results. A fan noticed the error and thus the award was eventually transferred to its rightful recipient, Campbell.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2002: He starts playing $4/$8 Limit Hold’em in his local casino.
- 2013: He wins the A$5,000 8 Game event for A$60,000 at the Aussie Millions.
- 2019: He wins the $10,000 WSOP 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo 8-or-Better Championship for $385,763. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
- 2019: After the WSOP infamously misawarded the Player of the Year award to Daniel Negreanu, he eventually receives the award after revision.
– Robert Campbell’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Campbell has been a fan of card games ever since he was a child.
His WSOP.com profile claims he learnt to play poker while watching the broadcast of the 2005 WSOP Main Event. That tournament caused Australia’s very own “Moneymaker boom” with his fellow Aussie Joe Hachem winning the Main Event, so it’s a pretty good bet from the WSOP.com editors to assume that’s when Campbell got into poker as well.
However, an article on pokernews.com which quotes the man himself contradicts that. In it, Campbell claims he was around 18 years old when he went to the Crown Melbourne Casino and played a session of $4/$8 Limit Hold’em. He ended up losing $150 which he actually felt was a lot of money for a teenager.
However, he didn’t give up. He started studying the game and went back again and again. Eventually he became a winning player – however, he wasn’t a professional poker player just yet.
Before that, he had some other unusual occupations. He worked as a stand-up comedian for two years. He also dabbled in professional esports, something he’s still involved in as an investor.
In 2007, he started playing online more seriously. He played on PokerStars under the screen name “SonicJaxx”. That is when he gave up comedy and everything else as a profession, and switched it for poker.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Robert Campbell’s Hendon page shows $1.361 million in live tournament earnings. The vast majority of that came from the 2019 WSOP – those results will be discussed later.
The first result on his scoresheet is from April 2007. He finished 2nd in a A$175 tourney in Melbourne for A$4,368. Then, he had no recorded results for 3 years. The next cash on his page is from March 2010. He came in 5th in the A$1,000 8 Game event at the Joe Hachem Deepstack Series. He pocketed A$2,100.
In February 2013, he took down a A$5,000 tournament at the world-famous Aussie Millions series and won A$60,000. The same year, he took 5th place in the A$2,200 WSOP Asia-Pacific Mixed Game event for A$12,020.
Then, for a couple years, Campbell seems to have traveled to Las Vegas for the World Series each year and play no other live tournaments. That is until 2019, when his WSOP results were so good that they put him in contention for the Player of the Year award. That is why he decided to travel to Rozvadov, Czech Republic for the European leg for the WSOP where he racked up a 4 additional ITM finishes.
His biggest score in Rozvadov was final tabling the €25,500 Platinum High Roller. He eventually took 8th place for €59,189. It may be some sort of consolation to him that the event was won by his fellow Australian Kahle Burns.
→ World Series Of Poker ←
Most poker fans know Robert Campbell for winning the WSOP Player of the Year award in 2019.
That year he claimed two bracelets. First, he took down the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw event for $144,027 – he defeated none other than 3-time WSOP bracelet winner David Bach for the title. He also topped the field in the $10,000 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo 8-or-Better event for $385,763. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
On top of that, he came in 5th in the $10,000 PLO Hi-Lo event and won $102,868. He also finished 8th in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice championship for $13,681 and cashed in 5 additional events in the same year.
Prior to his breakout year in 2019, his biggest WSOP score was a runner-up performance for $148,016 in the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. event from 2015.
Overall, he cashed for 22 WSOP events (not including WSOP Europe) for a combined $1.148 million.
→ Online Poker ←
Campbell played on PokerStars under the screen name “SonicJaxx”. That name is a contraction of the names of two of his favorite musical bands, Sonic Animation and Basement Jaxx.
A website that tracks high stakes online cash game results has a 3,000-hand sample on that account in which he’s down about $27,000.
Unfortunately, his online MTT results aren’t recorded.
→ Business ←
As we mentioned above, the Aussie cardplayer also has a background in esports. He’s still an investor and the CEO of the Dota 2 team Neon Esports.
→ Scandals ←
The misawarded WSOP Player of the Year award
During the 2019 WSOP the Player of the Year point standings were constantly updated on the series’ official website. After each tournament, ITM finishers would be rewarded with points in the PoY race in addition to their cash prizes.
When the last tournament finished in Rozvadov, the publicly available list had Daniel Negreanu in the number one spot. He was celebrated for winning the prestigious award for an unprecedented 3rd time.
However, a quite incredible twist came. A fan on Twitter pointed out some irregularities in the point system. This prompted the WSOP to investigate and found an error.
Turns out an employee erroneously credited points to Negreanu in an online event that he didn’t actually cash in. When those points were deducted from him, he dropped down to second place – and Robert Campbell became number one.
We've been made aware of an error on the 2019 POY leaderboard. After verifying results and points, Rob Campbell (@SonicJaxx2019) is the 2019 POY.
We'd like to apologize for this error, and offer our sincere congratulations to Rob!
Please read our full statement below. pic.twitter.com/QqZaczMDJz
— WSOP (@WSOP) November 8, 2019
This is the unusual way Campbell won the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year award.
Evidently, this embarrassing mishap caused a huge stir in the online poker community. Campbell and Negreanu accepted the eventual result without any harsh feelings. However, third place finisher Shaun Deeb – who also had a bit of an internet rivalry with Negreanu – expressed it many times that he felt cheated. Deeb claimed that had he known the actual standings of the PoY point race at the time, he would have used different strategies in the late tournaments.
Meanwhile, many felt that Daniel Negreanu, who followed the PoY point standings very closely throughout the World Series events and documented it in his vlogs, must have caught an error himself. Thus they felt his failing to report it was questionable at best.
All this commotion does not take anything away from the fact that Robert Campbell had an amazing year in 2019 and deservedly won the WSOP Player of the Year award.