– General Information –
Kane Kalas is an American professional poker player and singer. He was born on May 11th, 1989.
As a poker player, Kalas is best known for his appearances on Poker Night in America, a show that airs taped cash games on CBS Sports, and for playing in Triton Poker’s super high stakes cash games. He used to play super high stakes NLHE cash online as well, on Full Tilt.
In live tournaments, he’s cashed for over $1.5 million combined during his career.
As a singer and actor, he’s performed in several musicals and operas. The shows he’s played in include Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof and Beethoven’s Fidelio.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2008: He starts playing online poker professionally during his freshman year in college. By the end of the year, he’s playing at the high stakes cash tables on the now defunct poker site Full Tilt.
- 2014: He comes in 2nd in the $3,500 WPT Borgata Re-Entry event for $500,364. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
- 2017: He starts appearing on Poker Night in America on CBS Sports.
- 2018: He wins a $2 million pot in Triton’s Million Euro Cash Game in Montenegro. That was the biggest pot in televised poker history at the time.
– Kane Kala’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Kalas is the son of legendary baseball announcer Harry Kalas. His brother followed in their dad’s footsteps in his professional life. However, Kane Kalas chose a different route.
He attended University of Miami where he was majoring in musical theater. However, by the time he got to college, he was an avid poker player. By the end of his freshman year, he played for a living and was at the highest stakes cash tables on Full Tilt.
As for how he found poker in his life, he told this story in a 2018 interview with pokernews.com:
“I was always interested in poker, I’ve played games with my friends. And I looked at it as something that you could make money with, but I wasn’t too sure if I could do it for a living. I had a friend of mine who actually was one of the weaker players in the game drop out of school to play poker – we were in middle school at the time – and I said ‘you’re crazy’.
But sure enough, he put in his time, he studied really hard, and 6-12 months later he was doing really well playing poker, and I said ‘hey man, teach me how to play’. And by the time I was a freshman in college I was playing full-time.”
Kalas still takes part in professional and semi-professional musical and opera performances as well. However, he never wanted to rely on those gigs for his income, he does those out of passion. He also does poker commentary out of respect for his father’s profession.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Kalas has cashed for $1.581 million in live tournaments, according to his Hendon page. That sum is the product of 74 different ITM finishes over the span of 9 years.
The first recorded result on his profile is from the 2010 World Series of Poker. By that time, Kalas was a high stakes online cash game pro. The first time he cashed in a tournament outside the WSOP was in June 2011. He came in 13th place in a $2,100 NLHE event at the Deep Stack Extravaganza held in The Venetian. He won $7,442.
2014 was an especially successful year for him on the live felt. He made a deep run in the WSOP Main Event. In December, he won a $1,200 tournament at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA for $79,000.
In September, he came in 2nd in the $3,500 WPT Borgata Re-Entry event for $500,364. That is the biggest single live tournament score of his career to date. He lost the heads-up battle for first place to Darren Elias.
The next year, 2015, started well for Kalas as well. He tallied up another runner-up finish, this time in the A$1,500 NLHE event at the Aussie Millions for $55,441.
In addition, in July 2018, he finished 2nd in the $2,700 No Limit Hold’em tournament at the Borgata Summer Poker Open for $205,264.
→ World Series Of Poker ←
Kane Kalas is yet to win his first WSOP gold bracelet.
The closest he came was a 10th place finish in the $5K No Limit Hold’em event in 2016. He earned $44,208 for that performance.
In 2019, he came in 15th in the $10,000 Short Deck Hold’em tournament for $14,615. That was the first time the new game type was added to the World Series’ schedule.
In 2014, he made a deep run in the WSOP Main Event. He eventually got knocked out in 115th place in the 6,683-player field and got $52,141. That year, the Swedish Martin Jacobson won.
Kalas cashed in the Main two more times, in consecutive years: in 2015 (735th place for $15,000) and in 2016 (590th place for $20,499).
Overall, Kalas has cashed in 25 World Series events for a combined $277,019.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Kane Kalas has appeared in a total of 6 episodes of Poker Night in America so far. The first one aired on CBS Sports on November 20th, 2017.
On the show, he played $25/$50 No Limit Hold’em cash games against Shaun Deeb, Todd Brunson and Dave Eldridge, among others.
Kalas also played in a super high stakes, €2,000/€4,000/€4,000 NLHE cash game hosted by Triton Poker in Montenegro in May 2018.
There, he clashed in a $2 million pot with Jason Koon. At the time, it was the largest pot in televised poker history. That record was soon broken in another Triton cash game. Kalas ended up taking this one down with a set of 10’s against Koon’s top pair.
→ Online Poker ←
As we mentioned earlier, Kalas began his poker career as an online cash game player. He used the screen name “NASCAR_1949” on the now defunct poker site Full Tilt.
He first appeared at the super high stakes tables in November 2008. He often played on “Rail Heaven”, a $500/$1000 No Limit Hold’em table which drew hundreds of spectators on a regular basis.
The online cash game database has 29,044 hands tracked on Kalas’ FT account. In that sample, he’s just under $200,000 in profit, playing mostly high stakes NLHE.
In November 2008, he won a $210K pot in a hand against Isaac Haxton and Gus Hansen. Just like in his $2 million Triton hand, he was dealt pocket 10’s and made a set against a pair of Aces.
→ Sponsorships ←
Kalas was a regular commentator in Borgata events, be it WPT or Borgata Open. Later, he worked in the booth for PokerGO during the World Series of Poker, and commented on Triton Poker events as well.