– General Introduction –
Nick Schulman is an American professional poker player and poker commentator. He was born on September 18th, 1984 in New York City.
He has won 3 WSOP gold bracelets so far; as well as a WPT title in 2005. Overall, he has $13.118 million in live tournament cashes, which puts him in the top 100 on the worldwide all time money list and in the top 50 in the US all time money list. He’s also a regular in the world’s most famous super high stakes cash game room, Bobby’s Room (recently renamed Legends Room) at the Bellagio.
Schulman is also known as a frequent commentator for ESPN’s World Series of Poker coverage. In 2019, his offhand remark about the level of play in the WSOP Main Event caused some controversy in the online poker community.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2003: He becomes a professional poker player.
- 2005: He wins the $10,200 WPT No Limit Hold’em event at the World Poker Finals for $2.168 million. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date. Also, he becomes the youngest player to win a WPT title at age 21.
- 2009: He wins his first WSOP gold bracelet after finishing first in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball World Championship for $279,742.
- 2016: He starts commentating for major poker events.
– Nick Schulman’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
As a teenager, Schulman used to play pool at the Amsterdam Billiards Club in New York City. He also worked as a bike messenger for a ticket sales company Broadway.com.
He found poker at age 18. Within a year, he became a professional. He exploded into the poker scene in 2005, when he won a $10,000 WPT event at age 21, the youngest ever to triumph in a World Poker Tour event.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Schulman has $13.118 million in live tournament cashes, according to his Hendon page. He amassed that sum by cashing in 89 different tournaments over the course of 14 years. He’s currently in the top 100 on the site’s worldwide all time money list and in the top 50 in the country-specific US all time money list.
The first recorded cash on his profile is his great WPT victory from November 2005 we wrote about above. He entered a field of 783 players in the $10,000 WPT No Limit Hold’em event at the World Poker Finals at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, CT. Against all odds, the young poker pro took down the World Poker Tour trophy, beating Anthony Licastro heads-up for the title in the end. Schulman got $2.168 million for his historic win, which is the biggest live tournament score of his career to date.
So, Schulman started his live tournament career off with a bang. A month later, he took 4th place in a $10K NLHE WSOP Circuit event in Atlantic City for $74,495. However, for the next couple of years, big tourney scores avoided him. The next time he made a 6-figure payday was at the 2007 WSOP.
Also in 2007, in November, he returned to the very tournament that rocketed his career to stardom: the $10K Main Event at the WPT World Poker Finals at Foxwoods. This time, he took 2nd place for $864,652.
In January 2013, he finished 3rd in the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. In July 2016, he came in 2nd in the $10,400 Bellagio Cup for $557,388.
Also, Schulman took down the $50,000 No Limit Hold’em event for $918,000 at the inaugural installment of the annual high roller series Poker Masters in September 2017.
→ World Series of Poker ←
Nick Schulman is a 3-time WSOP gold bracelet winner.
For his first bracelet, he took down the $10,000 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball World Championship for $279,742. He had to face a star-studded final table which featured John Juanda, David Benyamine, and Michael Binger.
His next victory came in the very same event in 2012. He won the $10K NL Deuce-to-Seven Lowball championship again, this time pocketing $294,321. In 2019, he won the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better event for $463,670, defeating 4-time WSOP champion Brian Hastings heads-up for the title.
On top of his victories, he finished 3rd in the $100,000 NLHE High Roller event for $1.188 million in 2019; and finished 8th in the $111,111 NLHE One Drop High Roller for $485,029 in 2013.
Overall, Schulman cashed in 51 World Series events for a total of $4.468 million combined.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Schulman is a regular player in the world’s most famous super high stakes cash game room Bobby’s Room, recently officially renamed “Legends Room”, at the Bellagio.
There, games usually run on $300/$600 and $400/$800 stakes. However, they can go to ridiculously high levels, such as an $8,000/$16,000 mixed game which was reported on by Doyle Brunson on Twitter in July 2019. It’s known that Schulman likes to play mixed cash games in Bobby’s Room.
In November 2019, Schulman decided to share a tidbit of the high stakes action in Bobby’s Room on his Twitter feed. In the half minute-long clip, we see online poker legend Daniel “Jungleman” Cates taking a $375,000 pot, after he made a wheel in a game of Pot Limit 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo. Ace through 5 is a very powerful hand in hi-lo games, as it often wins the high pot with a straight and the low pot, where straights and flushes don’t count as made hands, with 5-low.
We are shutting ask Jungle down feels like its time. Herehe is making a wheel in a 375k pot limit stud hi lo pot lol. Legend pic.twitter.com/qszCWHtFuR
— Nick Schulman (@NickSchulman) November 5, 2019
In October 2018, he appeared on PokerGO’s revived version of Poker After Dark, playing a session of $100/$200 NLHE.
→ Online Poker ←
The online high stakes cash game database has 42,533 hands tracked on the Full Tilt account “Nick Schulman”, played between February 2008 and April 2011, In that sample, he’s up $288K, playing mainly the mixed game H.O.R.S.E.
→ Scandals ←
His comment during the 2019 WSOP Main Event coverage
During the 2019 WSOP Main Event, Schulman was doing commentary for the coverage by ESPN and PokerGO.
In the early stages of the tournament, he was asked by his co-commentators what people who wish to improve their poker skills should look for in the event. Here’s how Schulman replied:
“Maybe they shouldn’t watch the Main Event. There are a lot of resources with which you can kind of poach to improve in poker. Think critically, really watch, really analyze. If you watch with a watchful, critical eye, it’s a good thing.”
This comment caused quite a bit of controversy in the online poker community. Some felt he was disrespectful to the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. Others took Schulman’s side – they were upset when he was subsequently removed as a commentator from upcoming broadcasts.
Meanwhile, Daniel Negreanu, who was filming and posting daily WSOP vlogs at the time, claimed to have inside knowledge about the situation and tried to convince his audience that that was not the reason Schulman was removed. When the people didn’t believe him, he got very upset in his vlog.
Strangely enough, this isn’t the only controversy that involves the commentator career of Nick Schulman and Daniel Negreanu.
Soon after, Negreanu went on to claim that Schulman is by far the best poker commentator out there, well above anyone else. So much so, that if anyone else is in the commentary booth, he likes to mute them. This turned out to be very awkward for Negreanu as he is a supposed close friend of multiple people who frequently call poker events, such as Joe Stapleton and Maria Ho.
→ Sponsorships ←
As we wrote above, Schulman is often commentating for ESPN and PokerGO. His first major commentating gig was for CBS Sports, covering the 2016 Aria Super High Roller Bowl.
He also appeared in the MTV documentary World of Jenks in 2010.