– General Information –
Steve O’Dwyer is an American professional poker player. He was born on April 6th, 1982 in Colorado Spring, CO.
O’Dwyer is one of the biggest live tournament crushers in history. He plays high buy-in events regularly around the world. His lifetime tournament earnings exceed $30.4 million. That sum puts him in the top 20 on Hendon’s all time money list, as of the time of writing this article.
He hasn’t won any WSOP gold bracelets yet, however, he has an EPT title from 2013.
The American high roller also has over $7.2 million in online MTT winnings. He mostly plays under the screen name “Mr. Tim Caum” on PokerStars.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2004: He starts playing online poker on the now defunct poker site Full Tilt while still studying in college.
- 2006: He starts playing mid- to high stakes events regularly on Full Tilt.
- 2015: He wins the $100,000 NLHE Super High Roller at the PCA for $1,872,580. That is his single biggest live tournament cash to date.
- 2018: He wins the $25,500 Powerfest Super High Roller event for $896,610. That is his biggest single online tournament cash to date.
– Steve O’Dwyer’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
O’Dwyer attended East Carolina University where he earned a BSc degree in communications.
During his college years, he caught ESPN’s coverage of Chris Moneymaker’s historic 2003 WSOP Main Event win – that experience had a lasting impression on him. A few months after he bought in for a $5 private tournament in one of his college friend’s home games. He soon fell in love with the game of poker.
In February 2004, he started playing online. At first, he only grinded freeroll tournaments on Full Tilt. Then he moved on to take advantage of first deposit bonuses on other sites.
After graduating from university, he decided to go to Las Vegas and pursue playing poker for a living. He told this to Cardplayer Magazine in August 2012:
“I spent a lot of my early days online grinding hard, trying to clear various deposit bonuses. I had a few decent scores and even took third in the big Sunday tournament on Bodog. I used that cash to finance my last semester of school and then made the decision to try my luck out in Las Vegas.”
As you can tell, he succeeded.
→ Live Tournaments ←
O’Dwyer’s Hendon page shows a whopping $30.4 million in live tournament earnings. With that sum, he’s currently number 12 on the site’s all time money list. He accumulated his winnings over the course of 14 years, cashing in 173 different events.
The first score on his tally is from January 2007. He came in 38th in an $8,000 NLHE tourney at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and cashed for $17,787.
His first 6-figure cash came in December 2009. He finished 6th in the $15,000 Main Event at the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $202,362. However, he didn’t start delivering such big scores on a regular basis until 2011. In September of that year, he had a runner-up finish in the £5,000 EPT UKIPT Main Event for £465,000 – that equaled to $726,789 at the time. He was able to attain such a big score after a financially very stressful period of his career – more on that later.
In May 2013, he took down the €10,000 European Poker Tour Main Event in Monte Carlo, for which he got €1,224,000. In November 2014, he won the HK$500,000 Super High Roller event at the Asia Championship of Poker in Macau for $1,811,638. He defeated his fellow American poker pro Ryan Fee heads-up for the title.
His biggest live tournament score is from the 2015 PCA. He won the $100,000 Super High Roller event for no less than $1,872,580.
→ World Series Of Poker ←
Steve O’Dwyer is yet to win his first WSOP gold bracelet. He has cashed in 14 World Series events for a combined $222,570. In WSOP Europe events, he has cashed for even more, $453,147 in total.
His first ITM finish is from the 2007 WSOP. He came in 21st in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em 6-handed event for $11,882. That year, he also made it into the money in the Main Event, eventually busting in 295th place out of a field of 6,358 for $39,445.
In 2009, he finished 7th in the $10,000 NLHE heads-up championship and earned $92,580. In 2011, he managed to cash in the Main Event once again, this time finishing 626th in a 6,865-player field for $19,359.
→ Live Cash Games ←
O’Dwyer seems to have focused exclusively on tournaments, both live and online.
He never appeared on any of the live streamed or televised cash game shows. Nor is he known for grinding live cash in Las Vegas casinos.
→ Online Poker ←
O’Dwyer plays under the screen name “Mr. Tim Caum” on PokerStars and “eet_smakelijk” on partypoker.
On Stars, he’s collected over $4.425 million in MTT cashes. Add to that the $1.95 million in winnings on party and the $858K on Full Tilt. That makes up his impressive, $7.237 million in career earnings on online poker tournaments.
He started delivering significant cashes on a regular basis on Full Tilt in mid-2006.
His biggest online score is $896,610. In September 2018, he won the $25,500 Powerfest NLHE event on partypoker. He also has a WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) title from the same month, September 2018. He managed to top the field in the $2,100 WCOOP NLHE 8-Max event on Stars for $227,101.
→ Scandals ←
Going nearly bust after Black Friday
The 2011 Black Friday events changed the lives of many in the American poker community. The Department of Justice shut down the biggest online poker sites due to the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Full Tilt, the online poker room Steve O’Dwyer frequently played on, also had to be closed.
Many online poker players were forced to shift their focus to live poker instead. However, for O’Dwyer, it had particularly harsh consequences.
Around 2011, he started playing live tournaments at a higher volume. He got staked by his close poker pro friends, such as Isaac Haxton and Scott Seiver – both world class cardplayers themselves.
However, his results on the live felt were very bad initially. In fact, he was $404,000 in the make-up at his lowest point. “In the make-up” is a poker jargon term meaning that the player lost that amount of money from his backers.
When Black Friday hit, that meant that O’Dwyer couldn’t even rely on his income from online poker anymore. The rug was completely pulled out from under him.
In the 2012 Cardplayer profile piece we quoted before, he described the harshest moments of his poker career as such:
“The summer after Black Friday, I came back to Las Vegas and spent the entire time sleeping on Scott Seiver’s floor. I had a horrible WSOP at the Rio and although I wasn’t exactly on the streets, things got so bad that I was borrowing money just to eat.”
However, as you can tell by his bio, he managed to turn things around for himself.