Brandon Adams is a modern renaissance man competing in a world of wizards and specialists at the Poker Masters. Adams was at the top of the poker world before moving out of the poker spotlight and finding success in writing about finance, lecturing at Harvard and embracing fatherhood. He’s second in chips at the Poker Masters Event #4 Final Table that airs live exclusively on PokerGO at 3:30 pm ET.

Adams had two big scores in high roller events earlier in 2017 and after a decent run he decided to book a flight to Las Vegas. “I wasn’t going to play, but then I had a good run at the Hard Rock $25K and cashed for $350K,” he said. “I thought, ‘Alright, I’m gonna give it a go.’ So, I wired in $200K and my plan was to play the first four events.”

He didn’t get out of the gate as he had hoped. “The first day was a very strange day where I was right around the starting stack the whole day – never deviating,” said Adams. “Then I lost a big flip, I was short and found myself all in maybe seven or eight times. I think I went out fairly late in the day.”

“I was tired after that, so I went to bed and was planning to play Event #2, but then had the standard East Coast-wake up at 6:30 am and knew I wasn’t going to get back to sleep,” Adams added. “I went to the gym and around noon I knew I wasn’t in a great state, so I scratched the day and relaxed.”

After taking a day off Adams gave it another go, but plans went awry. “I played Friday and it went very poorly,” he said. “I had a big hand with aces where I was up against a pair and flush draw. We got in most of the money on the flop, the rest on the turn and that was that.”

Adams reset himself for the final preliminary event, but stumbled out of the gate again. “I had bad start (Saturday) where I was playing a little bit faster than the rest of the way I’ve played the tournament and not connecting to any flops,” he said. “I went from 125,000 down to 55,000 and then somehow I got it back up to 120,000 winning small pots.”

Brandon Adams at the 2017 WSOP. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)

At that point, Adams went to a break midway through the day. “I feel in a better state now than when I started the tournament.” Which proved to be foreshadowing for bagging up second in chips Saturday night.

Adams relies on lessons learned ten years ago for the Murderer’s Row of opponents he has to deal with at the Poker Masters. “There was a time in my life when I was playing so much poker – playing the biggest live games that existed for a few years. That experience ingrained in me a certain confidence with my own game and being at the table,” he said.

“I don’t expect that goes away – what happens though is you get passed by from players with superior technical ability,” Adams added. “The way I deal with that is that I actually still take lessons. I’ve recently engaged a poker coach that I’ve been working with but would rather not disclose his identity. I think he’s maybe the best guy out there in terms of the technical aspects of the game, so I’ve been beefing up my skills and hope to continue that process.”

While poker fans haven’t seen Adams churning out Hendon Mob stats, he’s been playing all along. “I’ve been playing cash games for quite a long time and I’ve maintained my presence there, but with tournaments it’s a scheduling issue,” he said.

“I have two kids and I’m in Miami a lot with them,”he added. “I just didn’t want to get back into that tournament scheduling grind. I didn’t want that trade-off to exist – tournament poker versus time in Miami with my kids.”

Adams joins six other players at the Final Table for Event #4 of the Poker Masters live exclusively on PokerGO at 3:30 pm ET with Ali Nejad and David Williams on commentary.