Nick Schulman grabbed his fifth World Series of Poker bracelet on Tuesday in Event 26: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller and also scored $1.7 million. The win adds to a deep poker resumé stretching back to 2005 and helps add to what Schulman hopes to continue to be a growing legacy.

He now joins a deep list of well-regarded players at that level that include Michael Mizrachi, Allen Cunningham, Scott Seiver, Adam Friedman, Scotty Nguyen, John Juanda, Daniel Alaei, Robert Mizrachi, Eli Elezra, Benny Glaser, Stu Ungar, and John Monnette. With victories in No-Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, and two in No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw, some might consider the 39-year-old one of the best overall poker players in the world.

“I do sometimes think about it, that I'm definitely in the discussion because I've kind of revamped my PLO game,” he says. “And my two-card is pretty legit. I think it's impossible to quantify the best. But I'm in the discussion. I think I'm proud of that.”

Dominating Performance

Coming into the final table, Schulman was in a commanding position. At eight-handed, he held 40% of the chips in play and that 80% with just four players remaining. That didn’t come without some scary moments.

A key hand developed at the final table with all eight players remaining that saw eventual runner-up Noel Rodriguez and Schulman get all the chips in. The two were chip leaders at the time and Schulman’s tournament life was at stake with pocket queens versus Rodriguez’s ace-king. Schulman dodged aces and kings and surged to a massive chip lead with almost half the chips in play. He felt composed at the final table overall despite that nail-biter.

“I felt really free out there, which isn't that common for me,” he told the PokerGO Podcast. “And I also felt okay with making mistakes. Especially in no limit, a lot of players are so sort of handcuffed with fear. I felt very grateful to be there. The only time I felt real pressure was actually heads up that first hand. That's when the nerves really settled in. And I did have the thought like, ‘Oh, wow, I could blow an eight-to-one chip lead here because it happens sometimes. It was really a charmed final table, that's so rare for it to come in like that. I'm just so thankful.”

With six series cashes already, the win moves Schulman into the top spot in the WSOP Player of the Year standings, about 300 points ahead of Scott Seiver and a bit over 400 points ahead of Robert Mizrachi. With a big win in his back pocket, that’s something he has an eye on but doesn’t necessarily plan on getting hyper focused on the competition.

“It's definitely something I'd love to win,” he said. “But I'm not going to chase it. I’ve got to look after myself too. I can get really run down. (The series) can get really intense. I think all of us feel that, but something like this might change the tone for me where I might just sort of focus on the bigger stuff … we'll see.”

Now married with a daughter at home, the financial windfall that comes with a win is satisfying for this high-stakes poker pro. But the prestige and finding the top spot against a tough field still matters. He’s encouraged by players who continue to find success later in their careers and that seems to be rubbing off.

“I feel like I'm just sort of getting into my prime,” he says. “I'm 39 and that's another thing I love so much about poker. When I see (Erik) Seidel, Daniel (Negreanu), David Stamm, who is really good, it's unbelievable. I feel I have a lot of good poker left to play and it motivates me because in my 20s, I made a lot of mistakes.

“I wasn't arrogant with people outside of poker. I wasn't really insecure, I was more delusional –  I was crazy. And then one day it hit me that I'm behind. Players from my era, we don't always make it to today playing no limit (and winning) with some of the best young players in the world. But I'm here and when we play it feels amazing, honestly. Some of these guys I can tell finally respect me a little, and it feels good.”

As a regular PokerGO commentator, the run through the $25,000 High Roller meant missing some of his duties and adjusting some schedules. 

“Commentary is really rewarding for me,” he said. “I feel like it's a noble profession, kind of to just say what's happening. And there are so many other commentators I love and so many players that would be great commentators. But the fact that I'm kind of in some of these big spots in there, it really does mean a lot to me. But I do want to pick and choose my spots because playing is still kind of my first passion.”

Looking ahead, Schulman would like to win the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at some point, but so far he’s not had great luck in that tournament. Beyond that, he can’t pinpoint a certain event he’d like to add to his trophy collection but mixed games remain at the top of the list in general.

“It’s cool to win different games, that's really great,” he said. “I love all the games, so if I could grab ones in other formats and stuff, that's always meaningful. It's a small community in mixed games … we all know each other.”

Adding to His Poker Resumé

Schulman now has more than $20 million in live tournament winnings. The latest win moves Schulman, originally from New York, into fourth place on the PokerGO Tour (PGT) standings with 1,035 points. Three other series cashes also added to this total. 

In January, Schulman chalked up a PGT Last Chance series win and had two other tour titles in 2023, including a $25,200 Poker Masters event for $374,000. How does competing regularly in the PokerGO Studio against some of the best players in the world prepare him for the spotlight of the WSOP?

“It's very helpful to collect ideas and to see different styles and approaches and stuff,” he said. “PokerGO is my favorite place to play in the world. It's so nice and I really am so grateful to be able to do something I love at a high level and compete. It's not always easy, but it's just what I'm supposed to be doing … I'm just so happy and thankful.”

The PGT $1 million freeroll at the end of the year has served as a nice incentive to keep battling the studio. He was on the cusp of getting into the event late last year and that encouraged him to play in the WSOP Bahamas to secure an entry. 

Considering his deep history of WSOP wins and cashes, Schulman said the latest win was a nice exclamation point on his poker record compared to his previous bracelets.

“This one really does stand out more, aside from the obvious than just that there's $1.7 million sitting up there, which is crazy, no limit was the first game I fell in love with when I was 15,” he said. “No limit tournaments are so hard to win and there are so many great players that don't run good in big spots. It's a crazy world. We all know we're sort of at the mercy of the deck at the end of the day.”

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WSOP, Nick Schulman, WSOP 2024, 2024 WSOP