“Calvin Anderson, one dollar,” the auctioneer belted during Daniel Negreanu’s annual $25,000 Fantasy Draft.

The tiny conference room at the ARIA remained quiet as teammates across the room looked at each other, some smirked while others shrugged and shook their head.

“Going once.”

“Going twice.”

“Sold, to Team GO Barstool GO.”

A round of fist-bumps was exchanged between Brent Hanks, Barstool Nate and myself, as we had just landed one of the game’s brightest minds for the same price as retired French pro Alex Luneau and dedicated father and occasional WSOP participant Antonio Esfandiari.

“He’s too rich, you can’t rely on him,” a high stakes poker player told me at Daniel Negreanu’s annual $25,000 Fantasy Draft.

Another chimed in saying, “I can’t see him playing a big schedule, he’s won too much already.”

While we had no guarantee that Cal would play a big schedule, messages from his close friends were very encouraging and spoke to his character, competitive spirit and love for the game.

“He says he’s not playing a lot, but I’m pretty sure that he can’t help himself,” a source said during our research.

After reading the message above, the most well-connected man in Las Vegas, Brent Hanks, said, “It’s Cal. We need to have him, even if he only plays a few of the $10k events.”

Calvin Anderson, the way only Calvin Anderson can do it, playing heads-up for the bracelet in the $10k Razz Championship versus Frank Kassela.
Calvin Anderson, the way only Calvin Anderson can do it, playing heads-up for the bracelet in the $10k Razz Championship versus Frank Kassela.

And so it happened, Cal ended up on Team GO Barstool GO, and currently, he’s the fourth-best value in the entire draft by raking in 118 points and tied for fifth-most cashes with eight.

Going back to the comment by one of his peers, who half-serious mentioned that Cal is “too rich” to grind a full WSOP schedule, let’s provide some context.

Earlier this year, during PokerStars’ annual Spring Championship of Online Poker, Anderson extended the record he already owned by winning his tenth tournament in this series. In a matter of days, Anderson won two $2,100 6-Max No Limit Hold’em events, placing him second on the overall leaderboard for 2018.

Currently, Anderson is ranked 1st on PocketFives‘ Mexico leaderboard, the preferred location for many poker refugees from the USA. In total, Anderson has $7.2 million in online tournament earnings and is a former No. 1 on their overall rankings. As a cherry on top, ‘sources’ say that Cal is one of the most prolific buyers of pieces of top players, “winning” numerous big events over the last couple of years without touching a card in the process.

But I digress.

Today, Cal did some work of his own, taking down the $10,000 Razz Championship event for $309,220 after defeating former WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela, for what turned out to be only his second ever WSOP bracelet.

The event needed an extra day but was streamed in full on Poker Central’s Twitch channel. Watch the entire final table down below in these embedded streams.

The payouts final table payouts for this event are as follows.

Event #56 $10,000 Razz Championship Final Table
Name Country Payout
1 Calvin Anderson United States $309,220
2 Frank Kassela United States $191,111
3 Julien Martini France $134,587
4 Mike Leah Canada $96,744
5 Jerry Wong United States $71,014
6 Alex Balandin United States $53,253
7 John Hennigan United States $40,817
8 Dzmitry Urbanovich Poland $31,992

Despite playing a fairly small schedule all-year round, Anderson now has $2.2 million in live tournament earnings of which two bracelet wins, eight final tables and no less than 14 cashes in different poker variants. Reading those stats, keep in mind that Cal has gone on record saying that he’s never sold action and has never been backed for any tournaments.

So despite being considered “too rich”, Anderson truly cares about competing and doing well at the World Series of Poker, and by winning another bracelet he’s added more validity to being one of the best tournament players in the world. As a totally biased gambler, thanks for keeping us in the race to win the $25,000 Fantasy League! As a poker fan, thanks for allowing us to watch you play and dominate.

His friends call him Cal, online opponents know him as ‘cal42688’ and decades from now poker historians will bring up the name Calvin Anderson when looking back at the most talented players of this current generation. To accomplish that, all he needs is to keep playing and the results will follow. Congrats Cal, I’m sure your third, fourth and fifth bracelets are just around the corner.

The WSOP Main Event is just around the corner, so make sure to subscribe right now to PokerGO and watch the whole event live from start to finish. Between ESPN and PokerGO, you don’t have to miss a minute of poker’s biggest event. 

Frank Kassela, 2018 World Series of Poker, Calvin Anderson