Where are they now? October Nine: Robert Salaburu

October 29, 2012

With the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table only hours away, the remaining nine players have already won at least $754,798, with payments ranging between that increase at least $215K with each spot, up to the first place prize of $8.5 million. No pressure.

Twenty-seven-year-old Robert Salaburu, hailing from San Antonio, Texas chose professional poker as an alternative to spending his early 20s at a 9 to 5 job in a cubicle. Apparently, he made the right choice because he will take his rightfully earned seat at the final table today.

Salaburu says, “There’s no doubt that the money is big, but at the end of the day, the money comes and goes. I have the chance at poker immortality. That’s what I’m gunning for.”

He began playing poker about 10 years ago in high school. Through college, he began to realize that he was making more money playing poker 15 hours a week than he would ever make with a college degree. His mom, a college Spanish professor gave him her blessing to drop out of college and find his calling. She said, “I simply wanted Robert to find his way in life and he has done that totally on his own. Robert is an independent thinker and an astute observer of human nature.” These are two great traits of a successful career poker player, and they’ve brought him all the way to the WSOP Main Event Final Table.

When play commences, Salaburu will have a 15.155 million chip stack – the seventh largest at the final table, the exact position that Pius Heinz, last year’s WSOP Main Event champion, sat in when the final table resumed.

If he wins, Salaburu will be the first Texan to win the title since 1982 when Jack Straus won the event.

“The main thing I get pride from is that I did it my way,” says Salaburu. “People told me that I was crazy and that I should stop when I was losing money. But at the end of the day, it’s nice to not have a boss, and the freedom is priceless.”

Does he have what it takes? We will soon find out.


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