21 and Counting: Cole Sudeck Cashes in First-Ever WPT Event

Jan 12, 2020

Cole Sudeck

By Sean Chaffin

One of the major stories here at the WPT Gardens Poker Championship was the efforts of 21-year-old Cole Sudeck (pictured). He was Day 1B chip leader and now was among those in the money late on Day 3. This marks Sudeck’s first WPT appearance and cash after using some winnings from a recent from a fifth-place finish in a $400 event at the Bicycle Casino.

Friends and family members also pitched in to stake him for one bullet – and they’ll now be getting a return on their investment. Sudeck was ultimately eliminated 27th for $18,825. His poker dream may not have included a final table appearance, but it was a nice run for this young player from Newport Beach, California.

“It feels awesome, it feels great,” he said of making the money shortly before his elimination. “I drew a really tough table this morning, but luckily got moved. But every table’s tough. I got lucky on the bubble with seven big blinds with Tens against Jacks. I was making some big folds all day. I made one bad fold … but put that in the past.”

Sudeck spoke with WPT.com earlier this week about leaving college and entering the world of poker full time. He plays online and now has more than $60,000 in live tournament winnings in very limited action on the live felt. He admitted that a shot in the Gardens was more about seeing if he could play at this level than expecting a deep run. He may have answered that question this week.

Todd Sudeck rail son Cole

As action played out into the evening on Sunday, Sudeck’s parents Todd and Elizabeth Sudeck (pictured) were along the rail cheering him on. How did it feel attending their first poker tournament, especially seeing their son play so deep?

“I love it,” Todd said. “He’s passionate about this. He’s very diligent and loves the game.”

Todd played a bit with his son through the years in family games, but Sudeck was soon dominating. Both his parents admitted that seeing their son leave college for poker wasn’t really part of their plans. Sudeck is the only poker player in the family and his parents didn’t quite understand it at first.

“Who would be cool with their son telling them he wanted to be a professional poker player?” Todd says. “But I’m proud of him. He’s got his head on straight.”

Despite that acceptance, Elizabeth has been a bit more apprehensive about his decision. Another score at the Gardens seems to be changing that perspective.

“I’m coming around,” she said. “He’s a great kid – and he’s following his passion.”

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.

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