Dec 17, 2019
By Sean Chaffin
The poker whirlwind continues for WPT Legends of Poker champion Aaron Van Blarcum (pictured). Along with that that now includes two recent big runner-up finishes, a move to South Florida, new business ventures, and leaving his day job behind for more time on the poker felt.
After his win on the WPT in August, which scored him $474,390, Van Blarcum followed it up with a big November. He finished second in two different events. The first came in a $2,200 High Roller event at the WSOP-Circuit stop at the Choctaw for $37,523. Next in the Bahamas, he notched a massive score. His runner-up finish in the $10,300 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS event earned him $979,523.
That made for a nice million-dollar month. In his short career taking tournament poker more seriously, Van Blarcum now has almost $1.6 million in live tournament winnings. What has been the reaction from friends and family about his stellar run at the tables?
“Everybody’s stoked for me,” he says. “It’s kind of cool getting some nice finishes in all these. Hopefully, it keeps going. But from what I can tell, it’s not a normal thing to run that good, to get that deep in all these fields with as good as all these players are.”
This is his first time at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic and he’s hoping his recent success plays out at Bellagio as well. He says it’s an event he’s dreamed of playing, but had to fire two bullets on Day 1 and was eliminated on both.
“This is the one I was really excited about,” he said before the start of Day 2. “It hasn’t been going well but I’m going to buy in one more time and see how it goes.”
Along with his newfound success at the tables, Van Blarcum also recently moved from his home in the Dallas area to South Florida. His plans call for investing in a few CBD businesses there with a manager to take care of the day-to-day activities while he plays more tournaments.
After previously working for a Dallas area auto leasing company, that job will also go by the wayside soon as well as he begins to focus more on poker. Despite leaving his job, Van Blarcum isn’t nervous about the career shift. He plans to focus on WPT and partypoker LIVE events with his eyes also on adding a WSOP bracelet to his poker resumé.
“We’ll see how it goes in the next 12 months,” he says. “I’ll also be here for the whole summer at the World Series of Poker. I’m going to play as many as I can and see if I can rack up some more points to get in some kind of contention for WSOP Player of the Year. That kind of stuff is fun to me and drives me more than the money actually.”
In recent months, the Texan was atop the Hublot WPT Player of the Year standings but that changed earlier this month when Donald Maloney overtook him. Maloney, winner of the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open in September, finished 41st for $12,060 at the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open for his third Season XVIII cash. That vaulted him to the top spot.
That hasn’t deterred Van Blarcum and he plans on playing every remaining event this season except for the WPT Gardens Poker Championship in January. Winning the title has been on his radar since winning the Legends at the Bicycle Casino.
“I was hoping to move up a little bit here, but I know whoever gets to the next final table [among the leaders] is probably going to be the one to take it,” he says. “I’ve got to at least final table one more time, but there are a lot of tournaments left. I’m more concerned now about placing and getting up in the top of the WPT standings than the cash.”
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.