There are a handful of different measuring sticks in terms of tracking success in the world of tournament poker. The two easiest ways to keep score are as straightforward as it gets – titles, and total money won. Beyond the all-time money list, the players who have accumulated the most “major” titles stand out among poker’s best.
In the mid-2000s, in the midst of the poker boom, a new, unofficial gold standard was set – poker’s ‘Triple Crown’ of major titles. The distinction was tied to success on the three most significant titles that could be won at the time – a World Poker Tour event, a World Series of Poker bracelet, and a European Poker Tour title – which each came with big buy-ins and big fields.
Gavin Griffin was the first to pull off poker’s Triple Crown, which he locked up by winning the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open in January 2008. followed by Roland De Wolfe (2009), Jake Cody (2011), Bertrand Grospellier (2011) and Davidi Kitai (2012). Then, after a five-year gap, three players joined the club in 2017 – Mohsin Charania, Niall Farrell, and Harrison Gimbel. Most recently, Roberto Romanello won a WSOP bracelet to complete the feat. To date, fewer than 10 players have achieved such a Triple Crown.
Gimbel’s membership in that club did not come easy. His first of three major titles came in 2010, before Gimbel had even reached the age of 21. He traveled down to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on Paradise Island and outlasted a field of 1,529 entries in the $10,300 event, taking home a first-place prize of $2.2 million.
In March 2016, Gimbel added the second part of the trifecta by winning WPT Rolling Thunder, defeating fellow Triple Crown winner Mohsin Charania heads-up for the title. Then, in 2017, Gimbel got three-handed with fellow WPT Champions Club members Ryan Van Sanford and Chance Kornuth in a $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event and ultimately walked away with a WSOP bracelet and $645,922 in a 1,349-player field.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Gimbel, reflecting on his Triple Crown distinction. “There aren’t too many people who’ve done it, and that’s a big reason why I wanted to win, to join that club. It’s so exclusive. I grind everything, and you know, it’s a career longevity thing as well. It means you’re playing well over the course of your entire career.”
Gimbel, who recently turned 33, has been a lifelong resident of Jupiter, Florida, and a lot of his poker success can be traced back to coming up in the Florida poker scene. Tight restrictions on poker in the state were relaxed soon after he reached his 18th birthday.
In fact, while he technically only has one WPT Championship Event win to his credit, Gimbel holds another spot in WPT history. Back in 2009, at the first ever main event with WPT branding in the state of Florida, Gimbel won the $5,000 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Casino Fall Poker Open, topping a field of 298 to win $330,000.
“Being down here was a big key for my poker life,” said Gimbel. “[Seminole] Hard Rock was the first poker room I ever played in. That was a great experience for me. I still consider that a World Poker Tour title, so I feel like I have one-and-a-half World Poker Tour titles.”
Florida is as much of a hotbed of poker as it’s ever been. Seemingly every poker tour under the sun has one or more stops in the Sunshine State, and it offers local grinders a bevy of options without having to travel very far.
“Every weekend, there’s somewhere to play,” said Gimbel. “That’s a luxury as a poker player, especially a tournament player like me, as I don’t really play cash games. I just want to go on the road a little bit, and I love having those options.”
The World Poker Tour kicked off its own Florida swing with its return to bestbet Jacksonville, for the first Championship Event at the property since 2019. Two weeks from now, the WPT returns to Gimbel’s backyard in Hollywood, Florida for the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open.
For now, Gimbel’s made the short trip down to Jacksonville, chasing another WPT title. He’s had some runs at this property before, including a 10th place finish in this tournament back in 2018.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” Gimbel said of bestbet Jacksonville. “The dealers are great, we’re playing eight-handed, which I don’t think they did that previously. The food here is awesome. The players. Great atmosphere. This place is awesome. I would recommend to anyone to come out here and play.”
Even among the many poker options in Florida these days, it’s clear that Gimbel appreciates any shot he can get at a WPT title so close to home. In recent years, his poker playing has largely been limited to tournaments in Florida and summers in Las Vegas. Without Florida, it’s unlikely he would’ve reached this point in his career, and his results speak to a level of success that Gimbel realizes is unique among poker players.
“I never wanted to be a one-hit wonder, the singer with that one legendary album. I always wanted to be consistent.”