“Nine at a time…”
Michael Gracz has had quite a notable beginning to his career as a poker professional.In his first year as a fulltime poker player he earned well over 2 million dollars appearing atfour final tables. Poker has always been his passion and is much more than just a game toGracz. His strength lies in being able to stay focused on the game for countless hours and hands. Because of that Gracz is rather quiet at the table, but away from the felt he is anoutgoing witty guy who never meets a stranger
.In 2005, Gracz made a name for himself by becoming a Limit and No Limit Hold’emchampion. He took home a World Poker Tour title for his PartyPoker.com Million IV win aswell as a much sought after World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet by winning event #7 at the 2005 WSOP. These accomplishments earned him the title of CardPlayer’s 2005 “Breakthrough Player of the Year.” Gracz finished fourth in the CardPlayer “Player of the Year” race and was named “Number One Player to Watch in 2006” by Poker News (www.pokernews.com).
Born in Poland October 23, 1980, Gracz immigrated to the US with his family whenhe was only four years old. Throughout high school he worked at a local game store where hewas introduced to the game of poker. His interest soon became a passion, and he started reading books to learn more about the game. Gracz began playing in local home games and discovered he was a natural earning more at the games than he did at his part time job.
Throughout college, Gracz continued to play poker and continued to win…most of the time. Gracz watched the poker tournaments on television and in his mind could see himself ata final table one day. But there was the reality of having to finish college and get a job in the “real world.” In December 2004, a poker buddy took a chance on him and put him in the Trump Poker Classic at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. And that was when his dreams and reality collided – well sort of. Gracz took home the title of that tournament and close to$300,000 only to have to return to his final semester of college. Later that month Gracz graduated from North Carolina State University with a business degree and started a sales job.He worked, he played, and he kept dreaming. Three months later he walked away from hisjob to take his chances at the PartyPoker.com Million IV. After that trip his dream was hisreality. Not everyone is fortunate enough to make a living living out his dream, but MichaelGracz is one of the few. Gracz has become a solid and consistent player often placing in the money if not going all the way to the final table.
His advice for tournament players is, “Nine at a time.” By that he means that you canonly play nine opponents at a time at the poker table. Don’t worry about the other people atother tables, and don’t let big numbers discourage you, just focus on staying alive at yourtable. Some tournaments have 30 people some have 300. Regardless, you can only play nine at a time.
When he’s not living out his dream at the poker table, Gracz enjoys a relaxing game ofgolf and spending time with his friends, family and fiancé. He currently lives in Raleigh,North Carolina and travels regularly around the globe to play in poker tournaments.