A Poker Life: David Paredes

David Paredes enjoys the sport of poker, but to call him a poker player is to sell him short. The New York native has his own lifetime as a chess player, video game prodigy, child celebrity, and fiction author. He’s worked on Wall Street, graduated from Harvard and NYU Law, also played a significant part in discovering the UltimateBet cheating scandal.

Despite this prosperity of hobbies and pursuits, Paredes has managed to turn into power on the championship circuit. Though he considers himself to be many more of a cash-game grinder, he’s gathered live tournament earnings of almost $1.5 million.

Here’s a closer look at one of the poker world’s rising stars.

An Eclectic Childhood

Although he had been only a youngster, Paredes was seen by an agent in New York City who demand whether he wanted to become an actor. None to turn everything down, Paredes jumped in head before all else.

“My mother took me to an agency, where they took pictures and set up auditions,” he recalled. “Little by little, I started landing parts. The majority of the parts that I got were voice overs. I guess they liked the way I sounded at the time. I also did some commercials for stuff like Pepperidge Farms and Hess Trucks. Toward the end, I got to be in a couple of movies such as Crocodile Dundee 2, Enemies A Love Story, and Married to the Mob. Every year I still obtain a check from MGM for something like $8. ”

Paredes was only eight years old when he informed his mother he wished to stop show business.

“One day I had to go to a movie shoot at like five in the morning. I just told my mom that I’d rather be home watching G.I. Joe cartoons. She was really supportive and soon after that, I quit. ”

With an English instructor for a mom, it’s no real surprise that Paredes discovered success in the classroom also. He was finally accepted to a technical basic school in Manhattan which featured a nationally-renowned baseball group.

“They basically threw a bunch of chess boards in front of the elementary school class, and whomever stuck with it, they put a lot of time and effort into helping them obtain better with great coaches,” Paredes remembered. “I used to travel around the country playing in chess tournaments. I fell in love with the competition and became really good at studying and concentrating for long periods of time. ”

After chess, Paredes proceeded on to video games. But unlike most other kids, Paredes chose his new fire to the intense.

“The movie The Wizard with Fred Savage had inspired the Nintendo World Championships in New York City,” he stated. “We competed in three games. There was Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris. I excelled at Tetris, especially. I ended up finishing third in my age group and won some prizes. ”

His fascination with matches obviously led him into poker, and while at high school, Paredes found himself playing relatively substantial bets with his pals. It was clear he grabbed the gambling insect but he was able to prevent the temptations of this cardroom until after school. Paredes was thrilled to learn he was accepted to Harvard College. He managed to locate 1 poker game while registered there, but it didn’t last long. Instead, he focused on his studies.

“Going to Harvard was one of my main accomplishments for certain. Due to my mother, I loved learning, and I was really pleased to find myself surrounded by like-minded peers that had been some of the finest in their respective areas. There was just one poker match I found at the dining room, and they had been nice enough to allow me to perform with. I wound up placing the record for the largest win and I wasn’t ever invited back because I was too good. ”

Poker As A Networking Tool

After graduating, Paredes returned to New York to obtain a graduate degree in creative writing at NYU. He had a passion for writing fiction, but immediately realized it had been hard to generate a living as a writer.

“I didn’t wish to be broke for the rest of my life,” he said. “I had been teaching a professional writing class, but it wasn’t really paying my bills. It was more like a stipend. So I started going to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut on the Chinatown bus. They would give you a $30 voucher to play. I started doing well and was soon playing $20-$40 limit hold’em games. I wouldn’t pay to get a hotel space. I’d only play all night, return the following day and teach my course. ”

Poker was going well, but not well enough to rely on for the long term, so Paredes opted to enter law school as well. He wasn’t really interested in legislation, however, NYU enabled him to examine both writing law and writing in precisely the equal time, which Paredes did understanding law could offer a continuous job if he needed one. It was then he found the underground games from town.

“I was playing one night at Foxwoods and started chatting with this guy who turned out to also be a writer in the city,” he clarified. “He told me there were games I could play in New York, and I was shocked. All this time I thought I had to travel two and a half hours by bus just to play poker and here it was right next to my law school. So he got me into one of the clubs, and it was great. This was the heyday of New York City poker clubs and everything was super professional with lots of security, dealers, waitresses and food. It was like a poker oasis. ”

It took some time for Paredes to obtain accustomed to the no-limit hold’em games which were regularly dispersed from the nightclubs, however after a couple more trips back to Foxwoods to resurrect his bankroll, he settled as a routine and started winning. From the nightclubs, he also met former poker ace and current hedge fund manager Jason Strasser, who advised him to obtain started playing online. That transition was shown to be quite valuable following the New York nightclubs started to obtain raided and closed down.

“There was a really nice club called Broadway and Alex Rodriguez, who was in the playoffs with the Yankees at the time, was photographed playing poker,” said Paredes. “The guy sold the picture for like $5,000 to the New York Post and, all of a sudden, all of the clubs were getting shut down. Luckily, I had started playing online and one day I got invited to a private game by someone on a poker forum. The game was in a fancy hotel suite with catered food and was filled with nothing but guys who work in finance on Wall Street. I did okay, as I recall, but the connections I made were more valuable. ”

Paredes considers that the media aspect of poker can be quite precious and has annoyed when younger gamers are quick to criticize and make fun of recreational players.

“These guys have better things to do than study a proper four-bet calling range,” he clarified. “There are a lot of very smart people that play poker and enjoy the challenge, but there’s no need to treat someone like they are a fish. Odds are, they are way more successful in life and business than you are and you never know who you are going to meet at the table. ”

Finding His Own Success

After grad school, Paredes entered the fund world, but his time couldn’t have been any worse. It was 2007 and the economy was crumbling. A number of people at his firm were laid off and, eventually, he was as well. He turned his attention back to online poker, where he began to play high-stakes cash games.

“It simply wasn’t clicking at the time,” he explained. “I lasted about two years, but it was very hard to raise money. After that, I knew I needed a change in my life and I wanted to give poker my full attention. ”

In 2008, he and Michael Fosco, were credited with being among the before all else players to detect irregular drama from particular reports on UltimateBet as well as appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes, as a result of his own poker monitoring program. Together with his advice, along with also his openness to blow the whistle on what he watched, the poker world took note. For this very day, Paredes states that utilizing his statistical analysis and logical reasoning abilities to bring down the UB cheaters is unquestionably the proudest achievement of his livelihood. Regrettably, U.S. online poker expired in 2011 with Black Friday.

“I was devastated,” he confessed. “I had bought an apartment in Boston and I was forced to go back to Foxwoods to go on playing. At least this time I could afford to obtain a hotel room and, pretty soon, I was putting up consistent results on the live circuit. ”

He had his before all else taste of success in early 2010, finishing fifth at the North American Poker Tour Venetian primary event in Las Vegas for $184,816. In 2011, he took fifth at the $25,000 heads-up event in the WSOP for $138,852, then finished third in the Isle Open main event after that year for a second $51,040.

In 2013, he moved deep at the WSOP main event, finally busting in 90th place for $71,053. Subsequently in January of 2014, he ended runner-up at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $499,549, the most significant score of his profession.

Moving Forward

Paredes has heard a long time in his couple of years as a poker pro. He also ‘s made bad investments in different players who didn’t pay off and vows to practice better bankroll management and learn from his past mistakes.

He now resides in Brookline, Massachusetts, and when he’s not traveling on the tournament circuit, he grinds the live cash games at Mohegan Sun. He’s also started taking on students and hopes to keep teaching people the ins and outs of poker, but his next project will combine his love for poker and writing.

“I’ve always loved to write,” he said. “I sort of place it to the back burner when I was in law school, working and playing poker. However, now I’ve been beginning to obtain back to it. I’m authoring a publication. I’d say it’s semi-autobiographical from the feeling that among the lead roles was a law student and poker player that got into the fund. But I could call it kind of a financial thriller, where poker had a little part in it. However, I’m planning to utilize a whole lot of the experiences I had in my entire life since I’ve had a fascinating one so far. “