Lee Watkinson – Wrestling His Way to the Top of the Poker World
- 56 years
- Poker Earnings:
- $4.1 million
Lee Watkinson has been around poker a long time. He started playing early and has not even begun to slow down.
In the meantime, he has put together some impressive performances at the poker tables.
Watkinson was born in 1966. He calls Cheney, Washington his home town. It is a long way from Las Vegas in distance, but Watkinson began playing poker there when he was only seventeen years old and it was the beginning of a career.
Watkinson went to college to study economics and he earned a degree in this field. In college, he was involved in the sport of wrestling. It gave him an interest that encouraged him to consider a certain kind of strategy. He continued to engage in wrestling up until a few years ago.
Another sport Watkinson has spent much of his time doing is surfing. This gives him a feel for maintaining balance in a constantly shifting environment. In this way, the sea is just like a poker game. An apt player is always seeking the best footing in a changing game.
Watkinson started playing poker seriously around 2004. He earned the nickname of Lee “Sandwich” Watkinson. This referred to his habit of making “sandwich” raises that made life difficult for his opponents. When he played in the 2004 World Series of Poker’s $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha event, he finished second but this would be just the start.
The Final Table of the Biggest Tournament in the World
Lee Watkinson was in for more winnings that year when he cashed at the World Series of Poker’s $10,000 No Limit Hold ‘em Main Event. Watkinson followed that up with a trip to the final table at the $10,000 WPT No Limit Hold ‘em Championship event where he came in second to Eli Elezra.
Right after that win, Watkinson made the final table again at a World Poker Tour event this time at the Legends of Poker $5,000 No Limit Hold ‘em event. He finished second again, but this time it was to the legendary Doyle Brunson. Considering the winner, it was no disgrace. In fact, Watkinson was named Player of the Year for 2004 by Card Player Magazine.
Lee Watkinson's Major Title Record
- WSOP Bracelets
- EPT Wins
- WPT Wins
In 2005, Lee Watkinson cashed in the WSOP Main Event. He made 45th place with a prize of $235,000. In 2006, he won his first WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event, and earned over $650,000. In 2007, he made the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event finishing eighth for a cash of over $580,000 which perhaps considering the starting field of 6,358 players is his biggest achievement to date. So far, his total winnings amount to $4.1 million.
Yet, Lee Watkinson does not live solely for the felt. He has several business ventures going. He is involved in Rebel Yell records in a partnership with David Kershenbaum, the Grammy winning record producer. The Hardcore Elegance jewellery line is also one of his business interests and he is CEO of Criminal Mind Clothing. If that wasn’t enough he also writes a poker blog for cardplayer magazine.
Chimpanzees & Charity
Lee and his wife are involved in charity work, too. They work with the Cortland Brandenburg Foundation to help rescued chimpanzees that have been used in movies and research and provides them with a comfortable retirement living in natural conditions. Lee is an official spokesman for the charity and helps out whenever he is required.
Formerly a sponsored player of Full Tilt Poker, Lee is no longer associated with them. He lives an extraordinary and full life, however, he still finds time to play poker online where he can be found at Full Tilt Poker playing and chatting with his fans.