Michael Chu, aka ‘Primetime Mike’ is a stock trader who plays poker for fun. He was born in Seoul, South Korea and currently resides in California. He has been playing poker for more than a decade now. However, he has no plans of making it his profession. That’s because, according to him, poker gives him happiness and thrill, while his job as a stock trader in Los Angeles offers job satisfaction.
Chu is a political science major from the University of California. He played poker since high school and loved everything about it. The film ‘Rounders’ aroused his interest in Texas Holdem, and he could never let go of the game ever since. He had fun playing poker with his high school and college friends. It was ‘in’ to play poker games when he was at college.
His skill with numbers was what made him good at the game. But it’s more than the numbers that keep him floating in a game. He plays to win. His deep interest in the game comes from the fun in it rather than the money it brings.
Chu bagged his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2007 when he won the $1000 No-Limit Holdem re-buy championship. His prize money was a whopping $585,774, and that too without an actual re-buy. All his competitors had to re-buy at least 8 times throughout the championship. His performance at the tournament got him attention and praise from poker players and poker lovers. Winning the bracelet and the prize at the age of twenty-seven came as a huge bonus from his small investment in the game.
After this win, he participated in the World Poker Tour and won $16,005 in the No Limit Holdem Championship event. He kept on participating in the World Series of Poker tournaments and managed to cash in the 2008 tournament. He was placed 8th in the $1500 Mixed Holdem event and took home a prize of $27,440. In the 2011 World Series of Poker, he was ranked 31st in the $2500 Mixed Holdem event and won $7653 in prize money.
For a poker player who plays for recreation, Chu has pocketed more than $630,000 from his tournament winnings. He continues to be a star player in his age bracket.