You’ve probably never heard of Michael Ruane. His poker resume is nothing to admire and his low-key demeanor doesn’t exactly attract attention, but attention is just what he has demanded since entering the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.
When he entered the event, he had just $24,438 in career cashes, he’d never won a WSOP bracelet, and he hadn’t cashed in a WSOP circuit event in four years. Now, the WSOP is calling Ruane “as big a surprise to be at this final table as anyone” and ESPN is officially announcing the end of his anonymity.
“Even if you Google my name for poker, nothing really comes up. I’ve always kind of flown under the radar,” Ruane said after making the November Nine. “At this table, now that we’ve played together for so many days, everyone knows everyone’s capable and everyone’s good, so I don’t think it matters anymore, but I was trying to keep it under wraps.”
Until this noteworthy WSOP run, Ruane was successful in flying under the radar. He (along with his younger brother Sean) moved out of the US after the top poker websites were forced to shut down. He then started playing online from Malta, Costa Rica, and Montreal. When online gambling returned to his home state of New Jersey, he came with it. But he’s been keeping a low-profile in online gaming ever since.
“Yeah, I’m trying to keep it that way. That’s the goal,” Ruane told Pocket Fives of his anonymity. “It’s totally an advantage, so that’s why I’m not going to elaborate more on it.”
Soon, however, everybody will know his name – and it will be worth it.
Ruane will sit between well-known player Cliff Josephy and American Gordon Vayo in seat six when play resumes on Oct. 31. He is fifth in chip count with 31,600,000.
“I’m going to go back to Jersey and figure it out,” Ruane said of his yet-to-be-determined strategy for the final table. “I don’t really play a lot live actually. I play like five live tournaments a year.”
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Featured photo credit: Drew Amato, WSOP.
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