American Poker Player and Princeton Major Uses Math to Dispel Poker Myths

March 1st, 2017 | by Brian Corlisse

Princeton math major and American poker player Bradley Snider recently gave the mainstream media a different take on what it takes to be successful at the felt.

Bradley Snider Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.

Princeton math major Bradley Snider uses his win at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open to shine a new light on the game. (Image: Schult)

Poker’s portrayal in offline and online media outlets over the years has tended to focus on outdated images of the game or some of the industry’s more unfortunate incidents.

Although the impact of these stories is hard to judge, they’ve often been used by anti-poker advocates to sway public opinion towards their cause.

Snider Shows Mainstream Media a New Poker Face

Once in a while, however, a player comes along and offers a more realistic image of professional poker. When Bradley Snider won his first live tournament back in August 2016, it was certainly a nice bankroll boost for someone still studying for the university degree.

Making his way through the 594-player field in the $2,650 No Limit event at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open was enough to earn the 21-year-old a $246,400 payday.

After hearing of the Princeton student’s win, one local news publication decided to see why a student would be prepared to stake more than $2,500 on a poker tournament.

Interviewing Snider,’s Julia Case-Levine found out that math, logic and mental acuity are common traits of the average poker player, not “heavy drinking and basements shrouded in cigarette smoke” as she assumed.

During the interview with the Central New Jersey and Mercer Country publication, Snider explained that his love of math drew him to poker. As well as dismissing comparisons to blackjack, something he referred to as a “solved” game and “several orders of magnitude” less complex than poker, Snider said that drinking isn’t the name of the game.

“It’s a huge misconception that connects poker to drinking. The only thing anyone is drinking is green tea. Green tea, water, and eating healthy. Everyone is trying to stay alert,” Snider told

Another Step Towards US Regulation

Although the interview doesn’t say much we didn’t already know, it’s significant because of the fact it portrays the game in light the general population doesn’t often see.

Having a student at one of the most prestigious universities in the US explaining poker as though it was an academic endeavor can only help dispel some of the myths surrounding the game.

In much the same way the recent story about St Andrews University math graduate Anmol Srivats winning £80,000/$98,500 playing poker turned heads in the UK, Snider’s story may do the same in the US.

With states such as California and New York on the cusp of regulating online poker, stories like Snider’s can only help the cause.

While it may not change the public’s perception on its own, the more positive press the industry can garner ahead of any regulatory votes can only be a good thing.


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