Rocker Steve Albini Hits the High Notes with WSOP Win

June 18th, 2018 | by Kaycee James

Guitarist Steve Albini has struck a chord at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) after winning the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event.

Steve Albini

Steve Albini seen here playing with Shellac swapped his guitar for cards on June 17 to clinch his first WSOP bracelet. (Image:

Despite being better known for his music career during which he’s played in bands and produced albums for the likes of Nirvana, Albini proved he was a stud at the felt on June 17.

After carving his way through the masses on days one and two, the former member of Big Black found himself in among some big names at the final table.

Albini Plays All the Right Notes

When the third and final day got underway, Albini was in the middle of the pack behind Jeff Lisandro, Chris Ferguson and Paul Sexton. Trailing poker’s elite didn’t seem to faze the 55-year-old rocker as he soon got to work.

After snatching chips from Lisandro, Albini found himself in a tough spot on the river against Ferguson. Holding QQ7 / 7QT5, the amateur knew his full house was strong but suspected he was losing to a bigger hand.

With his holding too big to lay down, Alibi called Ferguson’s final three-bet and braced himself for the worst. His read that Ferguson was holding “aces full” turned out to be wrong though as the former Full Tilt executive tabled T 4 / TT5A for a losing flush.

Now in control of am 800,000+ stack, Albini pushed the pace and eventually found himself heads-up with the aforementioned Lisandro.

Skill, Luck and Timing Seal the Deal

As the cards started to fly, Albini’s pre-tournament lessons from Poker Players’ Championship bracelet winner Matt Ashton started to kick-in.

Using what he described to the WSOP’s live reporting team as a “thumbnail version” of Ashton’s heads-up strategy, the music man hit all the right notes. The final hand saw a desperate Lisandro commit his final 40,000 chips at the start of the action.

Seven unconnected cards followed, which meant a pair of tens was enough for Albini to scoop the final pot, his first WSOP bracelet and $105,629.

Prior to the win, the Chicago native’s best WSOP finish was 12th in the 2013 Seniors Championship. But thanks to a combination of perfect timing and a love of Stud, he’s now a WSOP champion.

I’ve been playing stud my whole life. I love it, so I’m very comfortable playing stud. And I ran pretty f***ing good as well,” Albini told the WSOP’s live updates team on June 17.


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