Rarely has a player made such a meteoric rise to the top of online tournament poker as Ryan Welch.
From Nashville, Tennessee, Ryan turned heads when he took down the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up for $98,956 – but a big result like this has definitely been on the cards for a number of months.
Despite only recording his first four-figure cash on Full Tilt in November 2007, September saw Welch debut in the Pocket Fives rankings at number #94 but had shot up to #62 within a month – and they haven’t even taken into account the Sunday Warm-Up win yet.
This is all the more unusual considering until 2007 he had no idea this was the profession he would be starting out in. After being a decent baseball player in college, he took up the game in 2004 after shoulder surgery but still graduated from college in 2006 with a plan to pursue a career in sales. And he did gain employment as a corporate sales executive before a sick run of form (over $700,000 in prizes already on Stars & FT) saw him only become a full-time player at the start of this year.
And he certainly hasn’t regretted this decision. In January he got off to a fantastic start by taking down the FT Sunday Brawl for $68,370, giving him the bankroll to achieve even bigger things in the forthcoming months. May saw him win the sites $65,000 GTD tournament for $24,586 before a stunning three month streak from September to October which brought him to the attention of Pocket Fives. In August he took down Full Tilt’s $40,000 & $60,000 GTD tournaments in the space of just 9 days for a combined score of over $40,000 – and he even found time to final table the PokerStars $50,000 GTD (3rd, $13,068) in between. September saw him take down the Stars $50 Re-Buys for $12,860 before again final tabling the Sunday Brawl (6th, $15,473) and a week later celebrated the biggest cash of his career to date in the Sunday Warm-Up.
He is expected to comfortably break into the P5’s top 50 and any further big scores would surely be just a bonus in what has turned out to be a stunning debut ‘pro’ year for the former sales executive.