It seems Steve Billirakis has a thing for World Series records.
‘MrSmokey1’ made worldwide poker headlines in 2007 by becoming the youngest WSOP Bracelet winner of all-time at just 21 years and 11 days old. Now, at age 22, he is also the youngest WSOP Circuit champion in history!
In late October Billirakis took down the WSOPC Event in his hometown casino of Hammond (the Horseshoe) to scoop a cool $208,885 and take his live tournament winnings past the $1million mark in an amazingly short period of time. And does the mantra of youngest WSOPC Champion matter to him? “No, and neither does the youngest bracelet record. It just so happens that I’m younger than everyone else. I don’t care about the age; I was just glad I was finally 21 and able to play, because I’d been sweating it for like two years, playing since I was 18 years old.” It seems he has a very professional head on his young shoulders.
Of course, Billirakis wouldn’t be a young poker pro without being a prolific online player as well and ‘MrSmokey1’ has continued to add to his MTT successes in 2008, mostly on PokerStars. In April he entered the notoriously tough $5,000 Winner Takes All event and emerged victorious for a well earned $50,000. He then took down the $200 Heads-Up tournament in July, defeating Dario Minieri in the final two to earn a further $25,600. And after taking down the $100 Re-Buys in August ($50,550) he surprised everyone by cashing in the big WCOOP H.O.R.S.E Event ($10,000 buy-in), coming in 12th for $25,000 against some of the toughest mixed game players in the world. He has a string of H.O.R.S.E cashes to his name in 2008 so he may be one to look out for in the $50,000 Event at the 2009 WSOP.
With MTT winnings of over $1.1million on Stars coupled with live prizes of the same amount, Billirakis is a rare breed of player who has mixed online success with WSOP fame; after his latest circuit victory, maybe some poker sites are starting to take notice of a very marketable player.