When Luke Schwartz first started playing in 2005 he called himself “Full Flush” and made himself some decent money as well as a reputation as a loud mouth.
And then suddenly Schwartz disappeared. The rumor was that he had become a father and that his new found fatherhood had probably taken the edge off his brashness and hunger to play and win. That was till he recently won the Sunday 500 at PokerStars.
The $530 buy-in tournament attracted a field of 860 players and created a prize pool of $430,000 which easily exceeded the $250,000 that PokerStars had guaranteed. This also translated into 126 players receiving a minimum payout of $774. In this tournament the unlucky 127th player or “bubble boy” was Rupert Elder who had won the EPT San Remo in 2011.
Players from the UK and Ireland had a strong showing and by the time the tournament reached the final table, 4 of the nine players left were from these countries.
The heads-up was between two Englishmen – Luke Schwartz and Peter Akery – with the eventual winner, Schwartz walking away with a cool $68,815. It now remains to be seen if this Sunday 500 win is the first step in Schwartz’s comeback trail.
Initially, Luke Schwartz had played at the now defunct Full Tilt Poker site. His fortunes went up and down in the following years but 2009 was a good year for him. Along the way he managed to get banned from Full Tilt Poker for his provocative chat antics. He reportedly then cashed out from FTP and started playing on other sites like iPoker and Betfair.
His brash demeanor won him both friends and foes. In a 2005 interview he explained his provocative chat box antics by saying that he like to “wind players up.” He claimed that he got “bored looking at all these depressing faces” and said that he had to bring “a bit of life” to the game. On online poker sites, there was equal admiration and condemnation for his style. The general consensus however was that he was nothing but a flash in the pan and that the other players would soon get the measure of him and his style of aggressive play. Tom Dwan who had been at the receiving end of Schwartz’s taunts dismissed the distraction by saying that he was willing to put up with the talk in order to take Schwartz’s money.