Jason Somerville, one of the most talented young US online poker players, recently came out about being gay on his blog. This has marked Somerville out as one of the first poker professionals to be gay. He is also the only WSOP bracelet winner to openly declare it to the poker community.
In 2011, Jason Somerville won a WSOP bracelet and is regarded as one of the top upcoming online poker players in the United States. He won the No Limit $1000 Event and took home a WSOP bracelet and $493,091 worth of prize money. His earnings in playing live poker tournaments and games have accumulated to $1,724,261.
In his blog Somerville stated,” I always knew I wasn’t straight…After a lot of struggling and a lot of anxiety, I eventually came out to one of my close friends when I was 22. That same year, the second and third people I came out to were my parents.”
When he plays poker online, Jason Somerville uses the handle “JCarver.” He has won several online poker games and has raked in $2,166,312 in winnings. Somerville chose to come out of the closet about his lifestyle and has received a lot of support from several members of the poker community.
However, Somerville also seemed to claim that the poker community had failed to keep the stigma attached to being gay apart from the industry. He stated that this was “archaic” and felt that the attention that “very straight” players like Daniel Negreanu and Tom Dwan got from the media and gossip forums was not necessary.
Now that Somerville has come out of the closet, he too appears to be getting a lot of attention from the media.
Somerville also mentioned that he had not met any other gay poker players in his time with the poker industry apart from Vanessa Selbst. Whether this means that there are only a few gay poker players in the industry or if it points out to the possibility that there are more gay poker players in the community who have chosen to not to “come out” either to keep their privacy or for reasons of a perceived stigma remain to be seen.
Vanessa Selbst also commented on Somerville’s blog, stating “Great blog and thanks a lot for sharing! Being “that gay poker player” ain’t such a bad fate anyways.”
Scott Seiver also congratulated the player saying, “Congratulations on taking this step and being able to get it all written down.”