Six Poker Stars Who Retired From The Game

How many of these poker players did you know had retired

“You don’t quit poker, poker quits you,” is a phrase that often does the rounds in players’ discussions. Yet some players do retire from poker, although they rarely stay retired as you’re about to find out.

Jason Strasser: The best retired player you’ve never heard of

Jason Strasser was one of the early high profile players to become retired

You are forgiven for not knowing the name Jason Strasser even if you should. Strasser was one of the original online poker crushers and used the alias “strassa2”. Strasser racked up millions in online cashes and another million in the live arena.

It wasn’t a massive surprise when Strasser announced was quitting poker. He is highly intelligent and took a job in finance with Morgan Stanley in 2007. Strasser didn’t stay retired for long, although his volume in live events massively reduced.

January 2018 saw Strasser make a rare appearance at the felt and he showed he still has mad skills. He triumphed in the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event for $332,539. Once a great poker player, always a great poker player.

Annette Obrestad

Annette Obrestad now has a make-up YouTube channel

Annette Obrestad became the youngest-ever winner of the WSOP bracelet back in 2007 and had the world at her feet. Obrestad climbed to the top of the online poker tournament rankings and was seen as a legitimate poker star.

The talented Norwegian never told the poker community she retired. Instead, she simply drifted away from the poker scene. Obrestad now has her own YouTube channel where she showcases make-up tips. It’s a world away from poker and one Obrestad says she is happy in.

Vanessa Selbst

Vanessa Selbst returned to a career in law but hasn't stayed retired

Nobody batted an eyelid when Vanessa Selbst announced her retirement. Just like nobody was shocked when she didn’t stay fully retired. The former Team PokerStars Pro has pursued a legal career, which is her passion.

Selbst announced her retirement on New Year’s Eve in 2017. She made an appearance at the 2017 WSOP, cashing twice, but didn’t register a single cash in 2018. Selbst never said she was fully retired and returned to action in September 2019 in the WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event. A 14th place finish netted Selbst $39,950 and took her lifetime winnings to $11,891,331.

Andy Frankenberger

Andy Frankenberger recently retired but will he stay so?

Andy Frankenberger burst onto the poker scene in 2010 and retired eight years later, or did he? The World Poker Tour named Frankenberger the Season IX Player of the Year in his first season. He went on to win one WPT title and a brace of WSOP bracelets.

Frankenberger tweeted he had retired in September 2018. “I’m heading back to Wall Street”” After an exciting, rewarding 8 years playing poker, I decided to rejoin my former bank as an equity derivatives trader. I’ll miss playing poker regularly, but don’t be surprised to see me on the felt. Poker players never really “retire,” do we?”

He didn’t stay retired for long. Frankenberger finished 12th in the $10K LA Poker Classic for $78,040 in March 2019. He also cashed in the same Borgata tournament Selbst did when both temporarily pretended they weren’t retired!

Doug Polk

Doug Polk

Doug Polk is one of the few players that has remained retired, at least for now. Polk managed to win more than $9.4 million from live tournaments, helped by a trio of WSOP bracelets. He completed a $100 to $10,000 bankroll challenge in September 2018 and chose that moment to retire.

Polk said he may play poker again in the future, but is happy producing content on YouTube for now. The 30-year-old has a popular YouTube channel plus founded poker training site Upswing Poker.

Fedor Holz just can’t stay retired

The legendary Fedor Holz won more than $32 million in six years

Fedor Holz is living proof poker players never stay fully retired. Holz is a legend of the game despite only being 26-years-old. The incredibly talented German racked up more than $32 million in cashes during a six-year career.

Holz “retired” in 2016 after an incredible year that saw him win $16,093,401. He didn’t stay retired long and won another $12,625,952 during the next two years. Holz didn’t register a single cash in 2019 and says he has no plans for playing poker in 2020. Don’t be surprised if you read about yet another Holz victory in the coming months then!

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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