Bill Gazes
2006 Jason Kirk  

Bill Gazes has been a participant in big poker tournaments for well over a decade, but even though he physically towers over most of his competitors he's managed to fly under the radar during most of his time as a tournament player. He's never claimed 1st place in a tournament with a buy-in over $500, which is a big contributor to his lack of recognition among the more casual poker fans, but he has been a model of consistency since his first major cash at the 1997 World Series of Poker.

Gazes is a true all-around poker player. He has a reputation for understanding the math of the game better than most, which explains why he has had success in so many varieties of poker. The only win on his resume came in a $500 Omaha Hi-Lo event at the 1999 LA Poker Classic, but he has cashed in limit hold'em, pot-limit hold'em, no-limit hold'em, pot-limit Omaha, seven-card stud, seven-card stud hi-lo, heads-up no-limit hold'em, and HORSE events throughout his career. Much of his early success, in fact, came in different varieties - the majority of his cashes in the last several years has been in no-limit hold'em events, thanks to the World Poker Tour changing the landscape of the poker world.

The World Series of Poker has been the stage for much of Gazes' success. He has cashed in at least one event in every WSOP going back to 1997, when he began his run by placing 4th in the $2,000 no-limit hold'em event. He cashed twice in 1997, once in 1998, once in 1999, once in 2000, four times in 2001, once in 2002, four times in 2003, once in 2004, and three times in 2005. Only one of those cashes was in the $10,000 main event - that came back in 2001, when he placed 42nd and won $20,000. His biggest WSOP cash came at the $1,500 no-limit hold'em event in 2005, when he placed 3rd and took home over $200,000. Gazes all-time winnings at the WSOP currently stand at $384,307.

The World Poker Tour has also been good to Gazes. To date he has cashed in 6 WPT main events, a remarkable record considering he didn't begin playing these events until 2004. Among his cashes are two WPT TV tables - 4th place at the 2004 LA Poker Classic, and 3rd place at the 2005 Foxwoods World Poker Finals. Almost two-thirds of Gazes' career winnings can be attributed to those two finishes alone. He has also cashed at the 2004 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas, the 2004 UltimateBet Poker Classic in Aruba, the 2005 Party Poker Million cruise, and the 2006 LA Poker Classic.

Bill Gazes is married to fellow professional player Kristy Gazes. It's hard to believe that there isn't some sort of competitive fire between the two of them.`Kristy was the first of the two to win $250,000 at a single event when she won the Full Tilt Poker Invitational in Las Vegas in July 2005, but Bill came back and surpassed that win with his $759,000 payday four months later at Foxwoods. With each pushing the other to new heights, there should be only good things in the future for the both of them.

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