Former online pro, recent WSOP winner and soon to be helicopter pilot

Live poker

posted Tuesday Jun 12th 2012 at 05:54 PM

by Oscar Vallet

Brandon Schaefer just had time for one WSOP event this year - and it's probably gonna be his last for a long time. You see the American ex-pro is actually training to become a helicopter pilot with the U.S. Army!

After seven years as a professional poker player Brandon Schaefer recently decided to do something different with his life. 

The former EPT Deauville winner from Seattle considered opening a café and a traveling agency for poker players, but in September of last year, inspired by his brother, he went and joined the U. S. Army with a dream of becoming a helicopter pilot. 

After eight months of preliminary training he is now ready for the actual education as a helicopter pilot. And he starts this Friday but gets to take a good chunk of money with him down to the academy in Alabama. 

Because the one event Brandon Schaefer played in at the WSOP this year he won. That was event #14 ($1,500 NLHE Shootout) worth a handsome $311,174! 

"I walked into the Rio a few days ago and the first thing I saw was a hundred people on their cell phones telling a bad beat story. My God -- was I really a part of this for seven years? This is miserable," said Schaefer afterwards. 

"I put my headphones on and sat down at the table. My head was clear. I slowed down a bit and noticed that my heart rate was low and I was calm and thinking through hands cleary. It’s weird how calm I was. When I was playing poker – the gold bracelet is like the Holy Grail. I felt really good to win, but I never really thought about that. Obviously -- I lost 35 pounds during my training. As they say, ‘healthy body = healthy mind,’ Schaefer concluded.

Brandon Schaefer has signed a six-year contract with the U. S. Army. 

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