Learn about poker pro Kelly Kim

Kelly Kim became famous on the poker scene when he made it to the WSOP main event final table.

It is now a tradition, but 2008 was the first year that the final table took place in November, with a six months delay from the elimination of all players except the last 9 in June. The so-called November Nine.

So all poker pundits have six months to study all the players who made it to the final table and are guaranteed to win at least one million plus change.

Kelly Kim was particularly remembered, as he was the shortest remaining stack with an equivalent chip count of not even eleven big blinds and five times less than his closest competitor.

In other words he was the big underdog with a high chance to be the first to leave the table.

Kelly Kim final table

Kelly Kim was born in Los Angeles, California in 1976 and now lives in Whittier, California. He attended and graduated from the University of California, San Diego and later worked as a business analyst. But this is not the career path that he was looking for, and he quickly quit to turn to poker full-time.

Kelly learned to play poker while a college student and continued to play as a hobby while pursuing his career in marketing. He progressively realized that marketing was not his calling and he became more and more interested in becoming a poker pro.

When he won the Grand Slam of Poker in 2003 and cashed over $21K, this was the day he fired his boss and made the jump to poker full time. Kim has been successful at it, cashing or final tabling in numerous tournaments. In 2006, he earned over $46K at the WPT LA Classic. In 2007 he cashed at two WSOP events for north of $20K.

At the 2008 WSOP main event, Kelly Kim had been the shortest stack even before reaching the finale table. Indeed he was the shortest stack since 13 players remained.

But his goal was to reach this coveted final table and he tried to become invisible when the field was getting to the last remaining players.

Given that Kelly Kim finished 8th, we can say that he did extremely well. Remember he was the short-stack since 13 players were left, so 5 players (with larger stacks) were eliminated before him. For his eighth place, Kelly earned $1,286,672. Note that the prize for 13th place was $463,201, so Kelly made over $800k with his patient short-stack play.

Kim currently has a total of 7 WSOP cash finishes and his live tournaments winnings are about $1.6 million. He now plays online poker exclusively at Full Tilt Poker. You can observe his game or even play with him if you register at Full Tilt.