Throughout the year BLUFF.com brings the 2015 Online Player of the Year races for New Jersey and Nevada front and center with features on the players competing for top honor in online poker in the United States. First up is Mike “JohnnyDrama” Haberman.
It’s starting to look like Haberman’s “trending” hashtag #YearOfDrama might actually be gaining traction after he opened the year on a tear through the partypoker/BorgataPoker.com Garden State Super Series, notching ten cashes, four final tables, one outright victory and earning close to $9,000 during that month-long series. He currently sits in third place in the NJ OPOY rankings.
Haberman’s no stranger to being near the top of any national rankings. Not only did he finish sixth in last year’s POY race – he was also a nationally ranked collegiate bowler during his years at William Paterson University. He comes into 2015 with a renewed dedication to improving his game and besting his 2014 finish saying, “I’ve started to build great relationships with a lot of other NJ grinders and we’re constantly talking strategy and trying to elevate our games day by day and week by week.”
It’s clearly been working for both Haberman, who notched close to a dozen live results in 2014, including a runner up finish in a Borgata Summer Poker Open event for $8,200, but also those in his close circle of poker friends. Plenty of full time NJ online grinders have seen increased success in “live” events through some of the bigger major tournament series in the Mid-Atlantic region.
“Playing online opens up a lot of doors in terms of volume and bankroll management that weren’t afforded to players before the sites became regulated. I can grind a full schedule and build a bankroll in-between the live series and get more reps than anyone else in-between big events.”
Haberman’s certainly been putting in the volume and reps, but he’s decided to concentrate on his online game more this year with an emphasis on the mid-stakes level buy-in events, where he is currently sitting atop the “Mid-Stakes Rankings” through the first two months of 2015.
He plans to stick to that strategy – not only because he’s seen a majority of his success at those stakes, but because “there are just so many more options at that level”. He’d go on to say, “the sites in New Jersey are doing a great job hearing feedback from players and adding some bigger guaranteed, bigger buy-in events to the schedule that have some great value.”
Mid-stakes is also where Haberman got his start in the late fall of 2013; he was working for a wireless phone company right out of college when the New Jersey online sites went live. He’d spend his nights playing, and after a few months of moderate success he figured, “If there was ever a time to take a shot, it was now.”
He’s taken that shot and has accumulated just over $100,000 in online tournament winnings since then – making him one of the more successful New Jersey players during that time period.
Haberman looks to add to the success that’s seen him start the year in the top three of the NJ Player of the Year title race – and although he says, “there is still a lot of poker left to play”, if he can keep this pace through the rest of the year, we might be officially claiming 2015 as the #YearOfDrama in New Jersey online poker.
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