Televised tournament poker was built on the backs of big personalities and incomparable characters, and over a five or six year period starting in 2012, it would be hard to find anyone quite like Eugene Todd.
Better known to many as ‘EugeneToddBro’, a name he embraced and continues to utilize because of his frequent use of the word ‘bro’ at the end of sentences, Todd was a big talker who made multiple WPT and WSOP final tables at the peak of his career. He also featured prominently in podcasts and videos with the now-defunct PokerRoad.
After Black Friday, however, Todd saw his tournament travel shrink rapidly for a number of reasons.
“I mean, I have a couple businesses going so it’s been kind of tough to get away,” said Todd of his current tournament schedule. “Plus, my kids are getting bigger. They were young before, I used to get away a lot, but now they’re getting big and I feel bad leaving home.”
With a son set to graduate high school this year and a daughter in the 10th grade, the decision to significantly cut back on his tournament schedule became an easy one.
“When you leave, and you go jump onto a plane and go play, it’s more difficult because I have two kids at home,” Todd explained in a video on his self-titled website. “Even though you love poker, and I love the game, I feel like for the last five years, I’ve missed a lot of my kids’ lives. That’s kind of selfish. I definitely don’t want to do that anymore, so I decided I’m going to work. I’m still going to play as much as possible, I’m just not going to travel like a clown following the circus.”
With his work centered in New York, a drive down to Atlantic City is a much easier trip for Todd to make than a cross-country flight. The vast majority of his results in the last couple of years, in fact, have come in either New Jersey or during short stints in Las Vegas during the WSOP.
“Yeah, Borgata’s a couple hours away,” said Todd, “So every time there’s a tournament here I’ll always come down.”
This particular trip to the Borgata has paid off so far for Todd. He’s fought his way through more than three days of the 2015 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, and after a big double just before the Day 4 dinner break Todd’s put himself in a good position for a run at a third career final table.
Earlier in his career Todd was known to be a bit of a talker at the table, but so far in the Borgata WPO he’s kept his headphones on and his focus on the task at hand.
“I’m kind of in the zone so I don’t really want to get bothered by anybody,” said Todd. “I just put on my music and listen, [just] focusing and stuff. I don’t want to get sidetracked, especially [since] I haven’t played so much. I really don’t play much anymore so I want more focus, [rather] than sit there and banter and talk to anybody.”
The faces that Todd’s seen in the last few days aren’t the ones he’d run into in previous big runs either.
“There’s no friends right now,” said Todd. “I don’t really have any good friends at the table, so there’s no one really to talk to.”
As Todd plays closer and closer to Friday’s WPT final table, he does so with the same white hooded sweatshirt and black cap that he’s worn for the last few days – both emblazoned with the logo of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation entertainment company. Founded in 2008, Roc Nation includes the promotion of musical artists, TV, film – and even includes a sports management division that’s recently started promoting boxing.
One of Todd’s businesses has paired up nicely with the Roc Nation roster.
“I have a jewelry company, a jewelry store on 47th street,” said Todd. “And we do all the jewelry for them and all the players and Jay-Z and everybody. We do a lot of business with these guys.”
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