Cody Pack may not yet be a household name among poker fans, but the accomplishments in his relatively new poker journey are too significant to ignore.
Poker was a recreational game for Pack for years while he worked as a bank manager. But after taking a paid vacation to play some World Series of Poker Circuit events in December of 2014 – and winning one tournament and cashing in two others – he began to consider a career change. Further travels to other Circuit stops with more success led to the ultimate decision.
In September of 2015, with the full support of his wife and children, Pack quit his full-time job to become a poker pro. And it didn’t take long for that choice to pay off. He won a WSOP Circuit event that month, another in October, and yet another in November, all while racking up a few extra final tables as well. He continued to do well throughout 2016, and by the end of the 2015-2016 WSOP Circuit season, he topped the leaderboard with those three gold rings, seven final tables, and 13 cashes.
The Georgia resident then trekked to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker to try his hand at some summer tournaments, and though he only min-cashed the Colossus II, he went deeper in the Monster Stack event. In fact, he made the final table of Event 41, ultimately busting in ninth place for more than $100K. He cashed in several other tournaments around Vegas, too.
As this article is being written, Pack is heading to the kickoff of the 2016-2017 Circuit season at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. Not only will he be looking to piggyback on his successes thus far, he will also be using his complimentary seat in the Global Casino Championship to win a part of the $1 million guaranteed prize pool.
Keep your eyes on Cody Pack. His determination and passion for poker may take him further than even he and his family can anticipate.
Poker Update: When did poker first come into your life?
Cody Pack: When I saw the WSOP Main Event marathon on ESPN on Thanksgiving Day in 2003, the year Chris Moneymaker won, I was instantly hooked. But I didn’t play much then, only here and there when a few buddies came over to play.
Poker Update: Tell us about your transition from recreational to pro player. How did you make that decision? What did you do for work before poker?
Pack: I was a successful bank store manager when I transitioned to a full-time poker player. Well, the decision to go full-time was actually a process. In 2014, I used about a week of my paid time off (PTO) to go to Harrah’s Cherokee Circuit events in December. I did very well and cashed in three events, totaling about $30K and including my first Circuit ring. After that, I decided to use all of my PTO to go to three Circuit stops at the beginning of 2015 while I was still working. I cashed in many more tournaments, added a few thousand of my own money, and decided to make September 15, 2015 my full-time poker playing debut at the West Palm Beach Circuit events in Florida. And here we are.
I understand that failing is an option, but trying and following my dreams far outweighs the risk of failing.
Poker Update: How are your wife and children handling this poker transition?
Pack: My wife and kids are loving the fact that Dad is playing poker for a living. My wife doesn’t work, so she gets all the time in the world with the kids and vice versa. They travel with me sometimes as well, so it’s great.
Good luck tonight love! So proud of you! @cpackpoker— Lindsay Pack (@cpackpokerwife) July 11, 2016
Poker Update: You had a big score right before the holidays last year and then another one this summer. Are those going into your bankroll or for doing something family-related?
Pack: Most of the money goes into the bankroll to keep the journey alive. My wife understands the importance of bankroll management. However, I definitely spend some on family vacations and things they want and need. My wife is a huge part of making this work with keeping order on the home front!
Poker Update: What kind of training or studying do you do? Do you have friends who are pros with whom you can talk strategy?
Pack: I’ve read one poker book – Hold’em Wisdom for All Players by Daniel Negreanu, but I’m primarily self-taught. I do have some friends who play full time and some who play recreationally, and we bounce strategy back and forth all the time. It happens mostly with my recreational buddies; they love to talk poker with me. LOL. They have been very supportive and excited for me throughout this whole process.
Poker Update: Are you planning another season of following the WSOP Circuit? And do you have plans of playing anything else, like the World Poker Tour?
Pack: I will mostly play the WSOP Circuit. I like the stops and enjoy competing with the regulars on the tour. They are all a bunch of great guys and girls. However, I will definitely be expanding and playing a few WPT and PPC events, as well as the new America’s Poker Tour events, throughout the year. I’m very excited about them all.