Fresh from his triumph at the World Series of Poker two week ago, the poker playing professor from Alabama, Corey Harrison, is getting ready for a multi-million dollar payday at the Main Event.
Back on June 15th, the 36-year-old, who teaches at a small liberal arts college in the city of Birmingham, walked away with his first career bracelet and $432,411 in Event 24 on the WSOP circuit. That win gave him a shot at a WSOP Main Event qualifying tournament which he duly won leading to his opportunity of a lifetime so showcase his poker skills on the biggest stage in the game.
“It’s the Holy Grail for poker players,” Harrison told The Birmingham News.
Harrison, who holds a PhD in cellular molecular pathology, has been playing poker for 10 years but his win over 1,731 other competitors in a marathon 13-hour $1,500 no-limit hold ’em final was by far the biggest in his career, earning him a shot at the qualifying tournament without having to front the $10,000 entry fee.
Now he’s only days away from pokers premier tournament where last year’s winner Greg Merson outlasted 6,500 entrants to win $8.5 million.
“I really believe poker is a skill,” said in an interview. “You look and there’s a certain group of players that cash, that are in the top 12 percent. I think a lot of it has do with math.”
Still, despite his abundant skill and his recent poker celebrity, Harrison says he has no plans of quitting his research post at Stillman College and Lawson State Community College to pursue a career as a pro.
“I do this as a hobby, I’m a college professor,” he said. “That’s my passion.”
The WSOP Main Event kicks off in Las Vegas on July 6 and lasts through July 15.