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‘Time Will Tell’ If Young Gun Travis Egbert Isn’t Just on a Heater

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It doesn’t seem that long ago, in the midst of the explosion of Online Poker , that a swarm of new young poker pros invaded card rooms across the United States. On the World Poker Tour , at the World Series of Poker, on ESPN, fresh-faced players – many of whom grinded tens of thousands (maybe more) hands online, started making waves in a game in a game that had been dominated by veteran pros for decades.

Many of those young players are still around today: Deeb, Haxton, Bonomo and so many more. They’ve helped shape the industry. Some are potential Poker Hall of Famers. Quite a few are moms and dads. They’re also knocking on the door of 40. In the wake of Black Friday, and as the 2010’s wore on, the influx of young pros in America became more scarce.

But that may be changing. And when you catch a glimpse of Travis Egbert, you might not even identify him to be as young as he is. With his hoodie up over his cap and mirrored sunglasses shielding his eyes, the 23-year-old Santa Rosa pro hides his youthful looks. But what he’s not hiding is the impact he’s having on the game at Thunder Valley.

“I might just be on an insane heater,” Egbert said. “But I’ve definitely been playing well and also running hot.”

Egbert just made the final table of WPT Rolling Thunder, the first of his career and he’s by far the youngest player left (and he was possibly the youngest player in the field). And, while he may be young he’s not new to the game. According to Egbert, when he was 10 he received an iPod Touch, and not long after he started watching videos of Phil Ivey. Inspired by Ivey, he started learning the game in his teenage years and, as soon as he could, he started playing cash Games in the Bay Area. Lucky Chances, Graton Resort, and ultimately he found a home casino in Thunder Valley.

Since turning 21, Egbert has routinely posted impressive results from a deep run in the 2022 WSOP Main Event to just missing the final table of WPT Gardens in May of 2023. But where he’s really done damage is at Thunder Valley. He’s already cracked the top 50 in All-Time Earnings for the poker room in just two years, a total which includes back-to-back WSOP Circuit ring victories. His $3,250 WSOPC High Roller victory for more than $77,000 is currently his career-high cash, a sum he could best with a fifth-place finish or better at WPT Rolling Thunder.

His Hendon Mob is littered with deep runs and his reputation in the poker room continues to grow. But unlike the last big wave of young pros, Egbert says Online Poker is not part of his process.

“Not really. I mean, not like some of these guys do,” he said. “I play [online] once in a blue moon … I’ll try to satellite into the Venom or something on ACR, but lately I haven’t, zero online for me.”

Without Online Poker to hone his skills, one might think that he’s turned to solvers to improve but he is also quick to diffuse that. It has shades of Jeremy Becker’s story, a young grinder who is getting better away from the laptop, by putting in time on the felt.

“No, no, I mostly just learn by playing and I watch some of the high roller stuff whenever they have a streamed final table and stuff like that. That’s most of where my learning just experience and feel and I’m a big fan of the feel guys.”

He is quick to mention that he’s not out here doing it all by himself. Like many pros, he talks hands with a group of guys that has helped him get better, a group that includes Brett Murray, the God of Thunder himself.

But he acknowledges that his early success in the game, doesn’t mean that he’s settling down with poker as a career. “It’s something for now,” he says. “I guess time will tell.” But if he continues to find success as he has in 2024 and at WPT Rolling Thunder specifically, you’re likely to see Travis Egbert in big spots for many years to come.

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