Michigan ICU Nurse Claims $1.4 Million Top Prize In WSOP Event

Written By Matthew Lomon on June 11, 2024 - Last Updated on June 13, 2024
WSOP sign in Las Vegas in 2024. Brek Schutten won the WSOP $25,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold'Em six-max event on Sunday night in Las Vegas.

An intensive care unit nurse from Michigan is $1.4 million richer after taking care of 271 other competitors at a World Series of Poker bracelet event over the weekend.

Brek Schutten of Grand Rapids scored the 2024 WSOP $25,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’Em six-max event on Sunday night at the Horseshoe and Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The monumental triumph netted Schutten a career-best payday and his first WSOP bracelet. But perhaps more importantly, it also represented a long-overdue sigh of relief.

The 36-year-old healthcare worker and serious part-time poker player came painstakingly close to a highly sought-after bracelet in 2022. Back then, Schutten finished second in the $50,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em eight max event.

Two years later, Schutten is a WSOP champion.

“I got second to Jake Schindler and just had those regrets ever since,” Schutten told WSOP reporters following the victory. “Certain hands go through your mind all the time and you never know if you’re going to get back to a high roller final table, let alone win the thing.”

This year’s edition of the $25,000 six-handed event commanded 272 entrants, a nearly 30% increase from last year’s inaugural showing.

Schutten no stranger to seven-figure winnings

He may be a nurse by trade, but Schutten has made quite the impression on the world of poker.

Before his career-defining fortune, Schutten captured the 2021 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $3,500 buy-in main event. That conquest landed the seasoned player a prize north of $1.2 million.

Despite the absence of a “pro” tag beside his name, Schutten has amassed some $5.3 million throughout his playing career.

As such, a transition to full-time pro status appears well within the cards for Schutten. Following the breakthrough performance, he told WSOP reporters that he’s “focusing more on poker than nursing right now but still working a few shifts here and there.”

Regardless of where Schutten’s poker journey takes him, his story only adds to the exciting stretch that’s lifted poker in Michigan to new heights.

Online poker players in MI can earn WSOP bracelets just like Schutten

While Schutten participated in live WSOP events, Michigan online poker players also have the opportunity to earn bracelets of their own through WSOP and Caesars Entertainment‘s consolidated online poker platform, WSOP Online.

The updated app went live May 25 and merged Michigan’s WSOP player pool with that of Nevada and New Jersey. In doing so, WSOP MI became the first poker operator to pool liquidity across three US jurisdictions.

And now, players have the opportunity to earn greater prizes than ever before.

There are 30 online bracelet events packed into WSOP’s loaded summer schedule, which runs from June 1 to July 21. This includes a series of qualifiers, high-roller events, and in-person finals.

The coveted gold bracelets will be up for grabs every Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday, including during the new $10,000 WSOP Online Championship on July 11.

Michiganders should be out in full force this summer, especially after the resounding success of one of their own.

Photo by John Locher / AP Photo
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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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