Chess Master Seeks to Turn Poker Champion    November 03, 2008

Ylon Schwartz


Ylon Schwartz, a top ranking and highly skilled chess master has turned his attention towards the poker tables and is making a name for himself while stacking up poker chips.

When Schwartz, 38, first began to play poker, he did not play it safe and took risks with wagers. Today, Schwartz has carved out a niche for himself on the gaming scene when he secured the ninth place in the final event of the World Series of Poker Main Event. This chess cum poker player defeated over 6,800 poker players to get to this goal.

Schwartz compared both the game of Poker to Chess, stating that he was able to use his chess skills to play poker, "Chess players are trained to have excellent memories. In poker, you need to remember betting patterns."

Schwartz evaluated both games in similar manner, viewing them from a geometrical aspect. Schwartz mentioned that in chess, the geometry of the game was in the shape and size of the chess board and positions of the pieces. The game of poker however, had geometry in player betting positions and the number of chips possessed by the player.

Strategy as any poker player is aware of, is a key to winning the game. Since strategy is vital part of chess, Schwartz’s strategic skills have proved useful. Another advantage in starting out playing poker after having mastered the game of chess was the acquired patience. "All the patience I got in chess really helps me out," he stated.

"Poker is a game of incomplete information. Chess is a game of complete information," said Schwartz, in reference to the gamble of the game.

"Chess is a purer game," said Schwartz. "It is my passion. I love poker, too, but I don’t know who gets together to play poker for fun. There is always something on the line."

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