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  • Whatever Happened to Steve Dannenmann?

    Thursday, October 27th, 2011 by Nadia

The 2005 World Series of Poker final table was one of the most watched poker matches of all time. A former Chiropractor from Australia, Joe Hachem, beat 5,619 other participants to win the world championship. He left the tournament with $7.5 million. However, if his luck had played out differently, there would’ve been another winner – Steve Dannenmann.

Dannenmann was a crowd favorite with his enthusiasm and outgoing personality. Steve was a CPA who resided in Maryland and played poker to have a good time. His casual attitude for the game along with his childish exuberance was what made him popular. That year, the final table also had top-level players like Aaron Canter, Scott Lazar, Andrew Black and Mike ‘the Mouth’ Matusow.

What He Has Been Doing Since WSOP 2005

Dannenmann remains a CPA in Glenburry, a job he’s held for approximately 21 years. He claims that nothing much has changed except that he plays a few more poker tournaments than previously. According to him, he used to play more high stakes games earlier but with too many tax return issues, he cut back. Now he goes to Borgata and Las Vegas to play. At 2011’s WSOP he made it to the third day though he didn’t get a cash prize.

According to Dannenmann, he gets recognized by someone everyday, wherever he goes. While he was in the Bahamas, a group of police officers from New Jersey recognized him.

Keeping in Touch with Other Players

Dannenmann said he always gets asked the same question – whether he keeps in touch with fellow poker player, Joe Hachem. He said that they just played at the same table but never exchanged numbers as they would have nothing to talk about. However, Steve said that he occasionally sees Hachem in the halls and once bought him dinner anonymously at an Italian restaurant at the Rio Hotel. He also sporadically bumps into Matusow. He said that the last time this happened Matusow was concerned about surviving the fall out from Full Tilt. He advised Matusow to get a regular job.

Steve’s Life Outside of Poker

Steve is now an avid real estate buff. He refurbishes houses and sells them again for a profit. He has done this for 40 houses. He usually buys them when they are foreclosed and has contractors fix them up. He said that flipping houses has the same high for him as playing poker, both feelings are fantastic.

Dannenmann thinks that most players are too focused on winning the game and this tends to make them grumpy. He said that only a handful of players actually enjoy the game. Most of the times he has played, Steve, just wanted to have some fun.

Sponsorship Offers from Online Sites

Dannenmann said that when he was a finalist, he was not approached to sport a ‘patch’. All players who are affiliated to a sponsor usually wear their insignia as a patch on their person while playing. He said that in 2005, very few players were sponsored. He said that because of this, players like Matusow, Hachem, Black and Lazar were not pressurized to perform at the felt. He feels that current sponsored players are under a lot of stress.

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