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Jason Somerville, Poker Biography

by Jennifer Newell

Jason Somerville hails from Long Island, New York, and discovered poker in high school with friends. By the age of 17, he was playing a number of freerolls online to improve his game, and a few dollars eventually took him into the lowest limit cash games available. It was only the start to a career that would impress more with each year.

Somerville, known to some as JCarver and others online as Taknapotin, first saw poker on television as his dad watched the World Poker Tour in 2004, and his first game was a $20 SNG with friends. Reading about poker on the Internet, winning home games, and moving on to freerolls online turned into a real money endeavor soon after. He earned $3K in his first three months online with real money, and he turned that into $20K by the summer of 2005. One year later, he had approximately $200K in winnings.

He started playing live tournaments before he was 21 at places like Verona, New York, and in Canada, where it was legal for him to compete. His first final table came in 2007 at the Heartland Poker Tour Championship Event in Verona, where he finished in second place for $30,702 at the televised event. By 2008, he was 21 and ready to tackle more live events in addition to online MTTs.

Somerville cashed in three events at his first World Series of Poker in 2008. The following year, though, he cashed in two European Poker tour events, a World Poker Tour tournament, and three WSOP tournaments, two of which were final tables: second place in a $1,500 NLHE Shootout for $194,004 and fifth place in a $3K NLHE Triple Chance event for $103,591.

He made another run at a WSOP bracelet in 2010, cashing in four events, another two which were final tables - fourth place in both the $10K NLHE Heads-Up Championship and the $25K NLHE Six-Handed for a total of prize money exceeding $600K. Meanwhile, he continued to rack up significant online final tables, such as the Full Tilt Sunday, won a SCOOP tournament on PokerStars, and won the Ultimate Bet Sunday tournament more than once.

All of his success led to Somerville's addition to the PokerVT training team as an instructor in the advanced poker tournament arena. And in 2011, he finally won his first WSOP bracelet, taking the title and $493,091 in a $1K NLHE event in Las Vegas. Most recently, he finished in sixth place at the 2012 WPT L.A. Poker Classic, his final table presence worth $202,910.

Along the way, Somerville has been inspired by friends in the industry like Vivek Rajkumar, Kevin Saul, Amit Makhija, and Mike Watson. When online poker was no longer an option in the United States in 2011, he took his live game even more seriously and continues to pursue poker as a career, consistently trying to better his game and become a stronger player.

In addition, Somerville gained much notoriety in early 2012 for writing a blog post announcing that he was gay. As the first male player to publicly acknowledge homosexuality in the game of tournament poker, Somerville found wide support in the poker community as well as notoriety from media outlets like "The Advocate."

Read Jason Somerville's Profile for more information including tournament results and total winnings.

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Jennifer Newell Jennifer Newell is a freelance writer, originally from St. Louis but now living in Los Angeles. She fell in love with poker while working at WPT and began writing about it in 2005.