Greg Mueller: Canada’s Poker Icon

Greg Mueller: Canada’s Poker Icon

Poker is one of the most popular games in the world. Even somebody who has never played the game has an understanding of the rules, which they’ve absorbed, primarily, through cultural osmosis. What’s more, there are so many gamble-free options for poker online, that even if you aren’t interested in gambling, you have the opportunity to play poker with friends and strangers.

However, there are those who want to play poker with real cash on the line. Some want to do it so badly, that they dedicate their life to it, and even build a career out of it. We call these people professional poker players. Canada has produced its fair share of pros in poker. Of them, one of the most iconic ones is Greg Mueller. 

Greg Mueller: The Early Years

Though known as a Canadian player, Mueller is not originally a Canadian citizen. In fact, he was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, to a German family. While most recognize Greg Mueller as an internationally successful poker player, his competitive career did not start with card games. In fact, he began competing in a sport that Canadians are all too familiar with – ice hockey. 

Mueller spent the bulk of his hockey career playing in Germany at the Eishockey-Bundesliga, for EC Hedos Munchen. He also had stints in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga with the Maddogs Munchen, and Ratinger Lowen. While a competent player, Mueller’s skills in hockey were not what elevated him to the status of global super star. Instead, it was his experiences as a poker player. 

Mueller’s Introduction to Poker 

The way most people are introduced to poker today is quite different than what it would have been, even a decade ago. The rise of the internet has made it possible to visit an online casino, and play poker in just a few short minutes. What’s more, online casinos have made poker, and other casino games a lot more accessible to new players, thanks to no deposit bonuses. 

For the unaware, bonus promotions are a key feature of online gambling websites. All the best poker rooms, slot casinos, and internet gambling platforms in general, make no deposit offers available after you sign up to their site. That means that people interested in poker today have an easier time of getting into the game than ever before.

Of course, that was not so for Greg. He became interested in the game while traveling. On one of the many road trips that Mueller had to take during his hockey career, he was introduced to poker. Of course, he already knew some things about the casino classic. But, it was during this road trip that he really thought about it, and fell in love with the game. 

Mueller’s Stint with Pro Poker

Hockey is a young man’s game. The physical demands of the sport can get quite taxing after a while. So, once Greg retired from hockey in 2000, he found he had a lot of free time on his hands. He decided that, the best thing to do with all that free time is dedicate to a game he was already familiar with – poker. He began taking poker seriously, and found that he was getting quite good. Once he got good enough, he began attending poker tournaments.

Any pro poker player has to test their hand at the World Series of Poker. Mueller did so several times since he quit hockey. However, he would not win until 9 years later, when in 2009, he got first place at the World Series. It was then that he became a sensation. Interviewers wanted to know more about how he got to where he is, and what he planned to do next. 

Though he catapulted to stardom, many still believed it was a lucky break. He disproved the nay-sayers by winning his second World Series of Poker title, a mere 11 days after his first. The Limit Hold’em Shootout event proved that Greg Mueller was a serious player in the poker world. Since then he has continued to play poker, even winning the 2019 H.O.R.S.E. bracelet at the World Series of Poker.

However, Greg’s best showings were never at the World Series. Instead, he rose to fourth place in the World Poker Challenge in 2006, where won over $142,000. Throughout his career, he has won a total exceeding $3 billion, and is regarded as one of the best Canadian poker players of all time. But, a very important question that we have is; what can Greg Mueller’s poker career, teach us about life? 

What Can Poker Teach Us

Poker is a very unusual casino game, in that it is not purely luck-based. Most casino games are games of chance – slots, roulette, baccarat, etc. But poker takes a lot of skill and strategy to master. From that point of view, poker players share a lot of traits with CEOs and those in leadership roles. Yet, Greg Mueller is neither a CEO nor a leader. He is a former hockey player who also happens to be great at poker. What is his secret?

The truth is, there is not much of a secret. Greg Mueller is an excellent player, because he has been practicing for years. He began playing poker while he was still on the road, playing hockey. He retired in 2000, and only then did he start playing professionally. Even then, it took him nine years to win an actual tournament. What that tells us is that poker is not a game that you are born good at. It is a game that you get good at.

In many ways, poker shares a lot of traits with chess. It is a game that combines skill and luck, strategy and forethought. And much like with chess, it isn’t necessarily the smartest person that is good at it, but rather the one that has played the most chess. With so many resources available nowadays, when it comes to poker, we expected that the future generation of players will be the best we’ve ever seen.  

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