In our ‘Online poker legends: Where are they now?’ series, we’re going to look back at the storied careers of the virtual felt trailblazers, and take a peek at what they’re up to today.
“He called my raise with the queen ten, honey!”
For those of you too young to have lived through online poker’s pre-Black Friday heyday, you probably best know Adam “Roothlus” Levy as the guy who put Phil Hellmuth on mega-tilt during the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event back in 2008, where he ended up on the receiving end of one of the Poker Brat’s most legendary rants.
Or maybe you know him as the guy who reminded Jean-Robert Bellande that the seven is always coming (again, from the 2008 WSOP Main).
But Levy was also one of the best online poker players of his generation, racking up millions in both online and live cashes.
After Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP in 2003, Levy and his friends got heavily into poker and he began playing $5 tournaments while watching Rounders on repeat. He was also a skilled Magic: The Gathering player and when he noticed other Magic players playing poker, he decided to look into the game further.
“I was told to quit poker after a year of playing because I was so bad,” Levy told the Cracking Aces podcast during a recent appearance. “But Chad “lilholdem” Batista–RIP man–we came up together.”
On The Scoop, Levy called his rise in poker ‘one of a kind’. “I had got into $4,000 debt on PartyPoker and my parents caught wind of this and staged an intervention. That day I entered my last dollars on PartyPoker into a $109 tournament and won it for $6,000. I didn’t tell my parents until dinner.”
When Levy was learning poker, he didn’t have sites like BBZ Poker to help him.
“We had to figure this out ourselves. We were grinding day in and day out and I just started figuring stuff out.”
To date, Levy has recorded $4.82 million in online results since he started playing in 2005 in South Florida. Levy’s best online results include a runner-up finish in an FTOPs event for $387K, plus both SCOOP and WCOOP titles.
He also has just shy of $3 million in live earnings, the lion’s share of which came from a 12th place finish in the 2010 WSOP Main Event, good for $635K. “You play to win. You want the glory. So to get that close was really brutal,” he says.
Levy was known for pioneering (and then revealing) some forward-thinking poker strategies which are considered standard today.
“One time I wrote an article about flatting aces pre-flop and someone wrote me a letter saying ‘what are you doing man? You can’t be giving out that you can flat aces pre-flop’,” he says.
“I would do a 2.2x raise instead of 3x, and somehow that was a sweet spot. It sounds very simple but very good players were coming to me saying what I was doing was very smart.”
Levy continued to play poker professionally throughout the 2010s.
Where is he now?
These days Levy lives in Los Angeles. On the Cracking Aces podcast, he revealed that he’d recently left a job he held during the pandemic.
“I literally quit my job last Thursday,” he says. “I was a Fraud Analyst for a security company called Apruved. I loved working for them.”
For several years Levy has also been involved in the events space, founding an events company called Games & Grooves in 2019. On why he decided to leave poker, Levy says it was just time for a break.
“I just didn’t want to play poker for a while. I love the game but I wanted to take a break from it. I’m now trying to figure out [what I want to do].”
One thing he’s very passionate about is NFTs, and he also now works as an NFT collector and consultant. “[NFTs] are highly competitive right now. There’s so much going on.”
But that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop playing poker forever. “I love going to Vancouver or Playa del Carmen to play WCOOP or SCOOP,” he says. “But it was hard to do for a bit when I had a job.
“I play some private games here and there too. Paul Peirce was [at a game] then two weeks later that whole thing with him blew up. It wasn’t the same game, but the same house two weeks before.”
For now, Levy is only going to show up for big events.
“I don’t know if I care about other stuff, but the WSOP Main Event is by far the best tournament on the planet. I always try to be hyped up for it. I love that tournament.”
And that hand where JRB busted? It remains Levy’s favorite hand of all time.
“You see JRB go ‘oh no, don’t do it to me dealer’. Then the [seven] comes and I’ve never seen a better, grosser reaction,” Levy says. “He’s out of the tournament. JRB handled it so well but you can see me and Hellmuth kinda laughing.”
More in this series:
Online poker legends: Where are they now? – Steve ‘Gboro780’ Gross