Frank Kassela has a way of fooling people. The affable businessman and poker aficionado has one of the friendliest table demeanors in the game, which often distracts opponents from the fact that he is slowly but surely winning their money. Even at Tuesday’s stacked World Championship of Stud Hi-Lo final table, which featured the likes of John Juanda, Jennifer Harman, Steve Zolotow, and Dario Minieri, Kassela chatted away as if he was playing in a weekly home game with friends he’s known for twenty years.
The unflappable and affable Kassela’s level head and seemingly laid back approach to the game resulted in his first WSOP bracelet and his largest cash to date ($447,446) in the largest Stud Hi-Lo tournament ever held. For the father of five who, up until recently, called Memphis, Tennessee home, the win and the bracelet were thrilling accomplishments. ““This feels good! I feel terrific! I couldn’t feel better!,” Kassela exalted.
While he was certainly pleased with his victory, Kassela kept a level-head about the win and admitted it probably would not be a life-changing experience, nor would there be any major purchases as a means to celebrate the win. “I’m not going to buy a car. I’ve got a nice car. I live a pretty good life. I live a charmed life. I have everything I could ever want anyways.”
Now he has a WSOP bracelet too.
Name: Frank Kassela
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Current Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Occupation: Business owner/Professional poker player
Lifetime Tournament Winnings: $1,484,030
Notable poker achievements: Prior to his bracelet win on Tuesday, Kassela had a list of poker results a mile long, but no marquee victories to speak of. His cashes stretch back to 2003 and include a top ten finish at the Aruba Poker Classic that year, a fourth place showing in a WSOP Pot Limit Hold’em event in 2005, a win in an LA Poker Classic PLO preliminary event in 2009, and a deep run in last year’s $40,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP. Kassela’s cashes cover a variety of games, including Razz, No Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Pot Limit Hold’em and the game Kassela considers his strongest, Pot Limit Omaha.
Memorable Quotes: (On his chatty nature at the tables) ““I just like to talk. I wish I could say it was a strategy. I just like to run my mouth.”