Watch out for Baby Boomers at the poker table



A new poker psychology is developing and it’s geared toward the next generation. Only this generation is older.

Pierre Neuville, 72, a former Hasbro executive, and Neil Blumenfield, 62, who quit his high tech job the day before 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event, are two of the November Nine.

Internet-raised players recently have dominated poker. They are fast and aggressive. Many have never held a job except as a poker pro. The psychology of their view of money is markedly different than most, especially Baby Boomers, who haven’t had time to put in the hours necessary to learn the math, psychology and the like of the new generations. These players have been in the game for decades while working, raising a family and doing the mundane aspects of life.

When Boomers retire and want to be competitive, many come to poker. The seniors tournament at the WSOP is always huge and this year the WSOP added the Super Seniors for players 65 and older, an acknowledgment that this age group is making a move to reclaim it predominance in the poker world. Two of them are at the final table of the WSOP main event.

Doyle Brunson may be seen as the elder statesman, but watch out for these hidden, competitive and up-and-coming pros who have been eagerly waiting for enough time to play.

Poker isn’t the only place this change is happening. Steve Spurrier continues being football coach at South Carolina. He’s the first SEC coach 70 or older.

The Boomers have been able to define the territory. They have money, time, patience, experience and are competitive. Look around your local poker room. They have the skills and they are fearless, playing counter to image. Don’t be surprised if you see more Boomers around and winning tournaments.

Send me some feedback and keep your head in the game.

— Dr. Stephen Bloomfield is a licensed psychologist and avid poker player. Email him at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine