Daniel Weinand’s poker journey has come a long way since he played his first World Series of Poker tournament during the summer of 2016.
He didn’t cash in that event. In fact, he finished 375 out of 2,450 players, which just missed the bubble. But what he missed out on in prize money he won in experience.
“I’m content,” he wrote on Twitter after that tournament. That small taste of success was all it took for Weinand to launch his poker career.
Weinand co-founded the Canadian e-commerce company Shopify which employs over 3,000 people, in 2004. When he picked up poker, he found his passion.
“Getting better at poker became a challenge to me,” Weinand told Poker Central in September.
The 2018 WSOP showed signs of that improvement. Weinand cashed in three tournaments for a combined $50,000. Shortly after that, he appeared on Poker After Dark with some of the biggest names in the poker universe including Phil Hellmuth, Jennifer Tilly, and Jean-Robert Bellande.
In his own words, Weinand is “masochistic” at the poker table. He doesn’t figure his game will get any better playing lesser opponents, so Weinand thrives on facing the game’s top competition.
This month that quest puts Weinand on the felt to kick off Event #1 of the 2019 U.S. Poker Open inside the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
The day could not have started off any better for the Canadian businessman. Weinand’s pocket aces toppled Sean Winter’s pocket kings in a pot that was worth over half a million chips, making his stack among the largest on Day One.
A win would be the highlight of Weinand’s young poker career. In a field that features multiple WSOP champions and some of the world’s best poker players, Weinand has prepared himself for the moment.
“It’s about challenging myself against the best players,” he said to Poker Central in September. “I’m not looking for a soft table draw.”