FORT JENNINGS — It was the summer of Byron Kaverman’s senior year at
Fort Jennings High School that he learned to play poker while visiting a
friend’s lakeside home. After that he honed his game in friends’
basements around town as well as in many hands of Texas Hold ‘em in the
Kaverman was also an All-American soccer
player. After his 2005 graduation from high school, he went to Tiffin
University on scholarship, playing soccer for the college and majoring
in psychology. He continued with poker online. According to his younger
brother Nolan Kaverman, that was Byron’s way of earning money during
college. In his fourth year of college, cards and chips became the tools
of his trade as he began a career as a professional poker player.
Perhaps Kaverman’s major helped him hone his particular style, poker face, if you will.
“He said it’s all mathematics and psychology,” reported his grandmother Helen Kaverman.
recently, Kaverman was one of 328 players to compete from April 21
through April 26 in the World Poker Tour World Championship in Atlantic
City, New Jersey. Byron’s brother Nolan, a couple of friends and his
parents Bill and Jeri Kaverman were on hand to watch Kaverman play for
the win. They made the trip from Fort Jennings after Byron called home
Friday evening at supper time to tell them he was going to the final
table on Saturday afternoon. That tournament wrapped up with Kaverman
coming in second to Kevin Stammen.
Small world that it is, even in
the realm of poker, Stammen hails from Coldwater, just 45 minutes away
from Fort Jennings. Helen said the two have known each other for a long
time and have gone to tournaments together.
“Between the two boys, they shared two million,” noted Helen.
with second place, Kaverman cashed seven times during Season XII of the
World Poker Tour, setting a new single-season tour record and earning
nearly $800,000 total. According to his World Poker Tour career stats,
he has earned 3,750 points and winnings of $1,361,895 and is ranked in
the top players at 215.
Following his second place finish in New
Jersey, Byron then went on to Monaco where he placed fifth in another
live tournament. That competition was part of the European Poker Tour.
In essence, he is an independent businessman who can ply his trade all
over the world.
Kaverman was traveling on business this week, but filled in the blanks for this article via text messaging with Nolan.
has financial backing from a Florida businessman who enjoys poker as a
hobby. In turn, through his poker winnings, he was able to provide Nolan
with the financial support he needed to launch his own
Fort-Jennings-based excavation business.
“His backer invests in him like my brother invested in me,” said Nolan.