Every month, we are looking to put the spotlight on different successful New Jersey grinders and get their story on poker and life.
Mike JohnnnyDrama Haberman out of Brick, New Jersey is one of the most successful and highly respected New Jersey poker players around. Some of his 2014 highlights include winning the Party Poker/ Borgata Poker $50,000 guarantee Sunday Major twice in May 2014 and five wins in the network’s daily $10,000 guarantee which all add up to $31,228. He finished the year in 6th place in the online player of the year race on Bluff’s Poker Database.
Hot Start To 2015
Now that we are in 2015, he is focused and determined to finish even stronger then last year. He started the year on a mission and made some noise in the Party Poker/Borgata Poker Garden State Super Series II, with ten cashes, four final tables, one outright win and earning close to $9,000 during that online series. Haberman has $201,707 in tracked online cashes according to Pocketfives.com which ranks him 5th in New Jersey. In the OPOY race on pokerdb, he currently sits in 3rd place.
The player known as JohnnyDrama online also has success in the live arena. He managed to get several cashes in 2014, including a runner up finish in a Borgata Summer Poker Open event for $8,239 and a 3rd place finish in a Rio DeepStack tournament during the 2014 WSOP earning $6,122.
NJPokerSite: How long have you been playing poker both live and online?
Mike Haberman Jr: I’ve only been taking the game serious for about the last year and a half. I wanted to take the game more serious before that, but never had the opportunities available.
NJPokerSite: Is poker your only source of income?
Mike Haberman Jr: Currently, poker is my only source of income.
NJPokerSite: What did you do before poker?
Mike Haberman Jr: I graduated from William Paterson University with a degree in Business Management and worked for a Wireless Retailer for a short period of time before playing poker.
NJPokerSite: How would you grade your 2014 performance with live and online poker?
Mike Haberman Jr: Overall I’m pleased with my performance for the year. Obviously there’s always room for improvement and that’s what we are trying to do this year.Improve everywhere we can.
NJPokerSite: Do does the competition of ranking websites like Pocketfives or Pokerdb motivate you?
Mike Haberman Jr: To a degree, absolutely. After a certain point, you really need a lot of 1st and 2nds to have any scores matter considering our small field sizes, and who is motivated to get 1st and 2nds.. thats where all the money is.
NJPokerSite: What was your most memorable tournament win in 2014?
Mike Haberman Jr: I would have to say the 50k outright win, it capped off a great month of poker and then i went to Vegas for the millionaire maker a couple days later, no luck in that but took 3rd in a Rio $185 deepstack.
NJPokerSite: Got any 2015 poker goals?
Mike Haberman Jr: My main goal is 2015 is to take my game to another level, hopefully the results follow. Hopefully we have a good Borgata Spring Poker Open!.
NJPokerSite: Do you see any benefits of being able to play online in NJ?
Mike Haberman Jr: Yes absolutely. It just makes the game so much more readily available for this that want to play and at relatively small stakes. Online poker in NJ is awesome, and I could only imagine how much better it could be with a couple states sharing player pools.
NJPokerSite: Do you feel it has improved your live game?
Mike Haberman Jr: To a degree yes. The biggest thing for live is getting the reps if you haven’t played a lot. Playing online gave me the ability to play live as I am sure it has done for many others.