Michael Vela, better known as Mike Vela, is a talented, promising American poker professional. He earns his living at a financial planning company and lives with his family in New Windsor, New York.
He learnt to play poker during a fishing trip, and he won $3 in his very first game, which extended for 8 hours.
Michael Vela participated in the 7th Annual Spring Poker Round-Up and was placed 10th and made a small amount of $384 in Limit Omaha Hi/Lo (Event #5) in March 2004. He also earned a good $1,391 for his 15th place finish in the New England Poker Classic in Shootout – No-Limit Hold’em that same month.
The World Poker Finals/World Poker Tour (WPT) Event Season 5 witnessed a good game from Michael Vela where he won a huge amount of $71,550 in the No-Limit Hold’em Championship in November 2006 for his 13th place finish. His consistent performance at the Foxwoods Poker Classic/WPT Event Season V fetched him the 10th place and $7,505 in the No-Limit Hold’em (Event #3) on March 21, 2007. In the same tournament, he made $9,059 in the No-Limit Hold’em (Event #5) on March 23, 2007 for his 10th place finish. Michael Vela played well at the Borgata Poker Open/WPT Event Season 6 – No-Limit Hold’em Championship (Event #12) in September 2007, and took away $34,222 for his 18th place finish.
The most remarkable victory of his career came on November 13, 2007 at the World Poker Finals/WPT Event Season 6 in the No-Limit Hold’em Championship. At the final table, Michael Vela played against some famous players like Nenad Medic, Nick Schulman, both former winners, and Tom Dwan, a famous online player. Tom Dwan was the chip leader at the final table only till he lost a good number of his chips to both Nenad Medic and Nick Schulman. Nenad Medic who was short in the stack with only 555k was now in a better position in the game. He eliminated Mark Weitzman while Michael Vela carefully accumulated his chips to brush aside the challenge posed by Mike White, the local favorite. A pair of jacks on the river helped Michael Vela to knock out Tom Dwan, and dominate the game with a huge 10 million plus in his stack. Nenad Medic was the next person to get eliminated. With only Nick Schulman remaining, it took only seven hands for Michael Vela, who was now in a clear 3 to 1 chip lead, to ascertain his victory. Michael Vela emerged an impressive winner for he walked away with a cool $1,704,986 in No-Limit Hold’em Championship for his first place.
This victory meant a lot to Michael Vela for he is planning to build a house and take care of his kids with all the money that he has earned.
Admitting that he does not really play a whole lot, Michael Vela claims that Texas Hold’em is his favorite game. He has made a lot of money in tournaments for he adopts a different style of play in tournaments and a different style of play for cash games.