Poker pro Michael Marder’s bank account was emptied by hackers in the latest move against online poker rooms. As a result, he is now facing lawsuits from other players and his own employers while trying to rebuild his life.

Pandemic Pushes Poker Pro Michael Marder Online

Michael Marder had been to nearly every major tournament series in the northeast prior to the outbreak. He’s a New Jersey rounder who is regarded as a great performer by his peers. 

When COVID shut down casinos, Marder, a full-time poker pro, had to make some difficult decisions. He was forced to go online when live events were discontinued.

Marder goes by the internet handle “ParxBigStax,” which is ironic. He hasn’t been able to play in a Parx series since February 2020, though.

“The epidemic had a significant impact on my poker career,” he adds. “I’ve been missing the local tournament scene, especially the Borgata and Parx series, but it was a great learning experience for me.” It compelled me to enter the internet world.”



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A life spent toiling away

Marder, 35, is a product of the Moneymaker boom and is from Sewell, New Jersey. After playing poker with buddies in high school, he moved on to the collegiate home game circuit. 

“I didn’t have any wild stories or major challenges to overcome in order to go into poker,” he explains. “I was constantly poor, working many minimum-wage jobs and scraping out paychecks to go to the casino.”

In 2012, he had a breakthrough year, winning more than $145,000 in tournaments. This includes a $110,044 second-place finish in the summer Borgata Championship. 

Since then, Marder has been a regular tournament grinder, winning over $1.4 million in live tournaments. The following are some of his most notable cashes: 

  • $3,500 Borgata Main Event – fifth place for $181,329
  • WPT Five Diamond Classic ($10,400) – 11th place for $130,052
  • WPT Borgata Open ($3,150) – first place for $59,362
  • $2,500 Third place in the Delaware Park Classic ($51,000) in 2013.

Marger’s best victory occurred in 2018 at the World Series of Poker, when he took third place for $223,564 in a $2,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament.

Marder was pleased with his performance, even if he did not win the bracelet. At a final table that featured Chris Ferguson and Dylan Linde, he faced some stiff opposition.

He describes the encounter as “amazing.” “I doubled up on Ferguson early on, and at one point I had the chip lead five-handed.”

Ring fighter in the championships

Marder owns three WSOP Circuit rings, despite the fact that he has yet to win a bracelet. In the past two years, two of them have appeared on

Even though the epidemic disrupted his normal live tournament schedule, he didn’t let it stop him.

“At the end of the day, I’m more of a live player,” he explains. “I appreciate it more than online, despite the fact that I’ve dabbled with the internet world over the time and had some success there.”

His largest WSOPC victory came in a $320 MonsterStack in 2020, when he took home $50,832.

“I’m hoping to play a lot more live poker in the future year,” Marder adds. “I’m very excited to go back to year-round live events, and perhaps some more local series will resume.”

Keeping it going online felt good, but coming back to the live felt much better.

Unfortunately, Marder’s home turf is yet to announce any new significant series in the near future. Before the epidemic, Borgata and Parx were two of the most well-known poker tournament venues in the Northeast.

Marder isn’t going to let it stop him from making the rounds in 2022. He intends to perform in Maryland, Nevada, and Florida. He is optimistic about the future and feels that more live tournament poker will return in the near future.

He’ll keep grinding online at and in the interim.

“Poker is my career,” he explains, “and hopefully it will stay that way.”

* Image courtesy of WPT

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