Little did he know, that moment would eventually lead him into a prosperous career in the poker industry. The poker boom was beginning, and back home, Burns rode the wave of the poker craze to small home games with friends, to dealing cards and then to running Bar Poker league tournaments. He saw his two passions as complementary, and spent a few years working in both industries.
“For me, poker and baseball went almost hand in hand,” Burns said. “You have the same presence on ESPN, the competition, and the personalities and egos. I compare the competition of the two: anyone can play poker, and when you’re younger BandarQQ, anyone can play baseball. They both have different levels of competition, from tee ball to the big leagues.”
“Both poker and baseball have different levels of competition, from tee ball to the big leagues.”
He continued: “It’s the same with poker. You can play free poker, get in at the beginner level and you can take it to the elite level up to super high rollers. But when it comes to playing poker for a living, there’s a very select few who can accomplish that feat, just like only a small percentage will be able to play baseball professionally and succeed in the majors.”
After graduating from University of Central Florida with a degree in Business Management in 2004, Burns would eventually need to choose between baseball and poker. He left the MLB scene after the 2005 season and dove full-force into poker, going from running a Bar Poker league franchise to dealing on the Sun Cruz Casino boat to dealing at Isle Casino Pompano in 2007. There, he moved up to supervisor specializing in late-night tournaments where he remained until 2015.
Armed with over a decade of experience in poker, Burns assumed the role of tournament director at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood beginning with the SHRPO charity event in August 2015. In his next four years on the job, he built a reputation as a top TD in poker not only for his aptitude in running tournaments, but also for his rapport with players and strong social media presence. His well-rounded skillset has led him to yet another opportunity in poker as he has recently taken on the role of Director of Poker Marketing for Seminole Gaming. PokerNews talked with Burns about what his new role entails and what’s in store for the future.