Poker face

FORMBY, England – There are a lot of good stories among the 288 competitors who began the stroke play rounds of the British Amateur Championship, but Ryan Dreyer’s is one of the most intriguing.

Dreyer is a re-instated amateur from South Africa. The 37-year-old was a member of the Sunshine Tour in his homeland but gave up after 11 years when he realized he couldn’t cut it in the pro ranks. He also tried the Canadian Tour and the mini tours in the U.S., too.

He turned his attention instead to amateur golf and poker. Yes, poker. He’s pretty good at the tables. In fact, he’s as good with a hand of cards as he is with a set of clubs.

Last September, Dreyer took the $650,000 first-place prize in the Million Dollar Sun City Shuffle Up Poker tournament, a $3,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event.

Dreyer attended Texas A&M from 1993-95 before graduating with a degree in journalism. He’s put the degree to good use. He edits a poker magazine called “Bluff.”

Dreyer’s ambition is to win the World Series of Poker. He placed 55th in last year’s tournament, and will have another crack this year.

Here at Formby, Dreyer returned rounds of 77 at West Lancashire and 70 at Formby today for a score of 3-over 147. That score looks good enough to make the match play stages.

I’m guessing someone who picked up $650,000 in one night at the tables is unlikely to suffer from nerves. What a story it would be if he could walk off with the trophy this week.

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