61-Year-Old Plumber & Online Poker Player Readies for “The Return: A Borgata Championship Event”

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Hand holding a winning royal flush hand of cards with chips on the background
Hand holding a winning royal flush hand of cards with chips on the background
BetMGM Jan 05, 2023, 4:53 AM

Andrew Szabelan is a 61-year-old master plumber based in Michigan who plays online poker under the name Zulran or Zzulran.

In 2021 when online poker was legalized in Michigan, Andrew started playing at BetMGM and became one of the winningest players of the year for profit despite only playing on the weekends. With the winnings, he took his wife, Vickie, on a long vacation. 

In 2022, he continued to dominate with two WSOP rings and a trip to Las Vegas for the BetMGM Poker Championship. 

However, it would all come to a pause. Andrew was diagnosed with a heart murmur. In May 2022, his heart had gone into atrial fibrillation which required open heart surgery to repair. 

Andrew’s health crisis occurred a few weeks before the summer’s BetMGM Championship and a month before the Tournament. When Andrew won his seat in the Championship, BetMGM credited his account with the $3,500 tournament buy-in since he was medically unable to travel and play in the event.

Andrew is recovering and rebuilding his poker bankroll. He qualified for “The Return: A Borgata Championship Event” which runs from January 4-8 in Atlantic City. It made him the ONLY player from Michigan who has qualified for both the ARIA BetMGM Championship (June) and Borgata’s “The Return.” 

“The Return” will feature a guaranteed prize pool of $3 million with players competing for a guaranteed $1 million first-place prize. 

For Andrew, the “King of Hearts,” it represents “the return” to live poker action.

"I’ve always have been an online grinder with modest success. Now I have a chance and a dream to win big thanks to BetMGM and Borgata."

Andrew Szabelan - 61-year-old master plumber, Michigan

“Andrew is so passionate about poker. After getting to know him over the last few months, his story is one to be celebrated. His dedication to improve his game and his desire to compete at a high stakes level is exactly what makes Michigan such an exciting online poker market. While Andrew may not have had an opportunity to compete this summer in Las Vegas, we are happy to see him qualify for another MGM Championship level event through BetMGM Poker.”

Will O’Connor - BetMGM Poker Marketing Manager

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.