- 2012 WSOP Main Event October 9 Finalist
- 2010 WSOP Bracelet winner
- Over $1.25 million in career earnings
Steve Gee was born in China in a small village on the outskirts of what used to be called Canton (now Guangzhou). His family immigrated to the US when he was 6. They moved into a tiny 1 bedroom apartment in Sacramento, California. Steve’s father worked as a waiter in a Chinese restaurant and his mother worked in a canary, canning tomatoes. As the oldest, Steve would come home from school every day and watch his younger siblings while his parents were at work. Four years later, his parents had saved enough money to buy a 3 bedroom house in a lower-middle class neighbourhood. Steve was raised and educated in the US and considers himself an American of Chinese decent. After high school he attended California State University at Sacramento where he received a degree in business administration which helped him land a job as an accountant with the California Department of Transportation. He would finish his public career as the manager of software projects for the California Public Employees Retirement System.
As a young child, Steve played poker with his friends, but it was not until college that he began to take it more seriously and started visiting the local casinos. Steve’s professional poker experience dates back to the 1970s, when he played draw lowball for what was considered high stakes at the Oaks card club where he played at the $120 limit level. After many up and down swings, Steve left full-time poker to pursue his career in software.
Steve watched as poker grew in popularity and he knew he wanted to try it again before he was too old to enjoy the journey. While cash games were Steve’s forte, he began to play some tournaments in 2005 and had some initial success with final tables in both Reno and San Jose. But it wasn’t until 2008 that he quit his job and dedicated more time to poker, playing a number of small buy-in events making four final tables. In 2009 Steve made his first WSOP cash in a $1K No Limit Holdem event.
2010 was Steve Gee’s breakout year, starting with a small cash at The World Series of Poker in the $1,500 No Limit Holdem event. The very next day, he used his winnings to enter the $1,000 No Limit Holdem event which he would go on to win for $472,479 as well as the prestigious Gold Bracelet. At the time, he recalled that it was the greatest accomplishment of his career thus far, something he strove for throughout his poker life. He would cash in one more event at the WSOP that summer.
The 2012 WSOP brought Steve back to the tournament felt, and he decided to take time away from cash games to play the $10,000 NLHE World Championship Main Event, a decision that would ultimately change his life forever. He grinded for hours, chipping up day after day, and made it all the way to the final table, guaranteeing himself a minimum payout of $754,798 and the chance to play for the first place prize of $8,527,982. Steve has the distinction of being the oldest player at the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event final table at 57 years old. He has more years of playing experience than most of his competitors have been alive, and he will head to the final table in October fifth in chips with 16,860,000.
Outside of poker, Steve has 2 main loves. The first is his 22 year old daughter Tiffany. She is half Chinese and half Portuguese. She graduated in 2011 with honors from the University of California, at Berkeley with a degree in Public Health. Steve says “Fortunately she knows nothing about poker so will concentrate on getting into medical school and all of the young guns won’t have to worry about her turning into the next Jennifer Harmon!” His second love is tennis. “I love to play poker, but I love tennis even more and would give up poker for tennis in a heartbeat. Unfortunately for me, no one will pay me to play tennis on the professional tennis tour.”