With over 30 years of poker experience behind him, Mel Judah, “The Silver Fox”, is one of the worlds most respected and well thought of poker professionals.
His poker career has spanned across 4 decades which has seen him take on the very best players from across the globe. His breakthrough came in 1989 when he won his first World Series of Poker bracelet for Seven-Card Stud, a feat which he repeated 8 years later. In 1997 he showed the poker world his diversity by coming third behind the legendary Stu Ungar in the No Limit Texas Hold’em main event at the World Series. A WPT title followed when he beat an all star line up, that included T.J Cloutier and Paul Phillips, to become the 2003 Legends of Poker Champion.
Born August 10th 1947, in Calcutta, India, Mel discovered his passion for poker at the age of 14, He learned the technical aspects of the game from his father and coupled with the key advice that in poker you have to win the maximum and lose the minimum, Mel began to play cash games at home against his friends. In doing so, he realized very quickly that his flair and understanding of the game enabled him to beat most of his opponents most of the time.
In 1964, Mel’s family moved to the United Kingdom. Mel decided to follow his mother’s profession and become a ladies hairstylist, so he trained and qualified at London’s best, Vidal Sassoon. He furthered his hairdressing career when he opened his own Salon in London’s West End which he excelled at and ran for 4 years. In hairdressing Mel encountered many different types of people and had to deal with all sorts of temperaments. In this profession he obtained his most valuable assets which have served to make him one of the all time greats in poker. Patience and understanding the minds of others. Nic Szeremta from Poker Europa considers him as “one to the great thinkers of the game”.
In 1981, Mel and his family moved to Australia. Later that year he made his first trip to Las Vegas where he began to play poker professionally. He created a niche for himself winning all types of tournaments in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, London, Europe, Russia and Australia and he has collected a fine variety of trophies to show for it. His major tournament wins are two World Series bracelets, won at Binions Horseshoe – Las Vegas, in 1989 and 1997. He has been placed in the money 46 times at the World Series.
Over a 15 year span, Mel has won a tournament every year at the Bicycle Club in Los Angeles as well as numerous other wins at other card rooms in the same casino. He was also the overall winner of points in Australia 2000 and Moscow 2001. In August 2003, he won the WPT Championship at the Bicycle Club and became renowned as the best short stack player in the game. The World Series tournament produced commemorative chips for all players who have won in excess of $1,000,000. Mel Judah was among the first 25 players to achieve this honour.
Mel’s poker knowledge is immense. He was the first to run tournaments in Costa Rica, Russia and Australia. In June 2004, he was the Tournament Director for the World Poker Championship in Dublin, Ireland, and in January 2009, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Melbourne, Australia; an honour bestowed on the very few.
Mel is a master of all types of poker. Much of his time is spent consulting and advising gaming organisations as his knowledge of gaming rules and regulations is extensive. He has also set up and headed management teams for Casinos. He does not diversify into big sports betting or other forms of gambling. The poker industry is his investment and as such he is an adroit money manager.
Mel’s integrity is absolute and his peers consider him as one of the very few players renowned for his honesty, credibility and reliability in the poker industry.