Former Kentucky state treasurer Jonathan Miller finished eighth overall in a No-Limit Hold ’em tournament in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
Miller, a Lexington lawyer, walked away with $69,896 in winnings.
“It was an extraordinary experience,” Miller said. “I didn’t sleep for four days.”
The rest of his family was out of town this past weekend, so at his wife’s suggestion, Miller went to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker.
Miller said over the past several years, he’s taken an interest in the poker championship but never really had a chance to play, until this past weekend.
“It’s funny because the World Series of baseball requires a year’s worth of training, but to play in the World Series of Poker, you just need a thousand bucks,” Miller said. “… So on a whim, I signed up.”
Miller entered a four-day No-Limit Hold ’em tournament that started with 4,620 players. He bowed out in eighth place early Saturday morning.
On his website, Miller said playing in the tournament was something he could cross off his “longtime bucket list.” He told The State Journal he had his 20 years in office to thank for giving him the two skills needed to be a successful poker player.
“Being around people, both in the Capitol but more out in the state, meeting all kinds of people and learning what they’re all about, has made me a lot more intuitive to people and what they’re thinking,” Miller said.
Miller wrote Saturday on his website that most of the competitors left in the tournament were professionals. But he quipped that “being Kentucky’s state treasurer has equipped me with some pretty good money management skills. And being in state and national politics for two decades has empowered me to cope with tables filled of liars and posers.”
Miller was guaranteed at least $53,846 in winnings by making it to the final nine. He said his winnings will be split between his temple (“My rabbi’s already claimed 10 percent,” he joked) and college funds for his two daughters.