Hardly six months have elapsed since Cliff Golkind was honorable discharged from the Israeli defense forces, and now he is the proud owner of a golden bracelet and $559,514 in cash. Cliff, 24, who grew up in the United States, but opted to serve in the Israeli defense forces, was over the moon when he won the event. “Winning the WSOP is enormous, that is the reason every player wants to play in this event”
Golkind defeated a field of 2,302 players in the $1,500 no limit hold’em event. His exploits not only earned him a golden bracelet, but also 1080 for the card player of the year points which capitulated him to the 55 position in the overall standings. After navigating through the big field of players, he earned himself a spot in the final table that featured among others Barry Shulman and David Peters. All eyes were on Shulman, as he was expected to add a bracelet on his decorated resume. His other motivation for winning was due to the fact that his son Jeff Shulam was also in the final table of the $5,000 limit hold’em final table and had they both won, they could have set history for being the first time that a father and a son have earned a golden bracelet at the WSOP.
Golkind thanks the time he spent while preparing the Israeli defense forces for honing his poker skills. After Golkind had graduated with a degree in game theory from the Washington University, he opted to join the Israeli army as a volunteer. The only difficulty was that he had to wait for one year before his desire to join the army was approved. During this time, he played poker. In his own words, “it was my income.” The time he spent before joining the army paid handsomely on Monday.
This was the first time he has played at the WSOP. Despite the instant riches achieved by winning his first bracelet, Goldkind is not about to change his plans. He plans to further his studies at the graduate school in Boston this coming fall.