Joe Simmons Turns From Rock to Poker

Photo Credit: Edward Lea

Joe Simmons is best known for his career in music, having been a DJ, music writer and a manager of bands including renowned hip-hop band the Roots. However, these days he has moved away from music and earns a living at the poker table. Read on to discover his story.

Photo Credit: Piotr Drabik

Photo Credit: Piotr Drabik

Wanting a break from the music industry Simmons, saw first-hand the rise in poker’s popularity and was determined to get involved.

That year, 2003, saw Chris Moneymaker, an unknown player with little experience in the sport, win the prestigious World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. It was that story, of a man with so little experience, being able to win that was so appealing to some who had perhaps seen poker as a back-room card game up to that point. Poker from then was propelled into the mainstream and made the wider public want to learn more about the game.

Photo Credit: Equipo Unibet

Photo Credit: Equipo Unibet

Simmons was one of those people, witnessing Moneymaker’s rise to fame and poker’s introduction into wider society and had an irresistible urge to get involved. He began to take some tentative first steps into a whole new activity and, based in Philadelphia, became something of a regular at tournaments across the whole of the east coast of the United States.

He, along with many others who were relatively new to poker and have joined its rise to worldwide popularity in the last decade, sees elements that are common to many other jobs. Psychology, skill, and luck are three vital ingredients. Without their inclusion, it would be difficult to make success out of any job and poker is no different.

As with all players on the circuit Simmons woke up every morning wondering whether he would win any money that day but with experience gained in competition, success came. He made the move to nearby Atlantic City, one of the main casino strongholds in the United States, and began playing cash games.

That success did not come immediately and, after losing money in mixed games in the city he began to concentrate on the smaller No Limit cash games. He has since achieved success, making the World Poker Tour final table and winning almost $400,000 with a fourth placed finish in the Borgata Poker Open championship.

However, Simmons is aware, from his own experiences, of the difficulties in making a successful career in poker and its inherent risks. To that end, he has vowed to help those starting out in the game and has become involved in a new website which details those risks and tells of how Simmons himself has won much in the game but has had setbacks along the way.

Simmons is taking a break from poker now, to write and produce the score for a film based in his native Philadelphia, but he will return to the game eventually and says that, wiser for the experiences he has had within it, the interests he maintains outside of poker, give him a valuable perspective, something he hopes to pass onto others thinking of making poker a career.


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