Dani Stern, Online Poker Player “Ansky” from 2M2MM
By Steve Beauregard
Dani Stern is a high stakes online poker pro, well-known in the poker community as one of the four cast members of the cult reality show, 2M2MM.
During the series, Stern and three other friends attempted to win $2 million dollars in two months playing online poker. He finished the season up a total of $100,800.
Stern was shown as the worst golfer, and the heaviest drinker. He also finished last in a little
tournament the four friends had to determine who got which bedroom. As loser, Stern was forced to take the pink bedroom, full of dolls.
Other episodes showed him playing online, in various pranks and on a double date with cast mate and high stakes poker pro, Emil Patel. The two took dates on a first date involving a helicopter ride over the Las Vegas Strip, followed by an expensive meal that Patel ended up having to pay for after losing a round of credit card roulette. (Credit card roulette is a bet when two or more people shuffle up their credit card cards. One is drawn, and the owner of the drawn credit card has to pay for the dinner or whatever has been wagered).
Dani has said that while he normally doesn’t get emotional, and tilt after a losing session, producers of 2M2MM encouraged him to take a bat to fruit and other objections in the houses’ “tilt room.”
Born in New York City on November 18, 1986, Stern grew up on Manhattan’s west side. He has one brother, who is four years older. Growing up he played a lot of baseball and soccer.
Stern began playing poker during his senior year of high school, 2004, which happened to coincide with the start of the Chris Moneymaker poker boom.
Stern says he’d play at lunch, or after school with friends, in quarter-ante games – a far cry from the hundreds of thousands he wins today. He admits to being bad early on, but later developed his skill partly through reading strategy on the Twoplustwo.com forums, (he has thousands of posts, under the name “Ansky”), along with poker books, including Phil Hellmuth’s “Play Poker Like the Pros.”
After high school, he attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada. While he attended for four years, Stern dropped out before graduating, due to his increasing focus on poker. His screen name on PokerStars is supernova9, while on FullTilt it is “Ansky451.”
The highstakesdb.com, doesn’t have a whole lot on Stern, and what they do have show him as a losing player both on FullTilt and on PokerStars at higher stakes, which they consider to be $25/$50 No-Limit and above.
PocketFives.com’s online tournament leader board shows him has having cashed in numerous tournaments, including raking in a $53K first place win, and a $42,000 4th place score all within 120 days in the spring/summer of 2013.
Dani Stern’s Hendon Mob Results
According to the HendonMob poker database, Stern has just over $1.8 million in live career poker tournament winnings. Two of his tournament scores were for over 1/2 million dollars each.
In the summer of 2009, the same summer as the 2 months, 2 million challenge, Stern final tabled in the prestigious World Series of Poker’s 40th Anniversary Event – a $40,000 No-Limit Hold’em tournament with a line-up consisting of most of the best tournament poker players alive. Stern’s 4th place finish, (just behind 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer, who finished 3rd), was good for $548,315.
Stern’s best WSOP finish, is also his career-best live tournament score. In 2013, he finished 3rd in another large buy-in event, the $25,000 NL Hold’em 6 Handed event, good for a $509,473 payday.
He says the toughest thing about being a professional poker player is that you always have to be on your toes, in that the competition is always improving their games and learning new strategies. If you don’t improve as well, he says, players will be looking to exploit you.
Stern did well during the poker boom, coaching at DeucesCracked.com with future fellow 2M2MM cast mate Jay Rosenkrantz, along with having a juicy sponsorship deal with Doyle Brunson’s online poker site, DoylesRoom.com.
On Black Friday, however, that all came crashing down. Stern says that night, he, Rosenkrantz, Emil Patel, and other players gathered at a Manhattan bar to drown their sorrows while planning a post Black Friday future.
That future involved a move to Toronto, Canada, in order to be able to continue playing online poker. While there, he enrolled in cooking school, and the culinary arts have since become a passion of his.
Today he lives in Playa Del Carma, Mexico, with fellow 2M2MM poker player Brian Roberts. Stern says he plays Pot Limit Omaha cash games, telling igaming.org that he sticks with mostly $5/$10 and $10/$20 PLO. He also travels extensively to live poker tournaments, including annual appearances at PokerStars’ Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas every January.