Miami John Cernuto
Miami John Cernuto was born in 1944 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He earned a degree in finance from Florida State University and worked as an air traffic controller at Miami Dade International Airport. However, he lost his job along with 11,000 other air traffic controllers during a strike in 1981. He was already a poker player but after being fired, he decided to move to Las Vegas and try out his luck there as a professional.
Like most players, Miami John Cernuto struggled in the beginning. His play was erratic and his bankroll suffered for this. He had to take a job as a poker dealer in order to make ends meet. The experience taught him that he had to play better poker, and he started making a serious effort to improve his game. His years of experience as an air traffic controller came in handy when he was faced with the ups and downs of this game. He was soon racking up the wins, especially in Omaha Hi/Lo.
Miami John Cernuto made the 1989 World Series of Poker final table, where he finished fourth place playing Seven-Card Stud. He would later win his first of three WSOP gold bracelets in 1996, winning the $1500 Seven-Card Stud Split event. His second bracelet came in 1997 in the $2000 No Limit Hold’em event and the third in 2002 at $1500 Pot Limit Omaha. He also won the third World Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2003, which was hosted in Vienna.
Miami John Cernuto had a major health scare in 2009. While playing the $2500 WSOP Razz event, he collapsed on the table and had to be taken to a Las Vegas hospital on a stretcher after a player nudged him assuming he was sleeping.
Miami John Cernuto is married with three children. His portfolio includes over 50 WSOP cashes, 40 first place finishes, 3 WSOP gold bracelets, and more than $4.4 million in total tournament winnings. His winnings from the WSOP alone are over $1.5 million. He also plays blackjack and has appeared on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour.