WATCH: Gay Poker Pro Jason Somerville Is Aces With Us

Poker pro Jason Somerville, who won $500,000 at the 2011 World Series of Poker, speaks frankly about what life’s been like since coming out as gay, with Not only does Jason have a winning personality and killer smile, he’s forthright in discussing his own journey, including bringing his boyfriend to a major poker tourney. You can just see how he looks like someone who’s finally breathing after suffocating for 20-some years.

Somerville first shared the news in a blog post in February:

“I always knew I wasn’t straight, but I never spoke a word of it for twenty two years, and nobody really ever knew otherwise. I dated women exclusively through my teens and early 20s, doing my best to convince myself that it wasn’t something I had to pursue, that maybe I’d grow out of it, that I’d be happier with women anyway, that I just should focus on other things.

After a lot of struggling and a lot of anxiety, I eventually came out to one of my close friends when I was 22. That same year, the second and third people I came out to were my parents (probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done), from which I basically received the not-exactly-what-I-needed reaction of ‘keep it to yourself, don’t tell anyone.’ I told very few people from then until I was 24 (by the way, my parents are way better now).”

But now he’s putting honesty and happiness first—and it’s a gamble that’s paying off: According to Blunt magazine he’s kicking ass at WSOP 2012. Good luck at the tables, Jason!

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  • MikeE

    ummm, I know it’s hard to be in the closet and all.. but I am pretty sure that he wasn’t “suffocating for 20-some years”. The guy is 24. I doubt he KNEW he was “not straight” until he was 9-10. And even then, I’m sure it wasn’t a “suffocating” issue for a few years more.

    I’m happy and all that he came out and wants to be honest and all that. That’s good for him.
    But seriously… drama queen a little bit?

    Most gay men come out around that age anyway. It’s not like he’s lived an entire life in the closet and decided to come out in middle age.

  • Oh well

    @MikeE, yes, from the wording of the article I assumed he was around 40, until the end.

  • easttnguy

    His parents are “way better” since he won half a million dollars. Go figure…

  • realgay

    At the end of day 3 there were 720 players still in the tournament. Jason is in 34th place with 637,000 chips. He’s moving up.

  • Brad


    I’m so glad that your own experience of realizing you were gay was not so suffocating for you. However, many LGBT people feel suffocated before they can accept themselves and eventually come out of the closet. It may have taken Jason 22 years to come out, but he at least did it. Some LGBT people simply do not have such a great experience at all…
    For some it affects them so profoundly that they become one of the many LGBT teens who take their own lives each year. Someone else may just push the feelings down and try to live a “normal” life, never knowing his or her true self. Others like myself will even go as far as looking for help to change who they are. When I first started to accept my own sexuality I felt like I could not do it, ever. I feared that I would lose my family, friends and everything else in this world. Yes, I was one of those that tried “Reparative Therapy” and you’ll never know just how much worse a person feels about themselves when they realize they’ve wasted so much of their life…

    Coming to terms with being homosexual is not such a cake walk. Some of us may live in areas where it is perfectly fine with the general population but in some countries it can cost you your life. I hope that everyone can recognize that coming to terms with homosexuality is very different for every single person. No two people will experience the same feelings and reactions. MikeE, it’s my hope that you and others will be able to see that we as individuals can not be placed into a specific group and label as so many in this country would prefer to.

  • Aquarelle

    @Brad: MikeE is right. The guy is 24. He makes it sound like he came out of the womb knowing that he’s gay.

  • Aquarelle

    Besides, I’m so over this “Oh, it was such a struggle to come to terms with my homosexuality” stuff. You were born in 1988, Jason. You were a teenager in the ’00s. Unless you were raised by Christian conservatives in the middle of Hicktown, Shittystate, you really need to give me a break.

  • Bee

    @MikeE: Just because you didn’t know until u were 9-10 don’t speak for everybody else as soon as I came into contact with boys at like in Pre-K i saw the boys and I was like oh he’s cute I like him i didn’t have cute lil innocent crushes on girls i had em on boys wen I was little so since 4 i knew i was gay not every body is a hint of bisexual where they wait until 15 thinkin hmm u know i actually think i like boys more than girls

  • Richard Ford

    It’s hard for a young male like Jason–whom I would compare to golfers, tennis players, or bowlers with televised visibility (and also even to team members in organized sports)–to come out publicly.
    It’s just hard. Regardless of your back story or how you want to tell it.
    I am surprised (although by now I shouldn’t be) at the criticism, negativity and snide remarks from Queerty respondents.
    What’s the message here? “I suffered more than you did, Jason, so just shut up”?
    Just another example of how so many gay people can’t seem to temper their cynicism even when dealing with their own kind.

  • JT

    Who cares? Are we supposed to somehow like this guy just because he’s gay?

  • Richard Ford

    @JT: Thank you for proving my point.

  • Rog in L.A.

    Damn, some of you people need to get over yourselves and realize that coming out is a very personal thing and that it’s not easy for many people. Boy, there sure are some bitter queens out there who are hating others for being happier than themselves. I’m happy that he’s come out and on his own terms and yes, he’s sexy.

  • shannon

    ewwwwwwwwww this fool is NOT “sexy” at all., He’s a gay white man and you know how those gay white men hate LGBT people of color!

  • Marc

    It’s BLUFF MAGAZINE. Not “Blunt” Magazine. Are you all high at Queerty? I read you regularly and it seems that 7 out of 10 of your articles have something incorrect. Get your shit together!

  • chad harp

    well done and i am also a HUGE poker player and gay

  • realgay

    At the end of day 4 Jason was up slightly with 640,000 chips. He fell in the ranking though to 128th place out of 280. There are only three days left. It’s a critical time when those higher in the rankings get large chip count leads and push out the competition. I’m rooting for him.

  • Nick

    Honestly who cares? He’s not that good of a poker player, and he’s your typical gay white male who whines about the few years he was closeted even though he’s still young.

  • realgay

    At the end of day 5 Jason increased his chip count to 1,400,000. He moved up the ranking to 58th place with 97 players left. Only two days left. Today is such a critical time for him because he’ll have to make great plays from here on out to stay with the competition. Only 30-50 players will make it to the final day. I’m cheering him on.

  • Poker fan

    @Nick: You’ve got to be out of your mind… He’s one of the best! He won a bracelet last summer and has over 5 million in earnings! Even the great Phil Hellmuth acknowledged him yesterday via Twitter as one of the few remaining ‘talents’ left in the field…

    I think it’s awesome to have someone as personable as Jason representing the LGBQT in a field that is quite frankly vastly underrepresented!

  • realgay

    Jason has been eliminated from WSOP 2012. He placed 69th and won $106,056. He struggled these past two days to break out. He would gain a lot of chips then lose them. He had problems building up his chip count. Jason has won money in every tournament he’s entered. Hopefully, he will be back next year and does a lot better.

  • Making up stuff is fun!

    @realgay: Wait, so he came out of the WSoP 100K richer? Cuz that sounds pretty good …

  • Leo

    What was the question?

  • realgay

    Yes, he won over $100K. Thousands of people enter and pay the $10K entry fee.

  • Steve

    …might be a bit late with my comment but for any gays out there that are into poker as well there’s a place now just online with some fancy accessories… check it out at KingJackSuited dot com ;)

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