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Bonus of the Month

Jean Robert Bellande | Bovada Poker Pro

Bellande, born in Long Island, New York in 1970, now calls Vegas home. He was raised in Taiwan by French-speaking parents who were Haitian immigrants. This well-rounded guy has a BA in marketing from Azusa Pacific University, but he’d just rather play poker professionally than work a 9 to 5 in a suit and tie. But he never did seem to be the type to have a real job, anyway, as he started out as a club promoter in LA, and eventually opened his own night club in Hollywood, Sky Sushi. He also raked in thousands of dollars every month playing pool, eventually replacing it with poker.

Even after going pro around 2001, he still kept his night job as a promoter. Though Bellande was popular in the club scene, he went unnoticed by the poker world until he made the final table at the WSOP in 2005, winning 3rd place and bringing home more than $200,000. He was ranked #6 card player in the world for that year.

Look for Bellande, also known as “Action Bobby” or “Bobby,” playing on the tables at Bovada Poker. He’s sure to make an impact on you, in some way or another, as everything he does he does to the fullest, including taking advantage of every opportunity to present himself, even as a Team Bovada Pro.

Becoming pro wasn’t easy for him, though. He had to learn poker the hard and expensive way. After his first year in Vegas, he lost $200,000. His most expensive lesson cost him $20,000 when he lost to Jeff “Iceman” Lisandro, who befriended and mentored him. He ended up and moving to Prague with Lisandro to help him manage his poker room. While he was there, his No-Limit game dramatically improved. He came back to the states to return to pro poker, ready this time.

As Bellande seems to naturally attract infamous life experiences, he has made his way around many avenues of pop culture like poker, night clubs, and even television. His personality that entails a bit of brutal honesty with humorous undertones invites excitement. These are the characteristics that drew Survivor recruiters to seek him out for 2007’s Survivor: China. Bellande attracted many viewers to the show that, like poker, has quickly become a global phenomenon. Bellande made it pretty far into the season, being the eighth person to be voted off. He likened his strategy for the show to his poker tournament strategy: evaluating the opponents, identifying the strong and weak players, and then planning his attack. Prior to his role on Survivor he appeared on the televised WPT invitational, Bad Boys of Poker II in 2006, placing fourth. His next dream is to launch his own website.

After recently placing 2nd in the 2008 WSOP event #53 Limit Shootout and ranking #427 for POY 2008, his aggressive but lighthearted table talk must be working for him because he’s still in the game with an almost $1 million in total lifetime earnings. He takes pride in being the ultimate psychological warrior and enjoys partaking in aggressive opponent-baiting. Bellande stands at 6’ 6” and makes and makes a strong impression on everything he does. He is the archetype of a poker professional with a huge following.


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