May 11, 2022

NASCAR driver Landon Cassill reflects on racing and his poker game

Bad beats for NASCAR driver Landon Cassil usually involve high speed rates mixed with burnt rubber, occasional broken shift panels, and the smell of gasoline. A nice checkered flag finish is also nice.

But when he’s not racing the track, Cassill has been a recreational poker player for years. He drives the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet in the Xfinity Seriesbut was recently back at the poker table for the StormX Invitational Tournament at PokerGO Studio.

The unique poker environment was something most players couldn’t experience. Cassill may be used to being in the spotlight, but even playing with it celebrities and crypto contractors impressed the 32-year-old. StormX is one of his sponsors this season and the pilot was delighted to be part of it.

“It was awesome,” Casill says. “I didn’t really play my best poker, but it was just awesome. It was a really cool band. »

With plenty of races remaining in the season, Cassill spoke with USPoker on card capture as well as on the trail. This last aspect of his life even included a bit of poker.

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Hit the poker tables

Like many players, Cassill started playing poker in high school. He and his friends were inspired by Chris Moneymaker win at World Series of Poker.

“When I was in high school, we used to have poker night with my race team every Wednesday night,” he says. “We had just had a group of friends over and still had as a $20 tournament with buy-in and always played for fun. I don’t really know if I’ve ever played against very high caliber players.

This love of the game has continued even though his current life has pressured him as a married family man and race car driver. Earlier in his career, Cassill was on a road game here and there, even at a casino.

But the StormX (also a PokerGO partner) was Cassill’s first time at the table in about five years. The return was nice.

“It was kind of a nice refresher to get back into the game and even experience new terminology and new ways of playing the game that I hadn’t done in the past,” he says.

“It was kind of an interesting dive into the game because I think I was playing against a higher caliber of players than I’ve ever played in my life. So yeah, I was definitely rusty and I had a lot of mental mistakes that cost me a lot of money, but it was a lot of fun.

Phil Hellmuth, Landon Cassill and StormX CEO and co-founder Simon Yu in the PokerGO studio for the StormX Invitational. (Photo courtesy PokerGO)

Get on the PokerGO stage

The possibility of playing in the StormX This event also created some interesting connections for Cassill. That included catching the World Series of Poker bracelet winner 16 times Phil Hellmuth.

The two have met at a NASCAR race before and shared a few laughs in the PokerGO studio. The pilot also enjoyed speaking with the programming director and commentator of PokerGO. brent hank.

The StormX event was a little different from the normal promotional appearances and interviews that often come with being a NASCAR driver. Few sponsor events include poker chips and potentially a good payday – a break from its usual routine.

Although he didn’t find any money in the tournament, the Xfinity driver certainly liked to mix it all up.

“It was just a whole new group of people, so I really enjoyed it,” he says. “And then playing in a studio like that was pretty awesome.”

Life on the Track and Poker with Jeff Gordon

Kaulig Racing takes to the track to practice for the beef. That’s what’s for dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

While some kids grow up playing baseball, basketball, soccer or football, Casill spent his early years behind the wheel. grow in Cedar Rapids, Iowahe has been driving a type of vehicle since he was 3 years old.

“I’ve been around cars all my life,” he says. “My dad got me interested in racing just by showing NASCAR races on TV. Ever since I was little, I always loved it. I raced go-karts everywhere and kept taking it to the next level.

Hendrick Motorsports signed Cassill in 2006 and he made his National Series made his debut a year later at the age of 18. Since then he has raced at all levels of the NASCAR series – Cup, Xfinity (formerly Nationwide) and Truck. His life on the track even included the occasional card game when not in the driver’s seat.

“At the time, probably 2011 to 2013, I was playing with Jeff Gordon a lot,” he says. “He had a game that we played a few times a year and it was always either Dover Where pocono. We played in his RV and there was a group of us – a few drivers, industry people, PR people – who would join the game. There were usually 10 or 12 of us to open a table.

Cassill remembers the four times Cup Series champion not only on the track, but also at the poker table.

“Jeff was a good player,” he says. “He’s still a very tight player. It was a good game. There was always money in it. But it was by no means extravagant. Anyone could sit down and play.

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More poker in the future?

When not driving, Casill spends as much time as possible with his wife and children. It also mixes in some Golf during the offseason and participated in many half-ironman triathlons.

More poker may also be in its future. StormX timed the last tournament when the Xfinity Series was running in Vegas. The series hits Sin City again in November for the circuit playoffs.

Cassill hopes to be in the game both in the battle for first place in the Xfinity Seriea and at the poker table.

“I think StormX will host another tournament again,” he said. “I’ve already committed to play.”

* Race photos courtesy of Kaulig Racing