Iconic rock, metal and punk music producer Steve Albini won his second World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament over the weekend. That’s after he achieved his first World Series of Poker bracelet, the highest non-monetary prize at the annual Las Vegas poker competition, in 2018.
This time around, Albini — the Shellac guitarist and vocalist who produced Nirvana‘s In Utero (1993) and the Pixies‘ Surfer Rosa (1988), among other influential rock albums — took down a $1,500 H.O.R.S.E event for $196,089 on Saturday (June 18). H.O.R.S.E. is a multi-game poker challenge combining Texas Hold ‘Em and other variants of the card game where players wager over whose hand is best.
Of course, Albini is not a professional poker player. It’s only the musician and record maker’s hobby. But on Saturday, he beat a stable of 773 other poker players, the group composed of both pro players and mixed game specialists.
“Everything in my life comes in pieces, in parts,” Albini serenely told WSOP.com after his win, adding, “Poker is one part of my life.”
The producer explained, “When I’m playing poker, I try to commit to it. I try to take it seriously. I try to make sure I devote the attention to it that it deserves as an occupation. But it’s only part of my year. I only play tournaments at the World Series of Poker. I play cash games informally in Chicago. It’s a part of my livelihood, but it’s not my profession.”
As for his 2018 WSOP win — the victory came in a Seven Card Stud event— it “felt like a fluke,” Albini remarked. “This one also felt like a fluke. I was all-in a million times in this tournament. In the stud tournament, the bracelet that I won in 2018, I was never all-in in that tournament. I was never short of chips.”
He added, “But it still felt like I kind of fluked it because I beat a table full of really great players that I didn’t expect to beat. This time it felt like a fluke because I was so short on chips so often, and I kept getting all in, and I kept surviving.”
Albini owns and operates the Chicago recording studio Electric Audio. He last released an album with the post-hardcore math rockers in Shellac, Dude Incredible, in 2014. Previously, he was also a member of the punk bands Big Black and Rapeman.
Earlier this year, Albini defended Juggalos, the collective name for fans of Insane Clown Posse, saying they were “less annoying” than Deadheads, the followers of the Grateful Dead. While making In Utero, the producer — clearly one for a friendly bet — wagered Nirvana $100,000 in a game of pool.