– General Introduction –
Tyson Apostol is an American cyclist, reality TV star, and recreational poker player. He was born on June 17th, 1979 in Provo, UT.
Between 2003 and 2007, Apostol made his living as a professional cyclist. In 2009, he got cast on the reality show Survivor: Tocantins – The Brazilian Highlands, airing on CBS. Since then, he appeared in 3 more seasons of the Survivor franchise, one of which (Season 27, Blood vs. Water) he ended up winning.
As for poker, he’s best known for being featured in PokerStars’ #TestingTyson promotional campaign, which ultimately resulted in him winning a $30,000 Platinum Pass to the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He got to play in the $25,000 Poker Players Championship – however, he didn’t make it into the money.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2003: He becomes a professional cyclist.
- 2009: He appears on the reality show Survivor: Tocantins – The Brazilian Highlands on CBS.
- 2017: He comes in 2nd in the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em – Thursday Thrilla Bounty event at Run It Up Reno V for $11,555. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
- 2018: He is featured in PokerStars’ #TestingTyson ad campaign. As part of the promotion, he receives a Platinum Pass to the 2019 PCA where he plays in the $25,000 Poker Players Championship.
– Tyson Apostol’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Apostol grew up in the Mormon state, Utah. He too is a practicing Mormon who spent his two years of missionary service in the Philippines.
He attended Brigham Young University on a swimming scholarship but did not graduate. Instead, he went on to become a professional cyclist. After retiring from the sport in 2007, he got cast on the reality show Survivor in 2009.
He found his way into poker in 2016 by being invited to Run It Up Reno, an annual poker festival hosted by famous poker streamer Jason Somerville in Reno, NV. Apostol had played some cards recreationally before, but only against his friends in private games.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Apostol has $21,822 in live tournament winnings, according to The Hendon Mob. That sum is the product of cashes in 9 different events over the course of 3 years.
The first recorded cash on his profile, as we alluded to earlier, is from Run It Up Reno II in May 2016. He took 7th place for $400 in the $85 NLHE – Six Max Turbo event. 7 out of Apostol’s 9 live cashes on his profile are from Run It Up Reno events.
In April 2017, he came in 4th in the $1,100 NLHE Thursday Thriller Bounty tournament for $4,250 at Run It Up Reno IV. Later that year, in October 2017, he finished 2nd in the same event at the 5th iteration of Jason Somerville’s poker series. This time, he won $11,555, which is the biggest single live tournament score of his career to date. He lost the heads-up battle for the title to Prabhjot Mall.
One of the only times he made an ITM finish outside Reno, NV was at the PokerStars Festival New Jersey in November 2016. He came in 35th in the $1,100 buy-in Main Event for $1,576.
→ World Series of Poker ←
Tyson Apostol has only cashed in one World Series event so far.
At the 2018 WSOP, he finished 182nd place out of a massive field of 8,920 players in the $365 No Limit Hold’em – Giant event, for which he got $1,846.
→ Live Cash Games ←
In June 2018, Apostol appeared on the CBS Sports show Poker Night Live where he played a session of $5/$5 NLHE cash game. Poker Night Live was a short-lived spinoff of Poker Night in America where celebrities, mixed with some poker pros, would play low stakes cash games broadcast live. The production had bigger than usual emphasis on table talk.
Apostol appeared on the show with fellow Survivor cast members Boston Rob Mariano, Kim Spradlin, and Jeremy Collins. The poker pro at the table was Jonathan Little.
Little, who runs a prominent poker coaching site, even posted a video analysis of a hand Apostol played against Poker Night Live host Joe Stapelton. In that hand, Apostol decided to “gamble it up” with 7-4 off-suit.
→ Online Poker ←
→ As a Pro Cyclist ←
As we wrote in our intro, Apostol was a professional cyclist between 2003 and 2007.
In 2003, he finished 9th in the Giro del Lago Maggiore (aka GP Knorr) road cycling race in Switzerland. At the peak of his sports career, between 2005 and 2007, he was riding for the Austrian team Team Vorarlberg Santic.
→ On the Show: Survivor ←
Apostol first appeared on the 18th season of the American reality show Survivor, airing on CBS between February 2009 and May 2009. That season bore the subtitle Survivor: Tocantins – The Brazilian Highlands. As the name suggests, it was filmed in Tocantins, Brazil.
In the show, contestants are split into “tribes” which compete in a wide variety of physical and mental challenges. Each week, a player gets voted off by their fellow contestants.
Apostol was cast as a member of the Timbira tribe. He got voted off on Day 27.
Apostol was back for Season 20, Survivor: Heroes cs. Villains. He was on the “Villains” team and was the 6th player to be voted out in the series, on Day 15. He returned in Season 27 in 2013 (Blood vs. Water), alongside his long-time girlfriend Rachel Foulger. This time, Apostol went on to win the competition and thus was awarded the $1 million first prize.
He also competed in Season 40 in 2019 (Winners at War), which was exclusive to the champions of past seasons.
→ Sponsorships ←
In late 2018, Apostol was featured in PokerStars’ #TestingTyson ad campaign. In it, he had to compete in challenges in 5 categories: discipline, patience, memory, math, reading people. These were the attributes Stars deemed to key for a successful poker player.
For example, for the patience task, he had to sit through quietly as casual fans of the show Survivor talked about his performance. For “reading people”, he had to decide which statements are true and which are false told by people in video submissions, curated by Chris Moneymaker.
For his efforts, Apostol was rewarded with a $30,000 Platinum Pass to the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He played in the $25,000 Poker Players Championship but, alas, failed to cash.