Johnathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel Profile
Wendel has capitalized on his fame and success by creating numerous product partnerships with his Fatal1ty Brand for items such as clothing, mouse pads and a wide variety of gaming equipment. He's been featured in Time, NY Times, Forbes, BBC World, 60 Minutes and was featured in a 2003 MTV True Life episode.
Wendel has played poker casually as a hobby for many years and is now a Friend of Full Tilt. He has shown a desire to take his game more seriously and move up the ladder to the top in the poker world as well. Wendel was born February 26, 1981 in Independence, Missouri, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Wendel's username came from Mortal Kombat, a game he played when he was 11 and 12 years old. At the end of a game, it's kind of a humiliation if you do a fatality (e.g. rip someone's head off). He liked defining himself that way as his career has been about dramatically and creatively killing his opponents.
- Wendel was in the hospital a lot in his childhood; breaking arms, cutting wrist and various other injuries.
- Wendel already had a pool manager when he was 12 to 13 years old traveling around to play pool tournaments.
- Wendel's parents divorced and his mother was against him pursuing or competing in any gaming. He defied her authority and they didn't speak for a while. He was once grounded for 8 months from the PC.
- Wendel was a star on his high school tennis team.
- Wendel moved out to live with his father, who was more supportive, but not a fan of so much time invested.
- Wendel's gaming career started in 1999 when he spent $500 to go to a Dallas, Texas Quake series tournament and won $4,000 from making 3rd place. His dad was so impressed that he fully embraced Johnathan's pursuit of his new career. He was 18 at the time.
- Wendel was invited two weeks later to go to Sweden to represent the US. He won 18 games straight there and decided to go pro soon after.
- Wendel later bought a Cadillac to thank his dad for his support in his early days of gaming.
- Wendel prioritizes physical fitness along with gaming fitness "I work out a lot -- you know being physically fit and making sure your neurotransmitters are working properly and making sure that you're on beat and you're ready to go."
- When in gaming mode, Wendel has a rigorous training regimen where he practices at least eight hours each day at minimum.
- Most of Wendels' gaming successes have been with one-versus-one deathmatch games.
- Wendels biggest gaming score came in 2005 when he won $150,000 in the CPL finals for PainKiller against 20 year old Dutchman known as "VoO."
- Wendel has traveled, all-expenses paid, to every continent except Antarctica. He has played in Moscow's Red Square, and on the Great Wall of China.
- Wendell loves doing anything competitive and active: racquetball, tennis, golf, bowling, pool, football, basketball, trampoline dodgeball, whatever.
- Wendel was awarded the first Lifetime Achievement Award in the four-year history of the eSports Award in 2007.
- Wendel is good friends with 2000 WSOP World Champion Chris "Jesus" Ferguson who is also a hardcore gamer and the two play a lot of shooter games together. Wendel admired Ferguson since he won the WSOP Main Event in 2000 and played poker casually for years, often play money or low stakes in his spare time.
- Wendel has worked some with David "TheMaven" Chicotsky for poker training.
- Wendel lives on the strip in Las Vegas near a number of professional poker players. He plays online, but prefers live and the reads he gets on players. He can be found at the Bellagio playing various mid-limits of No Limit Hold'em.
- Wendel has considered poker a long time hobby that he has slowly improved at over the years. He likes to play shorter sessions, like a Sit n Go or shorter tournament as a break from his gaming training sessions.
- Wendel is trying to balance his business and gaming interests with a desire to excel at poker too. He has played in several Main Events in the World Series of Poker, Aussie Millions, and Partouche Poker Tour.
Eight Wendell videos, three covering his gaming life and five from his playing poker:
Other famous poker player profiles: