Brian Townsend

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Brian Townsend
Nickname(s) sbrugby, aba20, "Btown"
Residence Santa Barbara, California
World Poker Tour
Title(s) None
Final table(s) None
Money finish(es) 1

Brian Townsend is an American professional poker player currently residing in Santa Barbara, California.


Townsend is largely known for his success playing no limit hold 'em and pot-limit omaha at Full Tilt Poker, playing under the nickname 'sbrugby.'[1] He is the former co-owner and lead instructor for CardRunners, an online instructional website where he posted instructional videos and wrote about his daily life and poker experiences in a blog.[2] On June 1, 2009, Townsend announced his departure as a lead instructor at CardRunners.[3]

Townsend began playing online poker at $0.50/$1.00 blinds but gradually moved up in stakes, eventually becoming a regular player in some of the highest stakes games online.[4] He posts regularly on Two Plus Two Publishing forums under the name 'aba20.'

Although better known to be a heads up and short handed specialist online, Townsend has participated in several live tournaments, including an in the money finish at a World Poker Tour no limit hold 'em event,[5] and making a final table at a World Series of Poker circuit event.[6] Townsend appeared on NBC's Poker After Dark and won $120,000 by beating Doyle Brunson heads up. His total live tournament winnings exceed $230,000.[5]

Townsend appeared on season 3 of GSN's High Stakes Poker.[7] He is featured on the front cover of the August/September 2007 issue of Cardplayer Magazine and November 2008 issue of Inside Poker.

He graduated from the UC Santa Barbara and played Lock for UCSB's 2005 league championship rugby team.


In March 2008, Townsend became a pro at Full Tilt Poker, playing under his real name.[8] In August 2008, he was found to be violating Full Tilt's terms of service by playing under multiple account names, a disallowed practice known as "multiaccounting". He admitted to dropping down in stakes and playing under the name "Stellarnebula".[9] Townsend was suspended for six months as a Full Tilt professional player. Townsend issued an apology and also admitted to multiaccounting on PokerStars.

In December 2009, Townsend was suspended for a second time and lost his "red pro" status for 30 days due to accusations of collusion in opponent hand-history analysis with Brian Hastings and Cole South against "Isildur1" which may have resulted in Isildur1's $4.2 million loss to Hastings. Townsend gained an unfair advantage which Full Tilt defines as "accessing or compiling information on other players beyond that which the user has personally observed through his or her own game play" after he admitted to acquiring over 30,000 hands of Isildur1's play through Hastings which he commented on in an interview with ESPN.[10][11]


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