Former Minnesota pro Wade Woelfel continues battle with drug-related legal issues

Former poker pro Wade Woelfel’s drug-related legal issues have continued spiraling out of control, with the latest episode in his legal saga being a third-degree murder charge filed in late February. Woelfel, 38, of northern Minnesota, was charged in late February with selling drugs to a 44-year-old Mankato man, Bryan Marconcini, who was found dead of an overdose on October 8, 2021.

An autopsy revealed Marconcini had amphetamine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and norfentanyl in his system. Marconcini’s girlfriend told authorities that Marconcini had met with a man named “Wade” or “Wayne” a day before his overdose, and investigators not only quickly identified Woelfel as the probable source of the drugs, they also, according to local news reports, discovered security footage showing the drug sale taking place.

Woelfel, who was out on parole from an earlier drug conviction, was remanded into custody and had his bail revoked. However, documents cited in local reports regarding the third-degree murder charge do not appear in Minnesota’s online system at this time, and his Minnesota Department of Corrections inmate-info page shows him with a release date of May 31, 2022. That information may indicate that the reported third-degree (meaning without intent or premeditation) murder charge was dropped but went unreported by the Minnesota-based outlets.

Woelfel was an established player in both live and online poker before drug-related crimes derailed his poker career. In early May of 2016, the U.S.’s federal Homeland Security agency intercepted a package containing more than 100 ecstasy tablets that was addressed to Woelfel. On May 5, 2016, agents executed a search warrant at his Mankato residence, where they found him literally in the process of ordering cocaine and prescription medications online.

The agents also discovered drugs and paraphernalia commonly associated with the selling of drugs, including baggies, two scales, storage containers, and other cocaine and prescription medications. Woelfel was charged with seven felonies at the time, and he was convicted that December on a single felony count of sale of illegal drugs in the second degree. Whether a plea deal was reached is unclear from online records.

Woelfel could have faced 25 years in prison but was sentenced to a much shorter four-year term. However, his drug-related troubles would continue. Woelfel had been released by November of 2020, when he was pulled over in a traffic stop and arrested on a DWI (driving while impaired) charge. The arresting officers also discovered a quantity of marijuana — deemed a “not small amount” in the related charge. He was sent back to jail and later convicted on a fifth-degree drug-possession felony count. As that case progressed, in April of 2021, Woelfel was again arrested in a drug-related DWI traffic stop.

The April 2021 case resulted in only a misdemeanor conviction, however, and Woelfel was still free before reporting to prison on the 2020 conviction when the episode involving Marconcini occurred. He was due to begin serving a 13-month sentence less than two weeks later on that 2020 conviction, but he was immediately returned to prison after being identified as the probable source of the drugs that killed Marconcini.

Over $2.45 million in tourney cashes for Woelfel

Woelfel’s live and online poker career contains at least $2.45 million in recorded tournament cashes. He earned nearly $610,000 in live events through 2016, including a career best of $120,018 as runner-up in a 2012 WSOP Circuit main event in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

His larger earnings, though, came online. In a span of more than a decade, Woelfel earned over $1.85 million in known tourney scores. More than $1.5 million of that came on Full Tilt and PokerStars before 2011’s Black Friday, under his “soggy dogg” handle. Later, using the screen names “soggyvag”, “soggyvag2”, and “Terp Juice”, he earned hundreds of thousands more.

In 2007, long before his later troubles surfaced. Woelfel ranked as high as 37th in PocketFives’ global online rankings. Despite all his accolades, however, Woelfel’s earlier legal troubles never surfaced within the poker-media world.

Featured image source: Minnesota Department of Corrections

Author: Paula Dunn