Aug 06, 2014
How Liv Boeree's US Vacation Turned Into An Incredible Poker Career
By RTR Dennis
Today, Liv Boeree is one of the most recognizable faces in poker thanks to dozens of live tournament cashes and a lucrative deal with PokerStars. So it's easy to forget that she, like many other pros, was once a total novice. Boeree's first real brush with poker came in 2005, when she answered an ad to be on the reality TV show UltimatePoker.com Showdown.
After making the cut, the Maidstone, Kent native got to be coached by three very famous pros in Phil Hellmuth, Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott and Annie Duke. What ensued was a developing fascination with poker that led Boeree to playing at the Gutshot Club in London. Eventually, she was asked to be a reporter for Gutshot TV at the 2006 WSOP in Vegas. While Boeree jumped at the opportunity, she still didn't see herself as much of a player.
"I was very new to the game and didn't really play much poker, so it was more of a vacation," she told BBC America. "However, I got to meet many of my poker heroes and it gave me even more of a drive to become as successful and famous in the poker world as I could. I wanted to be at the top of the game like they were."
Liv Boeree becomes a poker champion
Her first couple of years in the poker world were mainly spent on the sidelines, doing reporting for Challenge TV's coverage of the European Poker Tour. But then Boeree caught a big break on the felt when she won the Ladbrokes European Ladies Championship along with $42,000. The money wasn't enough to play high stakes, but the victory did give her plenty of confidence.
After this she qualified for a World Poker Tour event, which conflicted with her main job's schedule. Boeree was then faced with a big decision. "I couldn't get the time off my 9-5 job," she said, "so I made the decision to quit and go. After that, I never looked back. I had some moderate success for the next year or so, but my huge break came when I won the European Poker Tour in San Remo, Italy in 2010 for $1,650,000."
Liv Boeree capitalized on EPT win
Boeree's EPT San Remo victory not only netted her a fortune, but it gave her poker fame a giant boost as well. Just months after the win, she signed a deal with PokerStars and now serves as one of the most prominent faces on the world's largest poker site. "I was so glad they saw my potential as a brand ambassador," she says. "I'm still with them today three years later, and I love everything about it."
Now Boeree gets to travel the world as a representative of Stars, playing in lots of major tournaments. She especially loves the US as she explained to BBC America. "I'm a huge geography nerd, and the US has almost every geographical feature you can think of, from volcanoes to deserts to swamps to huge mountains," she said. Boeree adds that she's been to almost every state in America and loves the nature aspect of the country.
What's next for Liv?
While Liv is still actively playing poker tournaments and representing Stars, she also has other ambitions. "I've also started acting classes too," she stated. "It's something I've always wanted to try, and they are going very well so far. I'd love to have a role in a television show like Game of Thrones, or anything where I can play a kick-ass, strong female character!"
Boeree is already familiar with the camera, having served as a co-host of Discovery Channel's Mind Control Freaks and making appearances on Travel Channel's I Bet My Life, ITV's Golden Balls and BBC's Celebrity Christmas University Challenge. So it wouldn't be such a stretch to one day see her acting on screen as well.