Liv Boeree on BBC’s University Challenge

UK poker beauty Liv Boeree put her astrophysics degree to good use recently on a special Christmas episode of the BBC’s University Challenge. The poker tournament pro was representing the 4-player team from the University of Manchester, and the show’s host, Jeremy Paxman, introduced Boeree by saying, “Someone who has used a degree in astrophysics to good effect, and has now become one of the UK’s most successful card players.”

For those unfamiliar with University Challenge, the TV show pits two universities against each other in a first-on-the-buzzer quiz show format. As teams correctly answer questions, they earn points, and move closer towards defeating their opponent and advancing to the next round. However, these questions are by no means easy – especially for an online poker pro like Boeree who hasn’t studied for several years. And there were no questions about poker rakeback featured on the show, which would have helped her out immensely! Here is a look at some of the questions that Liv Boeree had to contemplate while on the show:

Q: In which opera by Verdi is the title character a hunchbacked court jester cursed by the Count of Monterone? (A: Rigoletto)

Q: Shared by 12 Popes between 140 and 1958 what name is the Latin form of an English name meaning dutiful, religious or devout? (A: Pius)

Q: Thought to be the first of its kind in the world, the surcharge on foods that are high in saturated fat was introduced in October, 2011 in which EU member state? (A: Denmark)

Despite being faced with some very difficult questions, Boeree managed to get a few right, and help her team achieve a narrow 5-point victory. After finishing the show, she told her sponsor site PokerStars, “I was mildly terrified at the prospect of University Challenge, mostly because my once-good knowledge of academia had, until recently, left my brain in place of poker.” She also added, “Fortunately, it turned out my fear was shared by every other famous graduate contestant as we met in the green room prior to filming.”

This is just the latest media appearance for Boeree, who was discussed in a recent BBC news feature entitled “Poker’s Faces: Are the British about to invade?” She also appeared on the ITV show Golden Balls, where she won £6500. As for her poker career, Boeree is best known for winning the 2010 EPT San Remo Main Event (€1,250,000), and she has over €1.6 million in career live tournament winnings.

The Team PokerStars member also knows plenty about online poker, and has earned several hundred thousands dollars playing in online poker tournaments.

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