Once you have a degree in Astrophysics from the University of Manchester with first class honours, which career path is the best? If you are 29 year old Liv Boeree the answer is easy; you play professional poker.
Liv is one of the more eclectic players on the poker tour and has accumulated more than $2 million in live tournament winnings, including her breakout championship in the 2010 European Poker Tour Main Event. In 2014, she has already earned over $150,000 in live tournament play.
“Professional Poker Player” is just one of the jobs on Boeree’s resume. She has also been a presenter, a game show contestant, and a model.
Boeree’s modeling career should come as no shock to anyone. She has earned top spots in nearly every “sexiest women in poker” lists published in the last ten years. In 2008 she was featured in a three page spread for Loaded magazine. Maxim featured the poker playing beauty in an online feature and photo shoot a couple of years later. Her skill at the poker table earned her a spot on the PokerStars Team Pro roster in 2010 and she is frequently featured in the online site’s television, web and print adverts.
Boeree’s poker career started when she was a contestant on a reality game show where she received poker coaching from fellow British poker player David “Devilfish” Ulliot, Annie Duke, and Phil Helmuth. She found that she enjoyed the game and became a regular player at London’s Gutshot Club where she also served as a presenter for the club’s events. Later she served as a presenter for the World Series of Poker as well as the UK-Ireland Poker Tour.
Game shows and reality television programmes not only launched her career but they have served as a frequent avenue for Boeree to flex her academic talents and competitive skills. She has been a member of the Manchester University’s team on the BBC University Challenge Programme. In perhaps her most controversial television appearance, she “Stole” £6,500 from her opponent in the ITV Goldenballs game show.
While Boeree’s place as one of the best players in the world of professional poker is unquestioned, her lifestyle does not exactly reflect the stereotype. She owns a “crappy car” that she hasn’t driven in over six months; preferring to bike or take the train, and only admits to splurging on one item; boots, simply because “I love boots.”
Many would think that being a professional poker player would be a true dream job. Boeree, who is a self-proclaimed nature and science “geek”, says her dream job lies elsewhere. She told the Daily Star that she wants be Brian Cox. “I love poker because it’s a great lifestyle and gives me a lot of freedom to do other things. It gives me time to go out into the wilderness and go rock climbing all around the world. But I want to do so much more than just play poker. I love presenting TV shows and I’d love to combine that with my passion for science and the environment. Brian Cox is brilliant and is really making science programmes cool.”
Like all poker players Liv too has a nickname, The Iron Maiden. The name comes not from the poker table but for her love of music, especially metal. Boeree is not only an avid fan, but an above average player and the owner of five guitars.
As if beauty, brains, skill, and talent weren’t enough, Boeree is also very active in charitable causes and has participated in fundraisers for cancer research charities as well as being active in the Model Citizens fund and the S.O.S. Children’s charity.