Liv Boeree is a female poker player from Kent, England, who holds degrees in physics and astrophysics. She is also the only woman in poker history to win a WSOP bracelet and an EPT event. Boeree is currently ranked 5th in all-time winnings among female players and is a three-time Global Poker Index European female player of the year.
Unlike most poker players, Liv Boeree, got her first big break as a reality show contestant on the ultimatepoker.com Showdown. Some might see that as a pretty cushy way to get into the poker scene, as she was coached during that time by Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, and Dave Ulliott and learned a lot from the experience. Boeree claimed that the experience made her fall in love with the game.
She also once traveled to the United States in 2006 to take part in a World Series of Poker tournament, which she admitted to seeing as more of a vacation than anything else. Her opinion on a potential poker career changed though, as she started to see the inner workings of the sport and wanted to learn more. This would set in motion a series of events that would forever change her life.
“I was very new to the game and didn’t really play much poker, so it was more of a vacation,” Boeree says during an interview with bbcamerica.com. “However, I got to meet many of my poker heroes, and it gave me even more of a drive to become successful and famous in the poker world as I could. I wanted to be at the top of the game as they were.”
What was the moment that Boeree decided poker was her though? Believe it or not, she says it came after she won the Ladbrokes European Ladies Championship and qualified for a WSOP event a short time later. This forced her to decide between pursuing poker full time or continuing to work a 9-5 job. She ultimately ended up quitting her job on the spot and chasing her real joy of poker
Boeree would then go on to win the European Poker tour and collect a hefty sum of 165,000$ in the process, which she considered her first big break.
The Old Boys’ Club
A lot of her initial fame came from being only the third woman in history to win an EPT. Winning the event was a big deal at the time, as she knocked out some of the biggest names in the game and seemed to figuratively kick the door in on the mostly boys club of poker.
Although other female poker players were already huge success stories, there was something about Boeree’s big win that got people’s attention. She was a young, attractive woman that had just kicked several guys butts at the table, and it was mesmerizing to see. Fortunately for fans of female poker players, Boeree claims that female poker players are becoming more frequent and are also doing quite well.
“Sadly, we are still underrepresented in the game,” Boeree says when asked about her thoughts of representation in poker, “and in major tournaments, women usually only make up five to 10 percent of the entries. However, that is changing, and I’ve been seeing more and more women taking up the game and doing very well.”
Boeree would win again in 2017, when she teamed with her husband, Igor Kurganov, and won the 10,000$ no limit tag team poker WSOP tournament. The victory netted the couple over 200,000 dollars and was another impressive feather in Boeree’s cap.
As if that wasn’t enough to cement her as one of the greatest to play the game, Boeree would also have a myriad of other accomplishments. For example, she went on to finish 1st in the Poker After Dark tournament, finished runner up in the UKITP Edinburgh main event, and fought for third in the EPT Barcelona high rollers tournament. The third-place finish was enough to net her over 300,000$.
In the end, Boeree announced her retirement from poker in a tweet to her fans at the beginning of 2019 and has spent her free time split between TV commentating, modeling, and starting a few charities. She ended her career with a total of 3,800,000$ in live tournament winnings from Pokerstars.com. Her overall total in other tournaments was nearly 2,000,000$.