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Who is Liv Boeree?

Olivia “Liv” Boeree is a British poker player as well as a television presenter, science communicator, writer, model, speaker and charity supporter. She was born on July 18, 1984, in Kent, England.

Her poker career kicked off in 2005 when she got selected as one of five contestants in the reality TV show “Ultimate Poker Showdown.” She showed a great talent for the card games from the start and was able to take her game to the next level with help from famous high rollers such as Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke and Dave Ulliott.

Her first real breakthrough came in 2010 when she won the European Poker Tour (EPT) event in Sanremo. At that time, this was the biggest poker tournament held in Europe, during which Boeree crushed her opponents and won €1,250,000. She was the third woman in history to win an EPT title.

She continued her streak of wins, and in 2017, at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, she won the $10,000 No-Limit Hold ‘em Tag Team Championship for $273,964 in a team effort, along with her boyfriend (and a legendary poker player in his own right), Igor Kurganov.

Boeree continues to travel around the world under the banner of Team PokerStars Pro. And as of 2017, her total live poker tournament winnings amount to more than $3,500,000.

But being one of the top poker players in the world is only one of the hats that Boeree currently wears. She started her higher education at Ashford School, Kent, and went on to earn First Class Honors degree in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Manchester. Her lifelong interest in physics, game theory and education inspired her to give her first TEDx Talk in Manchester in February 2018. Moreover, she was a guest speaker at Oxford University as well as many other educational and business institutions around the world, including the Google HQ in Mountain View, California. 

She also has a growing YouTube channel where she explores profound scientific ideas in a light-hearted way. On the list of her videos, you can find the ones about supercomputers, the physics of water wheels or a lecture about the engineering of the Panama Canal. With wide-ranging interests and passions, Liv Boeree is a real modern polymath, leaving no stone unturned in her pursuit of knowledge. Even in the profile photo on her Twitter account (which has over 140,000 followers), she poses with an owl, a symbol of wisdom.

In addition to poker tournaments, Boeree frequently appears on stage as a powerful speaker at conferences such as TED.
Image by Web Summit / CC-BY 2.0

Boeree’s brand goes way beyond social media and the internet. She appeared on television numerous times and worked with production companies such as the Discovery Channel, Red Bull TV, Channel 4, NBC, BBC as well as ITV. In her programs, she often talks about persuasion, mind manipulation or game theory. She’s a persuasive speaker and always keeps her cool, which contributes to her success in the poker sphere, too. 

Finally, she and her boyfriend Igor Kurganov are deeply involved in charity work and the “effective altruism” movement popularized by a young scholar William MacAskill. The idea behind this philosophy is to make the world a better place by transferring funds only to the most effective charities that can make the most significant positive impact in the world. Boeree is also a founder and ambassador for Raising for Effective Giving or REG Charity, which encourages poker players to give away parts of their earnings to charitable causes. 

In the future, expect Boeree to continue exploring her intellectual interests and sharing valuable insights with the world. She’s not only a talented poker player but also an individual gifted with an insatiable curiosity and thirst for new knowledge. It doesn’t matter if she’s involved in developing her poker career, charity work or another television gig, there is always something new and exciting on her to-do list.

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