Being a successful poker pro is an aspirational career that many strive for.
If you’re a successful poker professional, you can win millions of dollars and yet walk down the streets virtually unrecognized. It is almost the perfect combination of anonymity and wealth. You could dine in the finest restaurants and, of course, drive the fastest cars.
Poker is played by both sexes and across different age groups, and it can often lead to young people finding themselves able to satisfy their whims. What is it that you craved as a young person, or even now? The best cars money can buy? This fall, the World Series of Poker is taking place, and there’s bound to be one player with his or her eye on a big prize and a flash car to go with it. That’s the choice open to many poker players these days. They spend a couple of days sitting at a table playing Texas Hold’em, or Pot-Limit Omaha, and their life can change completely.
Poker players have a track record of buying great cars, as these four players and their vehicles prove.
44-year-old Phil Ivey is one of the top players in the world today. His wealth is unquestioned; he once lost $1m on a prop bet with another player after suggesting he could become vegetarian; he lasted one month. Instead of eco-friendly cars, Ivey likes a gas guzzler and a special one at that. He drives a Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren on the back of his poker earnings, and he’s got ten WSOP bracelets he could keep in the glove compartment. At 321kmh, the SLR McClaren is perfect for someone who lives life in the fast lane and around the high-stakes tables. Just don’t offer him tofu.
Poker is often linked with James Bond; he’s seen playing it in Casino Royale, giving the game a certain allure and charm. Patrick Antonius has taken that another step by grabbing himself an Aston Martin Vanquish V12, featured in the Bond flick Die Another Day. Antonius won $1.4m in an online game in 2009 and has 14 money finishes at the World Series of Poker, the first of which came playing the lesser-known HORSE variant.
It’s not only the boys that have all the fun; Vanessa Rousso is a DJ, television personality and a poker player of some repute. She’s bagged 17 WSOP money finishes in her career, with a further seven in the World Poker Tour. She’s a keen lover of cars and has a Bentley GT in her garage, but she also has a stylish Lamborghini Gallardo, a favorite with many rap stars and movie stars. Rousso grabbed hers due to her card-playing skills.
Minieri is known for winning his first WSOP bracelet at 23 but is perhaps better known for becoming the first online player to earn three million frequent player points and use them to buy a car! That’s right; the Rome-born prodigy got himself a Porsche Cayman with his success, and he never looked back. He hasn’t kicked on in terms of poker success, seemingly happy to bank his $1m plus winnings and drive around the Italian capital in his Porsche.