From Gothic Girl to the Iron Maiden: How Liv Boeree Made Poker Engaging

Alexa Rendon

Alexa Rendon

Britain has a new Iron Maiden to worship in 2019. 34-year-old Olivia “Liv” Boeree has become one of the most popular faces in the world of poker. For well over a decade, this softly-spoken Briton from Kent has been cleaning up at the poker tables, after being coached by top professionals such as Phil Hellmuth and Dave “Devilfish” Ulliot. With a First-Class Honours degree in Physics with Astrophysics, Boeree is a smart cookie.

She has become one of the most successful female poker players of all time, raking in well over $3.5 million in live tournament winnings. She is also often found playing at some of the many worldwide online poker rooms that offer tons of action to pros and amateurs alike.

On the face of it, Boeree has that “butter would not melt” look about her, but there is much more to her than meets the eye.

Over the years, Boeree has gained the nickname “Iron Maiden” in the poker industry. This is due to her self-confessed love of heavy metal music and the contemporary gothic culture since her early teens.

It is hard to imagine this naturally beautiful girl as a goth, but in her youth, she became part of a metal band known as Dissonance. Liv was the lead guitarist and even played for the goth-rock outfit, Nemhain further down the line.

Way back in 2010, Boeree was labelled the “Hottest Chick in Metal” by Revolver Magazine, and she has regularly displayed her musical talents and adoration for metal music on her popular YouTube channel.

Given that Boeree required an in-depth, inquisitive mathematical background to prevail in her Physics and Astrophysics studies, poker seemed like a natural fit for such a smart, upwardly mobile young woman.

Her early success at the poker tables saw her become an overnight pin-up girl for poker and alternative rock too.

In her twenties, Boeree was regularly seen modelling for rock and alternative lifestyle magazines. Liv was often “papped” hanging out with some of her childhood metal heroes such as Slash and Metallica’s James Hetfield, the latter being a keen poker player himself.

Although the “Queen of Poker” may have raked in the millions by playing cards, Boeree has also captured the hearts of people around the world for attempting to use her newfound fame and fortune to be a force for good.

Since 2014, Boeree has been heavily invested in philanthropy, co-founding her own organisation, Raising for Effective Giving, designed to provide a rational approach to selecting charities for funding.

Boeree’s brains, as well as her beauty, have also seen her become a regular public speaker. In October 2018, Boeree gave a five-minute TED talk titled “3 Lessons on Decision-Making From a Poker Champion”.

The essence of her talk was to reinforce the fact that there are times when it pays to trust your gut feelings and instincts when making life decisions. Liv has also published dozens of opinion stories and scholarly articles based around science and rationality.

However, when you peel back the layers and look beyond her poker and scholarly successes, Boeree is still very much a metalhead at heart.

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