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The ex-Hampshire schoolboy now one of poker's top millionaires
11:30am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in News
HE took a massive gamble and it has certainly paid off.
Southampton-born Toby Lewis has quite literally bluffed his way to the top of the poker world – raking in millions.
The 23-year-old is taking the gambling tables by storm, living a life that sees him jetting off to some of the world’s most glamorous destinations for big money tournaments.
Last week alone he pocketed more than £128,000 for finishing in sixth position of the Los Angeles Poker Classic held at The Commerce Hotel and Casino.
But the young poker player – who goes by the nicknames “810ofclubs” – doesn’t put his success down to luck, it has come through hard work and strict discipline.
The former student at Peter Symonds College in Winchester said: “I stand where I am today by working extremely hard and having 100 per cent discipline throughout my time as a professional.”
Toby’s flair for the game was quickly recognised, becoming a full-time professional poker player five years ago, just two years after he first started playing while at college.
He learned the art through playing, watching on television and chatting with his friends about different strategies and since then he has bagged two big wins in major tournaments.
His biggest win has been the EPT title at Vilamoura, Portugal, in 2010, which saw him beat a field of 384 players to take the championship along with the first place cash prize of a £395,956.
In recognition of this big win, he was voted Rookie of the Year at the European Poker Awards in 2011.
His lifetime earnings have been reported to include more than £1.7m in online and more than £1m in live tournament play.
He specialises in No Limit and Multi Table Tournaments but he is not opposed to trying other variations of the game.
Toby, who now lives in London, said recently: “I really enjoy playing sports and so the ideal behind winning games motivates me to win most trophies.
Also at such a young age I can make so much money and that makes me come back for more and more.
“A good friend of mine told me to keep it simple and think methodically, which is very true from my experience.
Keep a clear head, and you can’t blame yourself when the cards don’t fall your way.
“I haven’t come from a money background, so I think I really appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given by poker. I think I have a lot of knowledge and experience gained by visiting so many different places and cultures.
He added: “I love playing sport and competitive games and have realised now that time away from poker is very much needed to sustain playing well and a good lifestyle.”
After leaving the gambling tables of LA last week, Toby flew straight to Vancouver for a skiing holiday.