Originally published in Guitar World, August 2010
Britain’s “poker virgin” shows her hand as an experienced shredder.
Unquestionably, the camera loves Liv Boeree. It turns out the telegenic U.K. lass is lucky at cards, too. After graduating from the University of Manchester (where she studied physics and astronomy), Boeree was selected to be a “poker virgin” for a British reality TV show that pitted her against some of the world’s greatest pro players.
“I instantly fell in love with the game and knew that’s what I wanted to do: travel the world and make lots of money!” Boeree says. And clearly, she knows when to hold ’em and fold ’em: this past April 21, she became the third woman ever to win the European Poker Tour, carrying off the £1.25 million jackpot.
But it’s not just the lure of the casino that attracts Boeree. She’s parlayed her fame into a successful TV hosting career and, when she can find the time, indulges in her second-greatest passion: heavy metal.
Justifiably, she’s earned the moniker “The Iron Maiden.” “I live and breathe metal!” Boeree says. “It’s defined who I am up to this point. I listen to metal when playing poker. It energizes me and makes me aggressive.”
Boeree began playing guitar at age 16 on a 12-string acoustic (“the neck really built up my dexterity”), but eager to play songs like Metallica’s “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” she quickly moved on to electrics. Her collection now includes various Jacksons, Les Pauls, Flying Vs and Schecters. YouTube viewers can catch a clip in which Boeree jams quite credibly to Children of Bodom’s “Kissing the Shadows.” Make no mistake—when it comes to shredding, she’s all aces.
When asked if she envisions trading the card table for the high-stakes concert stage, Boeree claims that she “loves poker too much” to give it up. But she doesn’t rule out a music career entirely: “If I could somehow do both, that would be brilliant.” Vegas odds say, don’t bet against her.