MilliOnAir Magazine July 2017 - Page 61


By the time Chris completed his studies, he had paid off his student loans and had a total of around £50,000 in the bank and in his playing account.

It was time to confess the truth to his dad, a credit controller from Basildon and  mum, who works in the NHS.

Chris revealed: "My dad was impressed and and gave me six months to see how much I could make. If I failed I would have to get a proper job in the real world, which is exactly what I didn't want to do.

"I moved to Brighton to live with my mates - but I didn't leave the house for six months.

"When my pals went out every Friday night, I stayed in playing poker online. Friday nights can be particularly good when some people play when they have had a drink and can tend to make looser calls and bad decisions.

"Fortunately, I improved a lot in that time and I did well in tournaments and cash games and when I next went home and showed my dad the balance he was astounded."

Chris had made more than £100,000 in six months.

But mum Sonya was still not so sure. 

He continued: "Dad thought it was the greatest thing ever but mum was still sceptical. She had only seen poker in the movies and was worried someone was going to shoot me or something. She thought the people I was taking the money off would get angry.

"Also, she would cut out adverts she thought I would be interested in taking and include little notes saying things like: 'For when you've grown out of this phase.'

"Over time she has come to accept it and now she is proud of me."

Chris met his American wife, Katie, at a poker tournament in Las Vegas where the couple have a base when not travelling the globe playing poker.

The multi-million dollar star of the game, who hasn't even got round to taking his driving test, scooped $1,015,460 when he won the $10,000 buy-in WPT Los Angeles Poker Classic in March 2014 and $1,068,690 when he was runner-up in the 10,000 Euro buy-in WPT Main Event in Cannes in the south of France three years earlier.

Chris said: "Although I am not the most extravagant person, I definitely have done some cool things over my poker career. I once chartered a helicopter with fellow professional poker player, Jake Cody, and our girlfriends to Catalina Island, off the coast of California, where we rented an 80-person catamaran just for the four of us.

"Then there was cage diving with great white sharks off Cape Town, South Africa, paragliding off the side of a mountain in Queenstown, New Zealand, scuba diving with Manta Rays in the Maldies and watching Andy Murray in the final of the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne, Australia.