A few days ago, Yahoo.com ran a very interesting article called “20 Inspiring Rags-to-Riches Stories.” As you can guess from the title, this piece dealt with a number of high-powered business people and CEO’s from around the world. Interestingly enough, Canadian billionaire and high stakes poker player Guy Laliberté found himself on the list too. Here’s a quick look at what was written about Laliberté in the Yahoo article:
The Canadian-born Laliberté began his circus career busking on the streets: playing accordion, walking on stilts and eating fire. He gambled by bringing a successful troupe from Quebec to the Los Angeles Arts Festival in 1987, with no return fare. The bet paid off, and the circus group was eventually brought to Las Vegas, where they became the world famous Cirque du Soleil we know today.
Today, Laliberté is the CEO of Cirque, a professional poker player and space tourist, with a total net-worth of $2.5 billion.
As you can see at the end, the writer describes Laliberté as a “professional poker player.” To those who follow poker results closely, this is a debatable matter because Guy hasn’t always been the world’s most successful grinder.
He was rumored to be behind the old Full Tilt Poker name “Esvedra,” which shows a loss of $2.7 million on HighStakesDb. And it’s often been said that many of the world’s top pros would bum-hunt Laliberté while hoping for big profits. So if you’re looking at a “poker pro” as somebody who purely makes a living off the game, this isn’t Guy.
However, you also have to consider what he’s done for the game, which includes starting the Big One for One Drop tournament this past July – to which we might add that Laliberté finished fifth in his own tourney and scooped $1,834,666. In all, he’s collected $2,607,986 in live tournaments, which is a very poker-pro-like figure!
So all things considered, it’s tough to say whether Guy is truly a poker pro or not. But regardless, he’s definitely good for poker and brings a lot more attention to it through his mainstream fame.