Olivia “Liv” Boeree is a science communicator, television presenter, and former professional poker player. Olivia is one of the best female poker players of all time with $4m in live tournament earnings and is the only female player in history to win a WSOP bracelet and EPT event.
She is in high demand as a speaker in her native UK as well as abroad, in addition to being a sought after TV presenter. Her TED talk created a buzz and has currently amassed over 3.2m views.
Growing up in rural Kent, England, Liv was a highly competitive straight-A student who held a deep love for space and astronomy from an early age. This lead to her studying physics and astrophysics at the University of Manchester, graduating in 2005 with first class honours (4.0 GPA equivalent).
She was also a passionate guitar player, spending much of her time between lectures playing lead for various metal bands, a passion that lead her to London after graduation to pursue music further. It was there she noticed a cryptic TV gameshow advert looking for contestants “willing to use their powers of skill and deception to win money”, to which she promptly applied with the hope it could pay off her student debt. After being selected as one of the five contestants, it was revealed that they were to be taught to play poker.
Despite not winning that particular show, Liv immediately fell in love with the game and decided to pursue the game as both a player and TV host. Her first major win was the televised European Ladies Championship in 2007, but her breakthrough moment came a few years later when she bested 1240 opponents to take down the European Poker Tour in Italy.
Her poker career continued for another nine years as a member of Team Pokerstars Pro, hosting various TV shows and winning further live and online tournaments including the 2017 World Series of Poker Tag-Team championship alongside her partner Igor Kurganov.
Liv retired from professional poker soon after her breakout TED talk to pursue speaking and TV more actively, and today splits her time between the speaking circuit and creating TV and video content on her favourite counter-intuitive and scientific topics.