A few years ago, 25-year-old Jack Ellwood was an economics and mathematics course at Bristol University. Today, he calls himself a professional poker player, and judging by his annual earnings, it seems that he is very good at his job.
Ellwood has won more than $1.4 million this past year playing poker, and about a million of that is pure profit. Originally from Newcastle, England, he now travels around the world playing in casino blackjack tournaments – this year alone he has played in Las Vegas, Barcelona, Cannes and Vienna. He also makes quite a lot of money playing at online poker sites, and is currently ranked the 12th best internet poker player in the world.
“I still can’t quite believe how well I have done,” said Ellwood. “It all changed last February when I came second in a tournament in Manchester and won £37,500. That was my big break, and it left me with more money to buy into tournaments with big prize pots.”
So far, his biggest win was $500,000 which he earned playing in an online poker tournament.
Ellwood doesn’t regret leaving university to peruse a career as a poker player. “It beats a nine to five job and being my own boss and jetting round the world is amazing,” he says. “When I dropped out to play poker I think my mum was a bit shocked though.”