Poker pro Pierre Neuville reached the peak of his career when he became the chip leader at the end of Day 5 of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2015 Main Event.

His eventful career began by playing games as a teenager for fun, but these games got serious when he began playing as a student of Universite libre de Bruxelles in 1963. He said: “I started to play poker in 1957. At that time, I didn’t get tired—sometimes I played 20 hours a day. During six years at university in Brussels, poker players were coming from all over the world.” He became successful at poker because of his love for skill-based games and competitions.

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In 1969, he launched a game company, but sold it in 1982 to Hasbro and continued to serve as its vice chairman. Neuville said: “When I took responsibilities, I was the signer for big amounts and I was the president in a few countries. They said I could take not one step in a casino.” He retired from the games industry in 2008.

Once he retired, he could give all his time to poker and began by taking part in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2008 Main Event. He finished in the 18th position and was very happy about it. He said: “It started my bankroll, and my bankroll’s never disappeared since then.” In 2009, he finished second in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Vilamoura. In 2012, he became the runner up of the main event of EPT Copenhagen.

In 2014, he finished second in the $5k Six Max NL Hold’em tournament. Neuville can now play poker at any buy-in. He once qualified for 24 consecutive EPT main events, a record that nobody has broken so far.

He says that he owes his success to preparedness. He said: “When I arrive at my table, I have more than anybody, probably, all notes in my pocket. I have the history of each player at the table, all his results. I know all their first names—sometimes they are astonished because I call them all by their first names. I think it’s been very helpful to know who is a pro, who is aggressive, who’s in this tournament for the first time.”

While he is happy about his success, he is also aware of the importance of being realistic as that alone can help him be at his best as a poker player.

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