Tony Hakki Not Much Of A Poker Pro According To JudgeMay 2, 2014 2:36 pm
The poker abilities of Tony “The Hitman” Hakki came under intense scrutiny by three Court of Appeal judges recently, after the UK pro refused to pay child support to the mother of his children, Devrise Blair, who had claimed that gambling was Mr Hakki’s “trade” or “profession”.
In a previous hearing Hakki’s poker playing had been considered “gainful employment” by the court, but on appeal Hakki has now been relieved of his child support obligations, with Lord Justice Longmore concluding that:
“On the facts found I do not consider that it can be said that Mr Hakki had a sufficient organization in his poker playing to make it amount to a trade (or a business) let alone a profession or a vocation.”
Longmore’s assessment was further supported by judges Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Pitchford, and consequently put an end to a dispute which has stretched on for four years.
Tony “The Hitman” Hakki had been a stockbroker up until 1998 when he was made redundant before shifting vocations to becoming a full-time poker pro. Apparently Hakki has since enjoyed competing at various poker tournaments around the UK and Europe and according to his Hendon Mob stats has won $186,648 since cashing in at his first event in 1994. Nevertheless, even without considering the buy-ins, that amount would not have been sufficient to have supported him over the past couple of decades.
More importantly, however, the site also introduces Hakki as “first and foremost a cash game player” which is mostly seen as the bread and butter of a poker pro. Although details of the Hakki’s court case have been sealed, one can still assume his winnings were not sufficient to justify allocating extra funds to his children, with Lord Justice Longmore saying that Mr Hakki is a professional poker player only “in the sense that he supports himself from his winnings at poker.”