Ari Engel Cleaning Up At The Tournament Poker TablesJanuary 2, 2015 5:52 pm
Ari Engel’s Orthodox rabbi father may not have initially approved his son’s decision to become a full-time poker pro, a career for the most part indistinguishable from gambling as far as the uninitiated or unskilled are concerned, but 10 years and $5 million later he can hardly argue with his son’s track record.
After all, Engel, 31, has around $3,139,983 in online poker winnings to his name, to go with a further $1,847,645 earned from playing live poker tournaments with buy-ins mostly ranging between $300 to $10,000. These live tournaments are usually hosted by various land-based casinos, and while Orthodox Jewish law disapproves of casinos and gambling in general, for Ari Engel poker is a game separate from other gambling formats. As the multi-WSOP Circuit title winner explains:
“To me it’s very unfortunate that poker takes place in casinos. It doesn’t really belong there. Poker definitely has a lot of things that are beyond one’s control, but it has plenty of things within your control. I don’t gamble at all. I’m trying to get an edge when I play poker, and I try to make a living out of it.”
Interestingly, Engel graduated in finance and could have had a lucrative career awaiting him in the business world, but instead found playing poker equally as profitable, and a heck of a lot more fun. While, Black-Friday almost put an end to his chosen profession, Engel was subsequently able to find the same level of success in the live arena as he did online, and his money handling skills have also kept him grounded and able to plan for a life one day away from the poker tables. In the meanwhile, Ari Engel says he is contented to keep on cleaning up at poker tournaments either in the USA or around the world, and as he explained to Jewish news source JTA :
“I don’t know if I’ll be playing poker forever, but for the time being I will. I’ve built a little bit of a nest egg and I have the freedom to follow different opportunities. I just need to keep my eyes and ears open and just be smart about it.”