One of Great Britain’s Olympic hopefuls has turned to poker in order to supplement the elite athlete funding he receives. Jamie Kenber, 25, is a member of GB’s fencing team (or foil team) and plays a few hands of poker to address the shortfall that sometimes arises should he have too few students to tutor. He told the BBC: “If I can’t get enough students then I might play a little bit of cards. I’ve had some wins, but it’s not a reliable source of income unless you have a lot of time to commit. I’m a decent hobbyist, but I’ve made a little bit of money from it. How much I play depends on how much time I’ve got.”
It’s not just in his wallet that poker helps either.
“There are comparisons. In fencing someone might show you something and you don’t know whether they’re actually going to go through with it or if it’s just an early bluff. That happens in poker as well,” he explained.
“And if you think people are doing things for the wrong reasons you can end up losing. It’s no coincidence that I enjoy both of them.”
He’d just better hope he fares better than the last time a poker pro swapped the surroundings of the felt for another sport. We can offer Kenber Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier’s Twitter if he wants to know how not to swap sports. ElkY would have fared better at boules. Saying that, it was another poker player he was up against in Lex Velhuis so we’re not sure what advice to give Kenber.
Could he be one of the first Olympic gold medalists with a WSOP bracelet too? Probably not but we can dream!