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Alec Torelli: "It’s Not Just About the Game and Money"
Alec 'traheho' Torelli is a 30-year-old cash-game poker pro living his dream.
The poker is just part of it.
Since being introduced to the game at 16 Torelli has gone on to become one of the game's best online players and frequented some of the biggest cash-game action the world has to offer.
What keeps him going, though, is much more than the rush of a card game. It's the chance to live a lifestyle must only dream about.
A player, a poker coach and a travel and lifestyle blogger, Torelli is on the road 250 days a year with his wife and wouldn't change a thing.
Continuing his ongoing journey around the world, Torelli dropped in on the 888Live festival in Barcelona last week where we heard more about about the amazing run he had on Day 1 – and in his life.
PokerListings: Was this the dream day for a tournament player?
Alec Torelli: Definitely yes. I mean, there’s so much luck and variance in these events. You look like a superstar when everything goes your way but when it doesn’t you lose and nobody talks about it.
That’s why I’m always humbled and appreciative when I’m on the right side of good fortune. You can only focus on the part of the game that you can control.
You have to be humble and aware that you need the luck, too.
PL: Did you come here for the 888 event?
AT: Yes. I like the brand and their combination of poker and lifestyle. I like going to events that are about more than just poker and coming to Barcelona in spring is just paradise.
This morning I went out for four hours and it feels like I’m on vacation. This event combined with the location and spring is the nuts.
I sometimes ask myself if I’d want to go to a place if there wasn’t poker, and if the answer is yes I’m on a freeroll because even if I lose the event, I still win in life. And I love Barcelona.
PL: How much time do you spend in Europe?
AT: I spend about four or five months a year here. My wife’s Italian and I have a lot of friends and family over here.
That’s although I grew up very American as a third-generation Italian in the States. I only learned Italian when I was 23 and moved to Italy.
So, I have family in Italy and also in California, but I also spend two or three months a year in Asia. Some people would probably find it difficult to juggle life between three continents but for me it’s just really exciting.
I get bored easily; I’m very fast-paced so I can’t stay in one place too long.
PL: Your YouTube channel is about poker but also has something of a travel vlog about it.
AT: Yes. I do play poker and it’s great that I can play a game I love for a living, but from a business point of view what drew me to poker was the lifestyle it could give me – mobility, the freedom of location and a lot of flexibility and options.
My wife and I have an online business that can travel with us so we can spend 250 days a year on the road. It’s just natural for me to film hands in different locations in random hotels as I don’t have a home office.
We’ve started a new YouTube channel called Aces Abroad which will give a “behind the scenes” look at our lifestyle and the different countries we go to. It’s something I’m really passionate about sharing as well.
I generally like sharing things with other people and maybe be inspiring and have a positive impact on people who chase their dreams and think that maybe what they want is unachievable and only for super rich people.
I just don’t think that’s true. I think that if you have certain priorities, work hard and focus your energy in the right direction, then anything’s possible.
I was personally strongly inspired by Tim Ferriss. He showed me that, while I was making a lot of money in poker, it’s not just about the game and money but also about personal development and what you do with your money and how you spend your time.
If I could be that kind of inspiration to other people, that’d be really cool for me.
PL: Are you living the dream?
AT: My dream. I don’t think there’s any right or wrong about how you live your life.
There are a lot of players who always stay in the same place like in Vegas and have their poker business there, and that’s fine. It’s just not my thing.
I consider myself so lucky it’s almost surreal. When I was 16 and started playing I never thought it could lead me to this.
I was watching my poker heroes and wanted to meet them some day, and now walking around in Barcelona, when someone walks up to me and says they like watching me on YouTube I feel like ‘holy s*** that’s so weird.'