Former Boxer Fenech Talks Poker, Revealing New Biography

Jeff Fenech
Jeff Fenech

Jeff Fenech won millions throwing punches but these days he’s throwing chips around a poker table.

The former three-time boxing world champion had over 100,000 chips midway into Day 3 of the 2011 WSOP Main Event. 

“I love competing,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s cards or fighting. I want to be the best at whatever I’m doing. At least this way I get knocked out and I don’t get hurt.”

Fenech explained that his journey into the poker world began almost entirely by accident.

Famous Australian cricketer Shane Warne invited Fenech to be one of the bounties at a celebrity poker tournament he was hosting.

Initially Fenech didn’t want to play because he was training for a fight at the time and had to be up early the next day to continue his workout regime.

Warne finally convinced Fenech to play, reminding him there was a good chance he’d get knocked out early and be able to have an early night.

“I won the tournament at about 4 a.m.,” laughed Fenech.

It ended up being a life-changing experience for Fenech as online poker room 888poker decided to sponsor Fenech to play more tournaments.

“It’s been an unbelievable experience getting to travel the world and meet people while trying something new,” he said. 

Fenech is no slouch when it comes to playing either. He’s recorded several cashes playing in Australia and last year he was one of the 500 remaining players in the Main Event before finally busting.

“We learned a little of the truth about Tiger Woods when he got into trouble. I’ve done that a million times over. With people you wouldn’t believe. I’m not proud of it.” - Jeff Fenech

With over 100,000 chips midway through Day 3, Fenech is looking for another deep run in the prestigious tournament.

“I’m at a different phase in my life and I’m trying to show some patience here,” he said. “I believe that as a boxer you have to be a good thinker. That’s what I’m trying to do here.”

Although Fenech loves playing poker, one of his primary goals right now is to develop a documentary about his life as a world champion and what went on behind the scenes.

“I’ve done some biographies before and I’m proud of them but they weren’t the full truth.” he said. “What I wanted was more honest than what the publishers were looking for.”

Fenech is currently in talks with various movie producers about producing the film. More than anything Fenech wants to portray the darker side of celebrity.

“I’m not proud to say it but there was a stage in my life where I took advantage of pretty much everything they threw at me,” he said.

“I don’t really like the person I was. If I could teach people not to fall into that trap or make the same mistakes it would be a success.”

Now a father, Fenech has two daughters and regrets many of his actions while he was world champion in Australia.

“It’s gonna get me in a bit of trouble and a few people might dislike me for it but when it comes out it will be one of the most honest accounts of a celebrity ever,” he said.

“We learned a little of the truth about Tiger Woods when he got into trouble. I’ve done that a million times over. With people you wouldn’t believe. I’m not proud of it.”

For the time being, however, Fenech will concentrate on adding another highlight to his life, only this time in poker instead of boxing.

The 2011 WSOP continues through July 19. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas check PokerListings' Live Updates brought to you by PartyPoker.

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