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Former Trader Adeniya Deep at EPT London
Three years ago London local Martins Adeniya traded a high-paying finance career for professional poker.
As one of the 24 players left in the 2011 EPT London main event, he’s on track to record his biggest score yet.
Adeniya, who worked as a city trader for Lloyd’s Register Group before turning to poker full time, will return to the felt tomorrow at noon for a shot at the £750,000 first-place prize.
While still fairly unknown to the poker masses, Adeniya has been playing big buy-in tournament poker for the last three years and has proved he can cash on a regular basis playing against the best poker players in the world.
To date he’s earned more than a quarter of a million dollars live and even more online. And although he’s had some close calls, it's only the truly big live score that has eluded him.
While Adeniya has already outlasted 667 players in London and is guaranteed at least £19,000, if he can outlast another 23 that number leaps to three-quarters-of-a-million pounds - a point Adeniya is quick to recognize.
“As a poker player it’s so important to maximize the opportunities you get, just like right now in this EPT event,” Adeniya told PokerListings.com outside the Hilton Metropole in London.
Adeniya studied how to assess opportunities in preparation for a career in finance, but it was those same skills that steered him towards a new path as a professional poker player.
“After I graduated I did a few trading internships and I went looking for a change,” he said.
“I was working for an oil and shipping company and after work every day I’d be grinding online so it was like I had two jobs.
“But I was earning two or three times as much playing poker as I was working my day job, and then I won a few hundred grand in an online tournament and that gave me enough of a bankroll to travel around and play tournaments and cash.
“It gave me the opportunity to be free really,” he said.
For Adeniya the decision to leave a well-paid job for poker was motivated by more than just money. The lifestyle and freedom were a big pull.
“Whilst I was still working I won a few satellites and traveled to a few EPTs, before I had ever played any big tournaments, and I just loved it,” he said.
“As a poker player I’ve traveled to so many different places and beautiful countries and when you go to these events, the poker tournament is just one part of it.
“If you bust out of the tournament you’ve got the chance to see the city and see the culture and if you feel like it you can just stay longer.”
But while the lifestyle has its perks, nothing is guaranteed in poker. And that’s a fact of which Adeniya is acutely aware.
“Poker’s a lot different than trading for me because I’m playing with my own money,” he said.
“If you’re guaranteed a paycheck at the end of the month it’s a lot easier to sleep at night, but when your own money’s on the table the swings affect you in a much bigger way.
“The highs are higher and the lows are lower.”
PokerListings.com is providing live coverage of the 2011 EPT London main event. Click through here to follow all the action.