No Backers: WSOPE Champ Elio Fox Plays for Himself

Elio Fox
At 25 years old Elio Fox has the freedom to travel the world doing what he loves.

American poker pro Elio Fox has only been playing live poker for a year but in that time he’s won over $2.6 million, and he does it all on his own dime.

The 25-year-old New York native has no backers, which is a rarity for someone his age traveling the world and playing a full schedule of big buy-in majors.

Last night in Cannes Fox took down the biggest score of his young career, over $1.9 million, for winning the 2011 WSOP Europe main event.

After wading through the five days it took to get to the final table, Fox faced a stacked lineup including online MTT legend Chris Moorman, WPT and EPT champion Moritz Kranich, elite Canadian tournament specialist Shawn Buchanan and Triple Crown winner Jake Cody.

Fox defeated Chris Moorman heads-up to earn the biggest payday of his life and take the WSOPE title with him back to American soil.

Fox got his start in poker while attending Bard College in New York, where he graduated with a degree in economics. He started playing online poker his sophomore year and by the time he completed his studies he had earned enough playing poker to pursue it professionally.

“I like living a lifestyle that involves a lot of freedom,” Fox said moments after the victory in Cannes.

“The idea of going to the same job every day over and over sounds horrible to me,” he added. 

And so far Fox’s decision to make his living playing poker is paying off. He lives in Manhattan and he’s got a second home in Canada, which he set up after Black Friday in order to continue playing poker online.

But despite posting big results and an impressive profit, Fox’s first year playing live wasn’t without its rocky patches.

Elio Fox
Elio Fox won almost $2 million and the WSOPE main event title in Cannes Thursday.

Fox played 17 bracelet events at the 2011 WSOP and bricked every single one. Luckily he followed that drought up with a win at the WPT Bellagio Cup for almost $670,000.

Armed with a year’s experience, Fox is acutely aware of the risk and variance of big-field tournament poker

"I think I am pretty good at poker, but people put too much stock into somebody winning a tournament,” he said. “There’s a lot of luck in tournaments.”

“Short-term results in tournaments really does not matter that much,” he continued.

“I think it’s extremely important to be tough on yourself, especially when you are playing badly, even if your results have been good, and vice-versa.

“There are a lot of great players with no wins to their name and some mediocre players with a lot of wins,” he emphasized.

While Fox plans to use this money to continue traveling and playing cards, poker isn’t the only thing he’s passionate about. He’s been scuba diving since he was 14 and hopes to get his dive-master certification, which would allow him to act as a guide to other scuba enthusiasts.

“The thing I like about scuba diving and possibly being a dive master is you get to travel to all these exciting locations,” he said. 

“You’re never in the same location because the dive seasons change. So, I find that very compelling. It’s also why I find poker so compelling. These big tournaments are often at very different locations and you get to visit what's going on all around.”

About Matthew Showell

Matt Showell was born and raised in the fair city of Vancouver, Canada. He now spends the bulk of his time traveling the globe, reporting on the world’s biggest poker tournaments. Matt has lived and breathed poker since the end of high school when he learned the most common variants at home games with his friends. In university he made his living playing low-stakes cash games and multi-table tournaments online while following the professional circuit on television and the Internet and in magazines.

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