After winning the title of Miss Finland in 2012, Sara Chafak fulfilled the dream of many Finnish girls.
But the former beauty queen still has plenty of dreams of her own.
“I’m the kind of person who doesn’t want to know [what the future holds],” Chafak said. “I just concentrate on the moment and on my dreams.
“You never know what’s going to happen in life and I don’t talk about my dreams because I believe if I say them out loud, they’ll vanish and I’ll never get them.”
While those dreams remain sealed behind a pageant-winning face, Chafak’s actions provide hints. Aside from touring the Finnish poker scene, Chafak competed on the Finnish version of Dancing on Ice --a TV show similar to Dancing with Stars, but Finnish, and with ice-- in 2013 and made her rap debut with Finnish rap duo JVG last year.
While those two performances have yet to produce a follow-up, poker has been pretty consistent for Chafak for a while.
The Beauty of Poker for a Beauty Queen
“[I learned when] I was 19, five years ago,” Chafak said. “My boyfriend showed me the game and we started playing small open tournaments around Helsinki.
“I won a couple of them and that’s the point where I found out I was hooked in poker.”
There were several things that attracted Chafak to the game, the biggest part was the mental aspect of the game.
“I love the psychology part of it, mostly, because you get to be close to people and read them or try to read them and manipulate them,” Chafak said.
“There are so many different things you can do at the table and I really really enjoy that.”
Another thing Chafak likes about poker is how dissimilar it is to beauty pageants.
“Pageants are more conservative and are about being a good example for the people,” Chafak said. “ Winners are like the princesses of their countries.
“But poker is different, it’s like life. It has its ups and down, it swirls, it's like a roller coaster.
“There’s nothing sure in poker.”
Chafak: Now Playing Live to Ruin Lives
And Chafak likes to keep her poker live. While she does occasionally play online, Chafak prefers to play live across Europe, if only to see complete destruction in her opponents.
“I prefer to play live games more because I can ruin people's lives,” Chafak laughed.
“Just kidding. It’s more enjoyable to sit down and play because it’s a fun way to pass the time and I get to know people.”
Chafak’s prominence in the live poker scene in Finland has even scored her a nomination for player of the year in Finland.
Here at the PCA, Chafak has been playing in the Shark Cage and will take a shot at the $600 Women’s Event on Tuesday.
While Chafak continues to increase her profile on the European poker scene, she doesn’t have any immediate plans to go to Las Vegas to compete on poker’s largest stage.
But you never know what Chafak’s future may hold, she might make it to Vegas as a beauty contestant, a poker player, a figure skater or a rapper.
“I just try to believe in myself and not make too much of a fuss about everything,” Chafak said. “I try not to control my life and just be more free every day.”