Leo Margets, alias LeoMargets

Leo Margets alias LeoMargetsHer talent shone through on the day of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, making her one of the most well-known Spanish poker players. Having accumulated a total of nearly one million dollars in live tournaments, this Barcelonan has managed to make use of her talents well beyond the world of poker.

Becoming the first female professional poker player to be recognised and mediatised within Spain was not the fate that Leo Margets had imagined would be hers in the least, having played her first games of Texas Hold’em in 2006. “I never thought that I was going to make a career out of poker! However, I was so fascinated by this game that all I wanted to do was improve and get better. Thus, I became a professional player… but that was never my initial intention.” This quote is a very apt description of the Barcelonan, whether it be in regards to poker or in any other aspect of her life: not motivated by the destination, but the process and journey to be had in order to reach this destination.

Leo was 22 years old when she first discovered poker: she didn’t know it yet, but this game would turn out to be the perfect solution for her state of mind at the time. “I had no real calling at that point in time; I didn’t know what I was going to do. I graduated in London, and then started to travel, alone, which was the best learning curve for me.” Having spent four months in South America and six months in Australia, Leo managed to get a firm understanding of management and communication, and began working for IMG, the prestigious sports agency. This was when poker made its entrance: thanks to a great deal of passion, hard work, and a bit of luck, Leo will soon become a rising star.

Timing truly is fundamental”, Leo explains. A victory in a university tournament in Barcelona lead to a few articles and an initial sponsorship contract. The 2009 edition of the World Series of Poker approaches and, just like all the other players on this planet, Leo has one thing on her mind: flying off to Vegas. “Everybody was getting ready to leave, except for me! I only had a small contract. I begged them and they replied “No way”, so I begged some more. Just as I was preparing to give up on the idea, they said “OK”. I still remember that day: I had never been happier!

Thus, the best is yet to come: once arrived in Vegas, Leo Margets took part in the biggest and best poker tournament in the world, the WSOP Main Event. Having registered amidst 6,943 other competitors, she put in an excellent performance, keeping a solid stack throughout the eight-day marathon, ending her incredible stint with a 27th place finish, the highest finish by a female player that year. This result changes lives: from this moment on, there was a “before” and an “after”.

I showed up in Vegas telling myself that anything is possible, as long as you want it and you are ready to work for it. Then, BOOM, I get my biggest score!” No need to assume that Leo is results-oriented though: “A good result doesn’t make you a pro, it’s your attitude! After the Main Event, my attitude changed in regards to poker. I started to focus 100% on my game.

Having returned to Spain, Leo’s performance brought in the media’s attention. Young graduate, sporty, very motivated: she was nothing like the image that people had of professional poker players. There are few women in the poker world, and my profile went against all the standard clichés of smoky underground games, with people drinking whisky and losing their cars.

Now an established pillar in the poker community, Leo spent the following years hopping from tournament to tournament – which was no problem for this nomadic player – and picking up scores along the way: one final table in Australia, a victory in the Full Tilt Masters Series in Spain for €100,000 (“one of my fondest memories, as the tournament was in Winner Takes All format”), a Ladies title in Monte Carlo, some deep runs in San Remo, Johannesburg, Marbella…

Leo is convinced: poker, through its various psychological and mathematical notions, can help people make better decisions in everyday life. Work, negotiations, relationships, handling pressure, risk factors: these are a few of the subjects that were touched on in a book published in 2017 (¡Juega bien tus cartas!: En la vida y en los negocios) and through various conferences, seminars and workshops animated by this passionate speaker in companies and big sports names, such as Sauber, the F1 team. “Life also has variance! You must not be obsessed with results: you must be obsessed with getting better.

Since February of 2018, Leo Margets has continued her professional poker career within Team Winamax, and has been getting closer to one million dollars in live winnings. “Joining the Team is much more than just signing a sponsorship contract: with Winamax, the player is at the centre of everything, and I already feel like part of the family within the Team, which is very motivating!” An accomplished sportswoman, regularly attending crossfit sessions, she has ten marathons under her belt to this day and has an objective for 2018: run 10,000m in under 42m30sec.

Leo, who describes herself as a “chameleon” poker player, continues to travel the world in search of new titles, without forgetting Barcelona, where she lives with her twin cats Pep and Bauer: “With the amount of travelling that I have done these past few years, I have come to appreciate my sofa more and more!


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  •      Live tournament accomplishments

    01/2018 PCA Main Event $10,300 $ - Paradise Island 65th ($19,760)
    08/2017 PS Festival Main Event €1,100 - Marbella 3th (€72,000)
    01/2014 PCA Main Event $10,300 - Paradise Island 143th ($18,200)
    08/2012 European Poker Tour €5,300 - Barcelona 42th (€16,800)
    04/2012 European Poker Tour Grand Final €10,600 - Monte Carlo 57th (€20,000)
    08/2011 European Poker Tour €5,300 - Barcelona 36th (€16,000)
    12/2010 Full Tilt Master Series - Lloret de Mar Winner (€100,000)
    11/2010 European Poker Tour €5,300 - Barcelona 80th (€11,000)
    11/2010 Spanish Poker Tour Invitational - Lloret de Mar Winner (€15,000)
    05/2010 Spanish Poker Tour €1,100 - Ibiza 3th (€20,200)
    01/2010 Aussie Millions 6-max AU$2,200 - Melbourne 3th (AU$54,270)
    08/2009 Full Tilt Poker Series €1,650 - Malaga 6th (€11,000)
    07/2009 World Series of Poker Main Event $10,000 - Las Vegas 27th ($352,832)

 

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