Leo Margets, alias LeoMargets

Leo Margets alias LeoMargetsHer talent shone through in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, before two huge achievements in 2021: induction into the Spanish Poker Hall of Fame and a World Champion bracelet. An accomplished speaker and sportswoman, the Catalan with more than $1.6 million in live earnings is the epitome of the all-round player, capable of exporting her talents beyond the boundaries 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 completed a Masters in Management and Communications, and began working for the prestigious IMG agency, a leading sports management firm. This was when poker made its entrance: thanks to a great deal of passion, hard work, and a bit of luck, Leo soon became a rising star.

Timing truly is fundamental”, she recalls in retrospect. 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. The kind of win that changes one’s perspective. “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, a Ladies title in Monte Carlo, a second place finish in the WSOP Double Stack in 2018... And then comes this exceptional year of 2021, when the Barcelona native is inducted into the very first class of the Spanish Poker Hall of Fame, alongside her teammate Adrián Mateos. A foretaste before the apotheosis to come. Only arriving in Las Vegas in early November due to the US travel ban, Leo scored another deep run in the WSOP Main Event before realising every player’s dream: winning a World Championship bracelet in the $1,500 Closer for the biggest payout of her career, $376,850. The title of perseverance, earned after a rollercoaster tournament and final. “I see a million differences between the young woman I was in 2009 and today", she said after her win. I'm much calmer, much less anxious. What makes me feel better is that in 2021 I still have the same drive to win that I had then, and I think the day I lose that drive is the day I'll quit poker.

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!” 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

    11/2021 World Series of Poker 8-Handed $5,000 - Las Vegas 43th (11,113 $)
    11/2021 World Series of Poker The Closer $1,500 - Las Vegas Winner ($376,850)
    11/2021 World Series of Poker Main Event $10,000 - Las Vegas 452th ($26,700)
    06/2019 WSOP Crazy Eights $888 - Las Vegas 28th ($21,018)
    08/2018 EPT Main Event €5,300 - Barcelone 118th (€14,330)
    07/2018 The Wynn Summer Classic Side Event $550 - Las Vegas 2th ($31,946)
    07/2018 WSOP Double Stack $1,000 - Las Vegas 2th ($123,297)
    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)
  •      Tournament accomplishments on Winamax

    09/2021 WSeries Heads-up Championship €250 7th (€1,832)
    04/2021 WSeries - Event 119 (€100) 8th (€3,269)
    04/2021 HIGHROLLER €250 8th (€1,708)
    02/2021 XTREM €100 3th (€1,745)
    02/2021 XTREM €100 5th (€1,160)
    02/2021 BATTLE ROYALE €200 5th (€2,015)
    01/2020 WSeries - Event 167 (€250) 14th (€2,038)
    01/2020 BATTLE ROYALE €200 4th (€1,964)
    12/2019 BATTLE ROYALE €200 8th (€1,382)
    09/2019 BATTLE ROYALE €200 Winner (€6,500)
    09/2019 WSeries - Event 137 (€250) 12th (€1,642)
    04/2019 WSeries - Event 111 (€100) 8th (€1,159)
    04/2019 WSeries - Event 108 (€250) 3th (€5,331)
    12/2018 XTREM €100 4th (€3,096)
    07/2018 XTREM €100 2nd (€1,051)


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