How many of us can truly say we go on to live our dream? The thing we've fantasised about doing since we were at school?
One man who's doing just that is 23-year-old Liverpool-born Lukas Robinson. Looking at his school yearbook photo, 11-year-old Lukas wrote that he dreamed of being a top poker player, and that in 10 years time he would be in 'Viva Las Vegas' for his 21st birthday playing poker.
Flash forward 12 years and Lukas has just won his largest ever jackpot as a professional poker player.
Lukas recently went viral in the online poker community after breaking down in tears live on his Twitch channel following a career best win of $3,700. Viewers were moved at this display of genuine emotion. On the stream, Lukas said: "The reason I'm crying... This was the hardest decision of my life to do this challenge. It was such a big risk, I quit my job. I didn't have that much of a bank roll...
"Three months ago I was streaming to like three people and now we've got like 700 people just watching.
WHAT A MOMENT!- Lukas Robinson (@RobinPoker_) January 24, 2021
I didn't ever want to cry on stream, but fuck it, it happened. Biggest win of my life. Biggest moment on stream to date. We also reached 500 subs today too. Thank you all so much for the support. This moment meant to much to me.:hearts:https://t.co/kWrrd1zQfZ
"I'm sorry I don't know why I'm so emotional. It's just such a big relief. It was such a big risk and it's all just hit me at once. I just want to thank you all so much."
After quitting his job in his family's fish and chip shop, Lukas took the leap to become a full-time poker player. He was inspired growing up by the men in his family who all played poker. Lukas said: "Growing up my grandad, uncle and dad all played poker and I loved it even when I was 11 years-old. I think because I looked up to them all so much, I really wanted to be like them and play with them one day."
When he turned 18, his dad and uncle took him to his first live tournament and he was 'hooked'. He has always wanted to play poker for a living but thought it would be too difficult to make it as a professional.
Lukas is originally from Liverpool but has lived in the Isle of Man for four years, where he moved after dropping out of university in the first year. He started working in his family's fish and chip shop, which had helped him put down roots in the area and get to know people.
When he first started poker streaming last year, Lukas was doing it alongside his full time job at the chippy, working 8 hours days and then streaming from 6pm until late at night - sometimes until 4am if he was doing well in a tournament. He'd then have to be in work by 9am the next day.
He said: "I remember winning my first ever online poker tournament for $750 but it made me late for one of my shifts in the chippy. I remember being so happy that I had finally won one, but I had to rush straight into work and no one really understood how much it meant to me.
"This was having a big negative impact on my life as a whole. I wasn't spending enough time with my friends, family or girlfriend and I wasn't enjoying my job anymore and I was tired all the time, but I just knew that if I kept grinding and working harder than anyone else, my dream would come true one day.
"I needed a way out of my job and so I started planning a way to do poker streaming full time. I felt like the only way to do this was to stand out from the crowd and do something no one else has ever done before."
In 2018, fellow poker streamer Arlie Shaban streamed a record 1000 hours of poker in 125 days, gaining him more than 8,000 followers and a sponsorship from PokerStars. At the end of 2020, Lukas quit his job and started planning his own challenge to beat this record, with the hopes of becoming a professional poker player. He is currently halfway through his challenge, planning to play 1000 hours of poker in 100 days (10 hours of poker a day).
Looking ahead to the future, Lukas just wants to keep growing and improving. He has started working with top poker coach BBZ and dreams of becoming the biggest player in the UK (and maybe even the world).
"I know these are big ambitions, but I told myself once I find the thing I am destined to do, I will try my best to work harder than anyone else to become the best in the world at that one thing.
"Money to me is not what is important. I just want to live my life doing something that I love."
"I am just a normal lad from Liverpool, that is chasing his dream to become a professional poker player. I am not special. I did not have things handed on a plate to me in order to achieve this. I just worked as hard as I could and look at me now. It is possible for anyone to achieve their dreams."
Lukas will be streaming the tournament live on the ODDSbible Facebook page which you can watch here
If you're interested in poker, you can also check out our dedicated poker Facebook group, Only Hands, where members share funny memes, incredible hands and unlucky bad beats. Join the community here: bit.ly/OnlyHandsFB
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