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Pierre Neuville Joins 2015 November Nine 4th in Chips but 1st by Seniority, Experience and Winnings

He’s got almost 3 decades in the games industry, a passion for competitive tennis and golf, and a successful poker career: games of all kinds are a recurrent theme throughout Pierre Neuville’s life, which reads like a novel and is likely  to end up on the big screen one day. For now he  will have to content himself with the biggest stage in poker - the 2015 November Nine!

Pierre Neuville: 'Poker makes me younger every year!'

Poker beginnings and business career

Born in 1943, Pierre Neuville comes from the region of Charleroi in Belgium. He started playing poker in 1957 and indulged his passion for the game throughout his six years at Universite libre de Bruxelles (1963-1969), when he would play tirelessly for up to 20 hours a day!

In 1969 Neuville created a board game named after the famous cyclist Eddy Merckx and started a toy company. It would become very successful in the 1970s and was eventually bought by Hasbro, one of the world's largest toy makers. Pierre Neuville worked for Hasbro for about 10 years after 1982, during which time his official position and responsibilities as Vice President meant he could not even set foot in a casino.

1993 marked  a new beginning - Neuville started a new business as personal consultant to Belgian table-tennis player Jean-Michel Saive. Sharing a passion for golf, they played regularly and it was through golf that Neuville met and became friends with two of his other star clients and friends: Gary Player (considered one of the best golfers of all time),  and Kevin Costner. We will probably have to wait for Neuville’s memoirs to find out exactly what his work involved but it sounds intriguing :) Player has been reported as saying, ‘Pierre has become a friend and has gotten me out of situations of which I dared not speak even to my lawyers, I owe him immensely’.


Retirement and professional poker

When he was 45, Pierre decided to pursue an old dream and to try and become a seniors tennis champion. He came fourth in the Belgian Championship but damaged his hip badly while training. This later caused a fracture (during a golf tournament!) and a series of unsuccessful operations that ultimately led to his transition to professional poker in 2008:

During that time I told my wife: If I survive this, I stop everything I do and I'm going to play poker. She thought I was crazy. We were married for twenty years and she had never seen me playing cards.

Neuville’s first recorded live cash was from the Belgian Poker Championship in 2007, and his first international tournament was the Main Event in the European Poker Tour PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January 2008. He finished 18th for $48,000 and that started his professional poker career - 'it started my bankroll, and my bankroll’s never disappeared since then'.


World Record

After that cash in the PCA, armed with patience, determination and a pile of notes, Neuville attacked the online satellites and went on to set a record considered unbeatable by most: he qualified online for 23 consecutive EPT Main Events. In 2012 this remarkable feat earned him the Online Qualifier of the Year Award from the European Poker Tour, as well as a new nickname on PokerStars (where he is the Team Pro doyen) - ‘The Serial PokerStars Qualifier’.

Photo © PokerStars/Neil Stoddart

If you are curious how he achieved it, read Neuville’s exclusive series of articles for PokerListings about his strategy and ‘secrets’ (spoiler: ‘there is no secret!’).


Serial Qualifier and Serial Runner-Up

In the past 7 years on the live circuit, Neuville has accumulated the impressive $2,188,459 in tournament winnings, yet a major title remains elusive.

Before the 2015 WSOP and his now guaranteed minimum 9th place prize of $1,001,020, Neuville’s top three six-figure cashes were all earned from runner-up finishes: two in EPT Main Events from Vilamoura (2009) and Copenhagen (2012), and one in last year’s 45th Annual World Series of Poker, when he finished second in the $5,000 buy-in Event 24 for $385,041.

He has another two 2nd places in EPT events - from UKIPT London 2014 and from EPT Barcelona in 2011.

And to top it all, Neuville ranks second in the Belgium all-time ranking by live tournament earnings. 


The best is still to come!

In March 2015, Pierre Neuville received the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker at the European Poker Awards. In his prophetic acceptance speech Neuville joked about having unfinished business as he never seems to win and is always runner-up.

‘I’m sorry to tell you but it’s not achieved yet. The best is still to come!’


And surely the best is now a fact, whatever happens in November. Neuville has achieved every poker player’s dream as one of the finalists in the WSOP Main Event.

He is guaranteed his biggest career cash even if he goes out 9th, and should he add another runner-up finish to his resume, the prize money ($4,469,171 for 2nd place) would be enough for him to overtake Davidi Kitai and top the Belgium all-time earnings ranking!

Pierre Neuville may come to the final table fourth in chips, but leads by seniority and popularity, as well as by live tournament experience and winnings! We wish him the best of luck!

Sources and links:


Pierre Neuville - Stats - Ranking Herowww.rankinghero.com


Pierre Neuville Lives Post-Retirement Poker Dreams to the FullestPoker News: Pierre Neuville was unable to play poker for decades because of his role at Hasbro Europe, but upon his retirement in 2008 he started a poker career that's beenwww.bluff.com


Het beste van PokerNews Magazine: Pierre Neuville - Eindelijk pokerPierre Neuville dacht dertig jaar lang aan poker. Maar gedurende deze dertig jaar kon hij niet spelen, vanwege zijn baan bij een van de grootste spelletjesproducenten ter wereld, Hasbro. Al die tijd lopen nadenken over poker blijkt te lonen, want...nl.pokernews.com

EPT Deauville: Pierre Neuville's Eternal YouthPierre Neuville is among the older players in the field, but he's clearly also among the toughest. At the age of 71 Neuville's coming of his best year in tou...www.youtube.com

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Published by @Annie RKH July 16, 2015

 and in November 

GL !