Ludovic Lacay Finding Success Outside Poker
Even many of the most successful poker players walk away from the life of a professional at some point in their lives.
Whether the game passes them by, sponsorship opportunities dry up, or their love for the game and the lifestyle it brings fizzles out, there's myriad reasons why moving on from poker makes sense in the lives of so many accomplished players.
Some transition as smoothly as online legend Jason Strasser, who found himself a nice gig in the world of investments and equities analysis and remains a successful recreational player. Others may struggle more to adapt to the realities of life at a "normal" job.
From the looks of a recent story out of Business Insider, former French poker pro Ludovic Lacay can be placed in the former category. Lacay has taken on an important role at a London-based tech startup, moving up from an internship and building a new base of success outside of poker.
Lacay the Poker Player
The face of Lacay was once a common sight at big poker tournaments the world over. From the World Series of Poker to European Poker Tour events, one could often walk through the field and see his intense stare just beneath long hair parted and pushed off to the side.
And why wouldn't he be there? The Frenchman experienced plenty of success, racking up over $3.2 million in live tournament cashes from 2007 to 2013. Most notably, Lacay won EPT9 San Remo in 2012 for €744,910. He also navigated to a 16th-place finish in the WSOP Main Event in 2009, losing a big flip to Jeff Shulman to bow out just before the November Nine.
Other notable scores for Lacay included two top-eight finishes in $10K Championship events at the WSOP and a runner-up at WPT Spanish Championship in 2007 for €295,200.
However, Lacay experienced a down year in 2014. He cashed for just $38,053 that year after putting up at least $170,000 in six of the previous seven years.
Ludovic Lacay's Tournament Results By Year
Data courtesy of The Hendon Mob
In the wake of those results, Lacay decided to walk away from his sponsorship with French online poker site Winamax and life as a professional poker player.
He admitted his motivation had waned.
"It's time for me to turn the page and do something else," he said. "I have an opportunity that I can’t miss. It's as scary and exciting as poker was at the very beginning — and that’s what I want to do."
The New Life of Lacay
Now, thanks to the Business Insider piece, we know what that opportunity was: an internship with Tictrac, a company creating a data-based health and wellness app. It's a wearable technology that aims to "help our users make better lifestyle choices, while businesses use our product to successfully engage their customers – bringing about a healthier future for all."
Lacay joined the company as an intern and has moved up to the role of chief product officer, with his smiling face prominently featured on Tictrac's website listing the company's leaders.
Like many poker players who have moved on from the game, Lacay found some of his skills learned and honed over the years of playing a game for a living actually did translate into work outside of poker.
Also like many former pros, Lacay has found poker isn't something from which he can just totally walk away. He has still popped up at the occasional event for the past few years, cashing in last year's WSOP and EPT13 Prague Main Event in 2016.
As more players like Vanessa Selbst retire from poker as a profession, Lacay joins players like Strasser in showing that a career in poker can still make for a successful transition into "normal" life.
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