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Before the Game: Scott Davies the Lawyer

Scott Davies

Poker has grown tremendously over time, and many of the professional poker players in this industry left their careers to pursue what some may call a 'pipe dream.' For Scott Davies this was certainly the case, as he left his job at a law firm and decided to take a shot.

"I got really lucky, or unlucky, depending on how you wanna look at it," laughed Davies.

In this edition of Before the Game, we found out the path that Davies was on before he turned his interest in poker into a successful career.

A Brief Career in Law

Fresh out of law school, Davies took a job that paid $135,000 and was immediately miserable. "I got the worst job. I quickly found out that the firm culture I joined, there was no such thing as days off."

Davies was expected to bill 2,800 hours a year, which he referred to as "an ungodly amount." He was working 12-hour days, six days a week and "half-days" on Sundays - which were still eight hours long.

"I know we're all coming in hopeful to win and you have to try your best, but it's important not to get so discouraged."

Davies talked about developing a passion for poker while he was studying in law school, and that it was always a dream. "I watched Robert Varkonyi win the Main Event, and I thought that was so cool. I couldn't stop watching - it was kind of my outlet," said Davies.

It didn't take him long to pivot to pursuing the poker dream once he learned what the law grind looked like.

"I realized pretty quickly it wasn't for me. I decided I was just going to take a break," Davies told PokerNews. In 2007, he ended up quitting after five weeks on the job and decided to study poker, grind for a few months and take a shot - and he never looked back.


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Keeping a Level Head During WSOP

Davies is getting close to $2 million in overall live earnings, $1.3 million of which have come in the form of World Series of Poker cashes. He has a Circuit ring and a bracelet, but is also known for cashing multiple times every summer.

When asked about keeping a level head throughout the long grind, Davies stresses the importance of being confident with his decisions day in and day out.

"Analyzing play and feeling confident in what you're doing at the tables is important. And more importantly, putting in work away from the tables so you can maintain that confidence."

"We're really lucky as poker players to have the opportunity to travel around and see so many things. How many different people have the chance to experience life like this?"

Entering tournaments a couple of hours late has also been a theme for Davies this summer, as he finds the full days to be a bit too long. "I aim to come in just after first break. It kind of skips the pre-ante play, and it makes the day more manageable. I find it helps getting a little bit of that extra sleep," explained Davies.

He also enjoys interacting at the tables, and finds that being entertained and keeping others entertained helps get through the day. "Getting to know people. I feel like that kind of helps the day go by. You also learn more about your opponents - you learn where they're at."

Additionally, Davies talked about keeping a positive outlook when it comes to the tournaments with such massive fields.

"It's really hard to realize your final table equity and I don't really think that a lot of people truly understand how much variance is involved in playing 6,000-player tournaments and 28,000-player tournaments. I know we're all coming in hopeful to win and you have to try your best, but it's important not to get so discouraged."

Career Goals

Davies has had much success on the felt, both live and online, but quality of life and enjoying the process is important to him.

"It's not so much glory-chasing. I try to go to places I find interesting. I look for value as well, but I tend to go to series where I think I'm gonna have a good time off the poker table too."

"I look for value as well, but I tend to go to series where I think I'm gonna have a good time off the poker table too."

Impressively, Davies has won a tournament in every continent except for Africa, and he hopes to cross that one off the list in due time, planning to travel to South Africa and Morocco to play. "It's the only continent I haven't won a tournament on. That would just be cool.

"Maybe if they run WPT Antarctica one day. Get Matt Savage to put something together on a nuclear ice breaker or something. Maybe just run a sit-n-go so somebody could have all the glory," laughed Davies.

Davies stressed the importance of appreciating the lifestyle that he and other professional card players get to live.

"We're really lucky as poker players to have the opportunity to travel around and see so many things, try so much food. I have friends all over the world. How many different people have the chance to experience life like this?"

Keep following PokerNews as Scott Davies and thousands of others look to run deep in the 2019 World Series of Poker.

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  • Tournament pro Scott Davies left his job at a law firm to pursue poker, now getting max value out of poker and life.

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