David Paredes

Although there are many poker players out there with interesting backgrounds, David Paredes has life-story which is hard to beat for variety.

Although there are many poker players out there with interesting backgrounds, David Paredes has life-story which is hard to beat for variety.

The former child actor has had stints as a chessplayer, video game pro and Wall Street financial whizz, interspersed with graduating in Law from Harvard and NYU while writing fiction and playing all-night poker sessions to fund his tougher times.

Nowadays the young New York-born pro is sitting pretty, with over $2million in tournament winnings to his name, with a $723,227 payday for winning the WPT $3500 Main Event a few months ago accounting for a large chunk of this.

His beginnings in the game, however, followed a much less-steady path. His love of chess as a junior implanted the strategic mind which he now finds very useful, but his stint as a child actor – mainly doing voiceovers and commercials – was an unusual one.

“Little by little, I started landing parts” he told cardchat back in 2010 Toward the end, I got to be in a couple of movies such as Crocodile Dundee 2, Enemies A Love Story, and Married to the Mob. Every year I still get a check from MGM for something like $8.”

The chess turned into a teenage love of video games, with Tetris being his top game  a 3rd place in his age group at the Nintendo World Championships being a highlight.

His High School turned into a Harvard degree, and still poker wasn’t at the top of his list – but this changed when he enrolled in NYU for a writing course, and found the allowance wasn’t enough to live on.

“I didn’t want to be broke for the rest of my life,” he remembers, “so I started going to Foxwoods Casino, doing well and was soon playing $20-$40 limit hold’em games. I wouldn’t pay for a hotel room. I’d just play all night, come back the next day and teach my class.”

As one of the main ‘players’ behind the uncovering of the UB scandal, Paredes became well-known in the world of virtual poker; his actual ‘transition’ to online poker coming about after one of the chance meetings he had in Foxwoods – and the network of people he developed helped him immensely.

“Luckily, I had started playing online and one day I got invited to a private game by someone on a poker forum. The game was in a fancy hotel suite with catered food and was filled with nothing but guys who work in finance on Wall Street. I did okay, as I recall, but the connections I made were more valuable.”

His own Wall Street stint unfortunately clashed with the economic woes of the late-noughties and he reverted to the high-stakes online games – but then Black Friday hit.

“I was devastated,” he admitted n his earlier interviews. “I had bought an apartment in Boston and I was forced to go back to Foxwoods to continue playing. At least this time I could afford to get a hotel room and, pretty soon, I was putting up consistent results on the live circuit.”

As his recent results show, he’s been more than consistent – but poker isn’t his only love.

“I’ve always loved to write,” he said, adding “I’m going to use a lot of my experiences that I had in my life, because I’ve had an interesting one so far.”

Of that there is no doubt!

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