McMaster grad and millionaire not worried about job market

Biochemistry student Poorya Nazari recently won $3 million in a Bahamas poker tournament

Recent biochemistry graduate Poorya Nazari isn’t too worried about landing a job in today’s tough market. Why? The Toronto-area man knows how to play poker.

The 22-year-old, who still lives at home with his parents, recently returned home from a poker tournament in the Bahamas US$3 million richer. He spent about $700 to gain entry into the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and his investment paid off big time.

“It was pretty surreal, I just couldn’t believe it was happening,” said Nazari, who graduated from McMaster University last week but has long considered playing poker to be his future full-time job.

“I dreamt about doing something like that for a really long time, so it was absolutely amazing.”

Nazari, who had previously won about $80,000 in another big poker payday, said he doesn’t consider his success at the game similar to winning a lottery since poker requires a lot of skill and practice.

Winning the Bahamas tournament was the culmination of days of tough play and not just a few quick hands of poker, he said.

“We played pretty gruelling hours, about 12 hours a day (for) about four or five days,” he said. “It was just absolutely tough.”

Nazari said it wasn’t until the last day of the tournament that he began thinking he could win the multimillion-dollar prize.

While Nazari is still living with his parents at their home in Richmond Hill, Ont., north of Toronto, he plans on getting his own place soon.

Other than that, he said he doesn’t know what he’ll do with his new-found riches.

“Right now I’m just trying to take it all in,” he said. “I really don’t know what I’m going to do and what my plans are for all the money.

“I never thought what I would do if I came across this much money, so I’m going to have to take some time and think things through.”

Nazari will have a chance to earn more cash at a tournament he’s been invited to in Monte Carlo in April.

– The Canadian Press