Perhaps best known as the wealthy creator and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, or even as the first clown in space, billionaire Guy Laliberte became legendary at Full Tilt Poker's nosebleed cash games in 2008.
Guy first started playing poker around 2005, soon becoming a regular fixture in the notoriously high stakes
Big Game in Bobby's Room at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The multiple facets of poker - including strategy, luck, and sheer competition - drew Guy Laliberte to the felt, and eventually to the online poker rooms
In 2007, Guy Laliberte made his first (and - as of January 2011 - only) live tournament final table with a 4th place finish in the World Poker Tour No Limit Hold'em Championship event for just under $700K. Seven days before that Guy earned his only other tournament cash, $25K for 16th place in another WPT No Limit Hold'em event.
While it is impossible to know exactly how many different nicknames Guy Laliberte has played online poker
under, his playing style, stake preferences, and multimillion dollar losses suggest that the Full Tilt Poker accounts "lady marmelade", "elmariachimacho", and "patatino" were all utilized by Guy Laliberte during 2008. Of course, there could easily be more.
Though Guy Laliberte clearly enjoys high-risk cash games with the world's finest poker players
, it is apparent that poker is a small part of his world. Guy Laliberte's interest in the performing arts began at 18 when set out to backpack across Europe with a selection of portable instruments, including two accordians and a harmonica. What was only intended to be a brief adventure, before going on to school
and a normal life, soon evolved from street performances in Montreal to the Canadian government-funded organization of the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil. Laliberte is now the sole proprietor.
On September 30, 2009, Guy Laliberte was launched into space to embark on an eleven day tour intended to promote the One Drop Foundation; a non-profit organization geared toward providing clean water to people all over the world in an effort to end poverty. The trip required months of training and preparation in Moscow, and was orchestrated by the space tourism company, Space Adventures.
Throughout his career, Guy Laliberte has received numerous honors and awards, including the National Order of Quebec, the Order of Canada, and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. On November 22, 2010, Guy Laliberte and Cirque du Soleil received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.