Alexandra Botez is perhaps the best-known chess player of her generation. Ranking as one of Canada’s top ten female chess players, she is also an extremely successful Twitch streamer, with more than one million followers on her channel.
But as of 2022, Alexandra Botez has diversified, making a name for herself at the poker table. She has already collaborated with Phil Hellmuth and Dan Smith, and her early exploits at the poker table have earned her many new fans.
So, who exactly is this exciting player transitioning from the chequered board to the poker table?
Who is Alexandra Botez?
Alexandra Botez is an American Canadian chess player who has taken the online gaming world by storm. She achieved a FIDE Master title in 2013, one of the most prestigious chess titles, just below an International Master.
She has been competitively playing chess since she was eight, when she won her first Canadian children’s national championship. As a junior, she also won the US Girls National when representing the state of Oregon, which earned her a full-ride chess scholarship to the University of Dallas, Texas.
Aside from playing chess, Alexandra Botez has also served as a chess commentator, covering the 2019 PRO Chess League Finals and other prestigious events in her role.
Botez has used her skill and ability to launch a successful career as a Twitch streamer, and she has more than one million followers on the platform. She collaborates with her sister, Andrea, and other high-profile chess streamers to create content on the site. Together, they manage the BotezLive channel, which is one of the most popular chess platforms on Twitch.
As a result of her streaming exploits, Alexandra Botez has been widely regarded as “the queen of chess” and is one of the most recognisable chess players in the world. But what about her exploits in the world of poker? How has she faired in live events? Let’s take a closer look.
Is Alexandra Botez good at poker?
Alexandra Botez has exemplified that the attributes required to master chess are similar to those needed to be successful at the poker table. She admits to taking up poker during the pandemic and given her chess skills, it’s not surprising that she has already made a big name for herself in the poker world.
Something that certainly stands Botez in good stead is the fact that she’s regarded as an aggressive chess player with an adaptive style. This was evident in the 2016 Chess Olympiad in Norway, when she defeated her much-fancied opponent Anzel Solomons with a brilliant tactical move.
Adaptability and intelligence are two attributes integral to success as a chess player, and it seems that these skills have also served Botez well as she has transitioned into poker.
Her first known live poker appearance came at the 2021 $25k WPT HU Championship, but it wasn’t until the following year that she truly made a name for herself at the card table.
In May 2022, Alexandra Botez took a seat alongside the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Mr. Beast, and Tom Dwan in a no-limit hold’em cash game arranged by the Hustler Live Series.
Botez walked away with a profit of $456,900 at the end of the night, outshooting the popular YouTuber Mr. Beast who left the table with $438,900. The event was live-streamed by more than 100,000 people online, and the action that unfolded justified the interest in the event.
Botez made some memorable plays, including calling off a $65,000 all-in bet from Slime, winning a $279,000 pot in the process. Thanks to her success, Botez has become one of the shining stars of the Hustler Live Series of poker and gained many fans to add to her already impressive Twitch following.
In June 2022, Alexandra Botez and her sister Andrea invited poker pro Dan Smith onto their Twitch channel to play blitz chess, featuring $20 wagers. Smith had the upper hand over Alexandra, and Andrea had to step in to win the game for the Botez sisters in their final matchup. The stream was seen by many of Botez’s fans as an extension of an olive branch to the poker community, given her stunning victory at the poker table just a month previously.
Although Botez has remained coy about what the future holds for her career at the poker table, she recently announced on Instagram that she was traveling to Mexico to participate in the World Poker Tour Heads Up Championship – an indication that she is keen to broaden her horizons and continue her career as a poker player, after such a great start.
What does the future hold for Alexandra Botez, the queen of chess?
Although Alexandra Botez is a relative newcomer to the poker table, she is an exceptionally talented chess player and an extremely popular live streamer. In other words, she doesn’t necessarily need poker as much as poker needs her.
In fact, she’s been hailed as the player who could “pull poker back into the mainstream” due to her affability and general charisma on camera. Her incredible performance at the table in May 2022 only goes to cement her credentials, and poker fans are already clamoring to see more of her.
With her profile, it’s easy to see how Botez could take live poker to a whole new audience, capitalizing on the loyalty of her Twitch followers and showcasing her talents in a game where huge wins are the norm.
If she can replicate her incredible performance at the Hustler Live table in the next few events that she participates in, there’s no question that Alexandra Botez could be the next queen of poker, not just the queen of chess.
Feature image by Andreas Kontokanis under CC