Olivia 'Liv' Boeree, from Hollingbourne, is now regularly blasting them at the poker tables - picking up more than two million dollars in her card playing career.
Last month alone, the 28-year-old won £59,180 after battling it out with eight players in Edinburgh at the PokerStars UK and Ireland Tournament.
Champion poker star Olivia ‘Liv’ Boeree, from Maidstone, hailed as one of the most successful female players of all time. Picture: Rene Velli
By any standards, she's bright - achieving all A/A* grades at GCSE and A-level, and then gaining her first class degree in astrophysics at Manchester University.
As a third year student, she visited Jodrell Bank's giant space telescope to plot the rotational curve of the Milky Way, the galaxy that contains our solar system.
She doesn't like to be referred to as a professional poker player, but rather as a poker player and TV presenter.
"The training I got from physics, the way its conditioned my mind to think, has enabled me to go into such an analytical game," said Olivia. "It's what allows me to be a fantastic player.
"Poker is about making incredibly complex decisions in a short space of time. Under a lot of pressure with so many variables and bits of information, you have to filter through to make the correct ones.
"That's what physics is all about, and that's what helps me now when I'm playing on the tables for millions of dollars."
Olivia faces an opponent at the poker tables Picture: Rene Velli
Nicknamed the "Iron Maiden" because of her love for heavy metal music, Olivia took to playing poker seriously from 2009 and by the following year achieved her big breakthrough winning the European Poker Tournament at San Remo for 1.25 million euros.
She was also European Ladies Champion in 2008.
"As a girl, I've always enjoyed being in a minority in whatever subject I'm doing - physics, poker, or playing heavy metal guitar," said Olivia.
"The training I got from physics, the way its conditioned my mind to think, has enabled me to go into such an analytical game..." - poker player Olivia 'Liv' Boeree
"I certainly would not have got the attention that I've had in poker had I not been a female."
She added: "There is absolutely no reason why us girls can't kick out at whatever subject we choose to do.
"It would make me so happy to see more girls studying physics, winning Nobel Prizes, being the next Einstein."
Olivia now lives in London but has fond memories of Maidstone.
"I migrated there more when I got older and started going to the various rock bars in the town such as the Union Bar and the Thirsty Pig.
"I loved the rock scene in Maidstone very much; it was always a very fun town to go out in!"
Another successful poker player is newspaper columnist Victoria Coren Mitchell, the first woman to win an event in the European Poker Tour
Olivia has a strong love of nature from her years spent as a child in Maidstone, including a passion for horse riding.
She was also privately educated at the Ashford School, whose website extols self-reliance, compassion, determination and boldness.
In her spare time she's a model and broadcaster. She grew up on the North Downs above Hollingbourne.
"It's one of the most beautiful areas in the UK and I was so lucky to have been surrounded by it.
"Preserving the woodland and rural areas of Kent and the UK is something I care passionately about and hope that they are maintained."
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