Name: Andrew Black
Birthday: July 20, 1965
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Online Screen Names: Andy Black (Full Tilt Poker)
Endorses: Full Tilt Poker

Andy Black is one of the most prolific players in the game of poker today, and should be considering he has been playing since his childhood.

Andy’s mother was a fan of the game and taught her son the rules at a very early age through some heads-up lessons. Little did he know at the time that his mother was simply using the game to distract him from the troubles going on in the city as a result of the IRA’s reign of terror. After heading to Trinity College in Dublin to study law, Black began to play more and take the game more seriously.

Black first began playing in tournaments in 1986 and was a member of the Junior Common Room poker school at the time. He is not alone on the illustrious list of alumni though, as Donnacha O’Dea and Padraig Parkinson were also members! Black also frequented the Griffin Casino in Dublin.

However, it was not until 1997 that Black found himself in his first major tournament. Ironically, it is his defeat at the hands of Stu Ungar during the WSOP Main Event that has proved to be one of the most remembered incidents in his career. There were numerous press stories about Black being beaten by an A-Q when he held an A-K himself, but Black has repeatedly stated that Ungar simply outplayed him. Ungar had befriended Black though, which made the defeat even harder to swallow. However, the defeat would ultimately have a massive impact on Black’s life for the right reasons.

After a defeat in the WSOP Main Event, Black took five years away from the table and became a semi-monastic Buddhist and strengthened his faith on the path of enlightenment. He still follows the Buddhist way of life now, but came back to the table better than ever before, having his emotions fully holstered. He competed in and won several European tournaments before placing fifth in the 2005 World Series of Poker. He won almost $2 million in that tournament alone.

Overall, Black has earned more than $4 million in tournaments around the globe and remains one of the most respected players on the circuit. Playing online poker exclusively at Full Tilt Poker, Black maintains a high profile but a low key Buddhist life and seems content with his lot. Content enough to continue to donate winnings t several charities.