Billionaire Guy Laliberte Sells Cirque du Soleil

We could be seeing more of Guy Laliberte at the poker tables after the billionaire sold his business interests in Cirque du Soleil

Guy Laliberte has sold his remaining minority interest in artistic company Cirque du Soleil. The flamboyant Canadian sold his final 10% to investment firm Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec.

Sixty-year-old Laliberte founded Cirque du Soleil 35-years go on June 16, 1984. The Montreal-based entertainment company is the now largest contemporary circus producer in the world. The company employs more than 4,900 people and has an annual turnover of C$850 million.

Laliberte’s story is almost unbelievable. He went from busking as a street performer to being worth $2.6 billion. Laliberte became the first-ever Canadian space tourist in September 2009; he’s lived quite the life. Now he prefers relaxing and performing DJ sets in Ibiza, Montreal, and Miami.

His personal wealth has recently fallen, but his net worth is still $1.8 billion. He sold a 70% stake in the company for $1.5 billion in 2015 and now has no holding at all after this latest transaction.

Laliberte The Live Poker Player

Laliberte has a passion for playing poker, although, to be honest, he’s not very good. The Canadian is seen as a massive whale and games often revolve around him playing or not. But he is filthy rich and what he does with his money is his own business.

The man from Quebec has two live tournaments cashes on his Hendon Mob profile. Laliberte banked $696,220 for a fourth-place finish in the WPT Five Star World Poker Classic in 2007. Carlos Mortensen won that event for $3,970,415, which is still the biggest single prize on the WPT.

Laliberte cashed in a major live event five years later. It was the inaugural Big One for One Drop, a $1 million buy-in charity event. Laliberte finished fifth for $1,834,666. Antonio Esfandiari won the tournament for an incredible $18,346,673.

The One Drop Foundation raises awareness of water-related issues. Laliberte donated C$100 million over the past 25-years after making it his quest for the entire world to have access to clean drinking water.

Laliberte The Online Poker player

Many people believe Gus Hansen is the biggest single loser in online poker history. That is true if you only consider his one Full Tilt account. Laliberte has lost far more across multiple accounts and, probably, continues to lose now.

Hansen lost $20,737,007 before he quit high stakes online cash games. Our hero played under several aliases and has bled more than $31 million. His problem lies in he loves playing poker against opponents who are much better than he is. There’s nothing wrong with doing this because it helps you develop stronger poker skills. Likewise, Laliberte has a massive bankroll so his losses essentially don’t matter. It’s just a recipe to have an alarmingly negative win rate.

Laliberte took on the likes of Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Phil Galfond, and Patrik Antonius during his online career. Rumors are rife that he continues to play ultra-high stakes on the GG Network.

Arrest for Cannabis Cultivations

The seemingly squeaky clean Laliberte landed himself in hot water with the authorities recently. He was arrested in French Polynesia where he owns his own private island. Laliberte is a medicinal cannabis user, but the local police arrested him for questioning over cultivating the drug.

News sites around the world exploded with reports he’d been arrested for drug trafficking. These reports proved incorrect because the businessman was questioned over growing cannabis at his property.

Laliberte distanced himself from the drug trafficking reports and stated his grows were strictly for personal use.

The cultivation, consumption, and transportation of Cannabis is illegal in French Polynesia, something Laliberte should have been aware of. Penalties include heavy unlimited fines and even jail sentences.

Laliberte bought the island of Nukutepipi in 2007 and plans to rent it out to the ultra-rich. An Airbnb listing shows it as available o rent for $1.1 million per week! The island comes with its own chef, doctor, massage therapist and comprises of 21 rooms.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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