The nickname "Tony the Hitman Hakki" was not dropped on Tony Hakki because he is a hired killer — he gained it legitimately from making his money through gambling and poker. That apparently put the picture in focus for a controversial verdict was handed down by three Court of Appeal judges on a child support issue filed by the mother of Hakki's children, Devrise Blair.
The dispute started four years ago when Blair claimed that Hakki's profession was gambling and asked the Child Support Agency to order Hakki to pay for the children's maintenance.
The Telegraph.co.uk reported that although Hakki's poker playing was ruled in a previous hearing as gainful employment, Hakki asked the court to analyze the case.
The ruling was returned as follows:
"(Mr Hakki) is a professional poker player in the sense that he supports himself from his winnings at poker,” said one appeal judge, Lord Justice Longmore.
“He declines to support his children and the mother has made an application to the Child Support Agency for an order that he pay child support maintenance.
"He opposes the application on the ground that his poker winnings do not constitute 'earnings' from gainful employment.
Lord Justic Longmore continued, "On the facts found I do not consider that it can be said that Mr Hakki had a sufficient organisation in his poker playing to make it amount to a trade (or a business) let alone a profession or a vocation."
Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Pitchford agreed.
Hakki is a former stockbroker turned poker pro and is listed in 390th place on England's all time money list at TheHendonMob.com. Hakki apparently plays live and tournaments around the world. The good news is that if you face off with him in a poker hand — and bust him — you know you aren't taking food out of the mouths of his children.
Tony Hakki image courtesy of thehendonmob.com.