HE IS in the final year of his degree but civil engineering student Shaun Hegarty (right) is hoping to make a career out of playing online poker instead.
The 26-year-old has just pocketed $420,000 (€305,000) in an online poker tournament, facing down 26,000 other players and a marathon 15-hour game before coming out on top.
He says his win on Pokerstars.com is his biggest but he's come close before.
Just one week ago he came 11th in another tournament that could have resulted in another massive win.
He admitted he has had a lot of losses but said generally, over a period of time, he makes enough profit from his online gaming to keep him going through college.
But far from being devastated by the close call like most mere mortals, he doesn't look at it like this.
He said the game is not about the gambling and if that does come into it you only start to make mistakes.
"You have to be easy going and very relaxed and you're constantly learning," said the fourth year student at NUI Galway, who's been playing poker online for the last six or seven years.
"You have to keep up with different trends because the game is always changing and a lot of research and work goes into keeping up."
The Listowel, Co Kerry, native does admit he will be able to buy some nice Christmas presents this year. Then it's back to the books to finish his studies in Galway.