A professional poker player won a $1 million bet against his friends after he lost 70 pounds of body fat in six months.
Walter Fisher, 36, weighed in at 245 pounds eight months ago, chalking off his weight gain to a string of losses at the poker table that left him $500,000 in debt, ABC News reported.
“The weight piled on,” he said. “I was looking in the mirror and I didn’t know who this person was.”
Fisher had come off a winning streak in 2016, when he won $97,000 from playing blackjack.
“I hit the zone and just felt it,” Fisher told the New York Post.
But that winning streak was short-lived. The Queens, New York native lost his fortune in less than a month, accrued hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and gained 40 to 50 pounds.
“I’d lose a bundle at blackjack and eat three or four super rich single-serving chocolate cakes. They had to have [had] more than 1,000 calories each. It was disastrous,” Fisher said.
Despite being six figures in debt, Fisher accepted a bet he could not refuse in December from a gambling acquaintance of his that would wind up changing his life.
His acquaintance bet that Fisher could not get his body to contain less than ten percent body fat in six months.
Fisher accepted the challenge, convinced two friends to back him, and before long, more $1 million wagers poured in.
Fisher, who was serious about taking on this challenge, enlisted the help of a personal trainer set up by his friend.
Chris DiVecchio, owner of the Los Angeles-based fitness studio Premier Mind & Body, offered to train Fisher for an upfront fee and a slice of the winnings.
Five and a half months later, Fisher got his weight down to 175 pounds and took home $600,000 in cash.
Fisher, however, said serving as a role model to his younger nephews and nieces was a bigger motivator than money for losing weight.
“I wanted to be around my nephews and nieces and … give them .. the uncle they should look up to, not somebody who is a mess,” Fisher said. “Money shouldn’t be the motivating factor.”
Fisher said he was able to pay off his debt and is now making it his goal to stay fit.
“To have gone from an absolute low to where I am now is an achievement and a transformation,” Fisher said.