Known as “ActionJack” and hailing from Birmingham, England, Paul Jackson started off playing brag and later played blackjack and roulette in casinos. At one casino, he saw poker being played and picked up the game in 1985, choosing a nickname based on the film Action Jackson as his alias.
Jackson is best-known as an online poker player (he once won two large online poker tournaments on the same night), but has also made numerous high finishes in major live events.
Jackson had intended to play in the 2005 London Open event, but had already booked a holiday that coincided. He went on to call Iwan Jones, whom he knew from playing online at Ladbrokes, and bought a third of his action along with Nick Gibson. Jones won the US$750,000 first prize, resulting in Jackson making US$250,000 whilst in a caravan in Dorchester.
Jackson made a strong finish in the 2005 Monte Carlo Millions event. One hand from the event, where Phil Ivey‘s Q♥ 8♥ and Jackson’s 6♠ 5♦ bluffed against each other continuously, is considered to be one of the best hands of poker broadcast on television (watch the action here). In the final hand, Jackson moved all-in with Q♥ J♥and Ivey called with K♣ Q♦. The board of T♥ 6♣ 9♣ 2♠ 5♠ failed to improve either players’ hand, and Jackson was eliminated in second place, for $600,000.
Jackson finished in the money of the World Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2005 (final 16) and 2006 (runner-up.) Along the way, he eliminated Juan Carlos Mortensen in the quarter-final and Markus Golser in the semi-final. He also finished in the money of the 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event and the European Poker Tour (EPT) second season grand final.
As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $1,100,000.
Jackson has also appeared in The Poker Channel’s top-rated television series, The Poker Godfather, travelling around Britain to give poker players advice.