Ladies In Poker: Dealing With Adversity At The Desk


The Professionals: Xuan Liu, Jamie Kerstetter, Danielle Andersen, and Linda Johnson

Craig Tapscott: Ladies can typically expertise a distinct set of challenges on the poker desk. Are you able to talk about a number of experiences that made you a stronger participant?

Xuan Liu: I’ve had a love affair with poker and technique video games since childhood, and I first began enjoying poker for actual cash through the Moneymaker increase. I had different buddies who have been simply as within the sport as me, however I used to be by far probably the most studious, and I immersed myself in each poker guide and useful resource there was on the time. Whenever you develop up with out a lot and have at all times labored in jobs that pay hourly wages, the potential to make tuition or cowl your complete hire for the semester in a single session turns into actually enticing. Not surprisingly and considerably paradoxically, I couldn’t keep my grades due to all of the distraction and misplaced my scholarship.

Once I first performed in america I struggled immensely. I used to be angle shot and obtained hustled left and proper. I used to be even held at gunpoint by the LAPD. I realized to place up a wall and am grateful these classes occurred comparatively early in my profession. I used to be lucky to have individuals who believed in me and lent a serving to hand once I was down.
Jamie KerstetterJamie Kerstetter: I’m unsure that experiencing adversity on the tables has actually made me a stronger participant, in that it hasn’t taught me something strategic in regards to the sport itself. However I believe a few of the annoyances that occur every now and then to ladies can present alternatives for self-reflection. It raises the questions: Is poker one thing I nonetheless need to do? Is it nonetheless enjoyable? Am I nonetheless captivated with studying and enhancing?

It’s normally after an disagreeable expertise coupled with a dropping session or downswing that I take into consideration issues like this, one thing I needs to be doing steadily anyway to ensure I’m spending my time and my life on a worthwhile endeavor that can result in achievement.

Danielle Andersen: I really feel blessed that simply by happenstance the primary seven years of my profession as a poker skilled have been spent enjoying on-line. Actually, I wasn’t very in tune to the happenings of the poker world, so I didn’t even actually course of being a feminine was uncommon. Behind the pc display, we’re all the identical. By the point I sat in my first stay sport I thought of myself a profitable, assured poker participant. So, it was stunning to me that I initially felt uncomfortable and intimidated as (normally) the one feminine on the desk.

There was no purpose for me to really feel this fashion. I knew I had a greater resume and extra expertise than many on the desk, but I felt like an imposter who didn’t belong. There was no single incident that helped me overcome this sense, however each single day I simply pressured myself to indicate up and each single day I grew extra comfy and assured.

I do know firsthand that the poker desk could be an intimidating place for a feminine, particularly one who’s new to the sport, however I believe the largest progress in poker and in life comes from pushing the bounds of our consolation zone. I might have simply run house and continued clicking buttons from the consolation of my workplace, however I suspected that if I might overcome my very own insecurities, I’d develop to like stay poker. And I used to be proper. The cumulative expertise of all these periods the place I confronted an uncomfortable atmosphere till it grew to become a snug atmosphere, allowed me to change into a stronger (and happier) participant.

Linda JohnsonLinda Johnson: Issues have modified rather a lot for girls in poker all through the years. Once I first began enjoying again within the ‘70s, I used to be dwelling in Southern California and enjoying in Gardena poker rooms. It was uncommon to see one other lady on the desk. I bear in mind one man yelling at me and berating me for “intruding the place I wasn’t wished.” He went on to inform me that “poker is meant to be a person’s sport.”

My scariest second occurred on the Las Vegas Membership within the early ‘80s. I entered a $22 match and was apparently the primary lady to take action at that venue. The cardboard room supervisor stated to me, “Welcome, honey!” The lads weren’t too pleasant. Once I made it to the ultimate desk, we took a break, and I might see my eight opponents huddled up and conspiring the best way to bust me from the match. There have been even some horrible threats tossed my method about what would occur to me if I gained.

Again then, there have been solely a handful of girls in Las Vegas enjoying professionally. I encountered three forms of males. The primary kind was hostile towards any lady who performed. I realized to develop a thick pores and skin and never let their feedback have an effect on me. The second kind was condescending. The third kind was protecting and nearly “fatherly.” Sadly, there was much less of the third kind.

As we speak’s ambiance within the poker site could be very welcoming towards ladies, though you continue to often encounter a person who thinks he’s superior and tries to make it uncomfortable for them to play. I believe that total, the sellers and flooring persons are higher skilled to deal with these conditions and I encourage extra ladies to play our fabulous sport.

Craig Tapscott: What was the primary expertise you had with poker that actually impressed you to go deeper into studying the sport? And the way did you go about enhancing?

Xuan LiuXuan Liu: My first a number of European Poker Tour experiences have been solo journeys, however I rapidly gravitated in the direction of good gamers after seeing the identical faces at every cease. At the moment, I used to be nonetheless doing all of my psychological math in Mandarin Chinese language, so it was just a little troublesome for me to debate hand histories, regardless that I frolicked with all these elite gamers. I’ve at all times been an important observer, so I doubled down on that talent and realized rather a lot by osmosis. 

Wanting again, I want I had been extra engaged and requested extra questions. I positively had a fancy the place I used to be apprehensive about sounding silly, and I actually wished to be favored. That together with my staunch independence and stubbornness meant I realized rather a lot in regards to the neighborhood, myself, and funds by trial and error. At first I simply wished to get higher and study, so I made certain to by no means give anybody a purpose to gossip or say one thing about me that might injury my fame and shut doorways. I ultimately realized that what others select to suppose is past my management, and I can solely make choices primarily based on the data I’ve at a given time.

Some folks suppose ladies objectively have it simpler as a result of we will use our social abilities and distinguished benefits to community and have entry to one of the best poker minds. Whereas which may be true in the event you’re younger, enticing, and socially adept, the portion of the gender that don’t verify these packing containers can anticipate normal remedy to vary from merely being ignored to blatantly harassed and gatekept out of the elite neighborhood. 

However of all of the unsavory issues I’ve witnessed and skilled within the trade, the dynamic that guts me probably the most is when different feminine gamers at an equal or larger stage than you see you as competitors. The trade perpetuates an aura of shortage and structurally pits us towards one another. Considered one of my greatest pet peeves is when somebody tries to offer me a praise by placing another person down. There’s loads of room for everybody to shine.

Jamie Kerstetter: Transferring to Rosarito Seashore, Mexico a yr after Black Friday, and being surrounded by some very profitable on-line gamers who lived and breathed poker was my first introduction to how difficult poker may very well be. I additionally realized how laborious one of the best gamers have been prepared to work to be one of the best. It was the primary time I actually felt like I used to be absolutely immersed in poker, as a substitute of telling myself I used to be simply enjoying poker “between jobs” or treating it like a interest as I had at all times performed up to now.

Regardless of how laborious all of us tried to take psychological breaks from the sport, there would at all times be a stray hand historical past mentioned over dinner or on the seaside. Being round folks for the primary time who really cherished poker and who have been prepared to debate not solely technique to make use of in-game, but in addition their total strategy to finding out the sport, was invaluable on the time.

Danielle AndersonDanielle Andersen: I used to be a broke sophomore in school once I gained my first $100 pot enjoying on-line poker. I bear in mind virtually floating to my subsequent class, adrenaline dashing by my veins. That evening I distinctly bear in mind having a dialog with my boyfriend (now husband), Kory, about how this poker interest would possibly truly be a viable method to make some more money. We excitedly mentioned how a lot stress it will relieve if I might simply grind out $100 a month.

What I ought to have performed at that time was dive into some books, be part of poker boards and watch some technique movies. However I didn’t, as a result of frankly, that simply didn’t sound enjoyable, and I couldn’t be bothered to cease clicking buttons lengthy sufficient to check. Fortunately, Kory additionally cherished poker and took a extra studious strategy to the sport. He understood ideas like pot odds, bankroll administration and variance earlier than I did, and he tried his finest to move on priceless data to me. I wasn’t one of the best scholar (I used to be sure sitting with half of my bankroll on the desk directly would find yourself simply fantastic!) however he was a persistent trainer and ultimately I began to know a few of these necessary ideas by myself. 

Working with poker creator and psychological coach Tommy Angelo was a pivotal turning level that actually modified how I take into consideration poker. I used to be actually battling the emotional highs and lows of being an expert gambler. My moods off the desk have been usually dictated by my outcomes on the desk, which was unfair to my household and to myself. Tommy actually helped me study to have higher management of my feelings which led to much less tilt, increased earnings, and a considerably happier house life. I’ve seen so many poker gamers who have been way more strategically gifted than I fail as skilled poker gamers as a result of they didn’t have the emotional fortitude to deal with the ups and downs. I extremely advocate gamers trying to enhance to not overlook the significance of engaged on their psychological sport. 

Linda Johnson: Once I turned 21, I began going to Las Vegas to play blackjack. My father advised me that if I wished to gamble, I ought to discover ways to play poker so I might not be enjoying towards the on line casino. I purchased myself a number of books (there weren’t many accessible on the time) and realized the fundamentals of the best way to play. I knew instantly that I might love the sport.

My first stay expertise was with my coworkers on the Submit Workplace. Finally, I grew to become a continuing winner and was not welcome to play. I began going to the Gardena cardrooms after work and would fly to Las Vegas on my days off. Poker was my area of interest, and I knew I might excel in it with a number of work and examine. I noticed that poker was a sport that may very well be overwhelmed if I performed higher than my opponents. 

I purchased each poker guide I might discover, talked poker with my buddies, and attended poker seminars. I performed poker each spare minute of the day and I cherished it! I ultimately felt that I might assist myself from poker, so I give up my safe, high-level authorities job on the Submit Workplace to maneuver to Las Vegas. That was one of the best choice of my life.

Poker is my ardour. I by no means cease studying and finding out. I’ve learn tons of of poker books. I joined some poker dialogue teams. I attended after which ultimately taught WPT Boot Camp. As we speak there are much more sources for folks to enhance their poker abilities than once I first realized the sport. There are magazines, on-line coaching websites, movies, teaching websites, and so on. Not like roulette and craps, poker is a sport that may be overwhelmed if you’re prepared to do the work and put within the time to study the sport. ♠

Xuan Liu is an teacher at Poker Powher and operates her personal actual property enterprise. She has greater than $3 million in mixed stay and on-line match winnings, together with a $600,000 rating on the PokerStars Caribbean Journey and one other $524,000 earned on the EPT San Remo primary occasion. Liu lives in Vancouver, Canada along with her rescue mini-poodle Didi.

Jamie Kerstetter is an expert poker participant and broadcaster, commentating for a wide range of poker excursions together with the WPT, PokerGO and the WSOP. For the previous two years, she labored the WSOP primary occasion on ESPN alongside Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, receiving a International Poker Award nomination for Broadcaster of the Yr. She is host of The Rake, a Run It As soon as podcast.

Danielle ‘dmoongirl’ Andersen started enjoying on-line in 2003 and is among the highest incomes feminine on-line money sport gamers in historical past. She was featured within the 2013 movie Wager, Elevate, Fold, which documented the rise and fall of on-line poker in america. Andersen is a part of the LearnWPT teacher staff.

Linda Johnson is called the ‘First Woman Of Poker’ and has a World Collection of Poker bracelet. She is a proud member of the Poker Corridor of Fame and Ladies in Poker Corridor of Fame, and can be is a co-founder of TDA (Match Administrators Affiliation) and co-founder of She was a studio announcer for the World Poker Tour throughout its first six seasons. Johnson can be a associate in Card Participant Cruises and a former writer and proprietor of Card Participant Journal.




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