The Pros: Xuan Liu, Jamie Kerstetter, Danielle Andersen, and Linda Johnson
Craig Tapscott: Women can generally expertise a distinct set of challenges on the poker desk. Can you talk about a couple 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 pals who have been simply as within the recreation 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. When 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 engaging. Not surprisingly and considerably mockingly, I couldn’t preserve my grades due to all of the distraction and misplaced my scholarship.
When I first performed within the United States I struggled immensely. I used to be angle shot and acquired hustled left and proper. I used to be even held at gunpoint by the LAPD. I discovered 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 after I was down.
Jamie 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 concerning the recreation itself. But I feel a number of the annoyances that occur once in a while to ladies can present alternatives for self-reflection. It raises the questions: Is poker one thing I nonetheless wish to do? Is it nonetheless enjoyable? Am I nonetheless keen about studying and bettering?
It is normally after an disagreeable expertise coupled with a shedding session or downswing that I take into consideration issues like this, one thing I must be doing continuously anyway to ensure I’m spending my time and my life on a worthwhile endeavor that may result in success.
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. Honestly, 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 screen, we’re all the identical. By the time I sat in my first stay recreation 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 cause for me to really feel this manner. 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 compelled myself to indicate up and each single day I grew extra comfy and assured.
I do know firsthand that the poker desk might be an intimidating place for a feminine, particularly one who’s new to the sport, however I feel the most important development 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 setting till it grew to become a snug setting, allowed me to grow to be a stronger (and happier) participant.
Linda Johnson: Things have modified loads for ladies in poker all through the years. When I first began enjoying again within the ‘70s, I was living in Southern California and playing in Gardena poker rooms. It was rare to see another woman at the table. I remember one man yelling at me and berating me for “intruding where I wasn’t needed.” He went on to inform me that “poker is supposed to be a man’s game.”
My scariest second occurred on the Las Vegas Club within the early ‘80s. I entered a $22 event and was apparently the primary lady to take action at that venue. The card room supervisor mentioned to me, “Welcome, honey!” The males weren’t too pleasant. When I made it to the ultimate desk, we took a break, and I might see my eight opponents huddled up and conspiring find out how to bust me from the event. There have been even some horrible threats tossed my approach about what would occur to me if I received.
Back then, there have been solely a handful of girls in Las Vegas enjoying professionally. I encountered three sorts of males. The first sort was hostile towards any lady who performed. I discovered to develop a thick pores and skin and never let their feedback have an effect on me. The second sort was condescending. The third sort was protecting and nearly “fatherly.” Unfortunately, there was much less of the third sort.
Today’s ambiance within the poker site could be very welcoming towards ladies, though you continue to sometimes encounter a person who thinks he’s superior and tries to make it uncomfortable for them to play. I feel that total, the sellers and ground persons are higher educated to deal with these conditions and I encourage extra ladies to play our fabulous recreation.
Craig Tapscott: What was the primary expertise you had with poker that basically impressed you to go deeper into studying the sport? And how did you go about bettering?
Xuan 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 that point, I used to be nonetheless doing all of my psychological math in Mandarin Chinese, so it was a bit of tough for me to debate hand histories, regardless that I frolicked with all these elite gamers. I’ve at all times been an ideal observer, so I doubled down on that talent and discovered loads by way of osmosis.
Looking again, I want I had been extra engaged and requested extra questions. I positively had a posh the place I used to be frightened about sounding silly, and I actually needed to be preferred. That together with my staunch independence and stubbornness meant I discovered loads concerning the neighborhood, myself, and funds by way of trial and error. In the start I simply needed to get higher and be taught, so I made certain to by no means give anybody a cause to gossip or say one thing about me that might harm my popularity 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 individuals 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. While which may be true in the event you’re younger, engaging, and socially adept, the portion of the gender that don’t verify these containers can count on commonplace therapy to vary from merely being ignored to blatantly harassed and gatekept out of the elite neighborhood.
But 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 degree than you see you as competitors. The trade perpetuates an aura of shortage and structurally pits us towards one another. One of my greatest pet peeves is when somebody tries to present me a praise by placing another person down. There’s loads of room for everybody to shine.
Jamie Kerstetter: Moving to Rosarito Beach, Mexico a 12 months 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 discovered how exhausting 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 totally 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 prior to now.
No matter how exhausting 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 seashore. Being round individuals 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 method to learning the sport, was invaluable on the time.
Danielle Andersen: I used to be a broke sophomore in school after I received my first $100 pot enjoying on-line poker. I keep in mind virtually floating to my subsequent class, adrenaline dashing by way of my veins. That night time I distinctly keep in mind having a dialog with my boyfriend (now husband), Kory, about how this poker interest would possibly really be a viable approach to make some more money. We excitedly mentioned how a lot stress it might 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. But 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. Thankfully, Kory additionally cherished poker and took a extra studious method to the sport. He understood ideas like pot odds, bankroll administration and variance earlier than I did, and he tried his finest to cross on precious data to me. I wasn’t one of the best pupil (I used to be sure sitting with half of my bankroll on the desk without delay would find yourself simply nice!) however he was a persistent trainer and ultimately I began to understand a few of these necessary ideas alone.
Working with poker writer and psychological coach Tommy Angelo was a pivotal turning level that basically modified how I take into consideration poker. I used to be actually fighting 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 be taught to have higher management of my feelings which led to much less tilt, larger earnings, and a considerably happier house life. I’ve seen so many poker gamers who have been much 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 seeking to enhance to not overlook the significance of engaged on their psychological recreation.
Linda Johnson: When I turned 21, I began going to Las Vegas to play blackjack. My father advised me that if I needed to gamble, I ought to learn to play poker so I’d not be enjoying towards the on line casino. I purchased myself a couple of books (there weren’t many obtainable on the time) and discovered the fundamentals of find out how to play. I knew straight away that I’d love the sport.
My first stay expertise was with my coworkers on the Post Office. Eventually, I grew to become a continuing winner and was now 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 plenty of work and examine. I spotted that poker was a recreation that may very well be crushed if I performed higher than my opponents.
I purchased each poker guide I might discover, talked poker with my pals, and attended poker seminars. I performed poker each spare minute of the day and I cherished it! I ultimately felt that I might help myself from poker, so I stop my safe, high-level authorities job on the Post Office 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 learning. I’ve learn tons of of poker books. I joined some poker dialogue teams. I attended after which ultimately taught WPT Boot Camp. Today there are much more assets for individuals to enhance their poker abilities than after I first discovered the sport. There are magazines, on-line coaching websites, movies, teaching websites, and so on. Unlike roulette and craps, poker is a recreation that may be crushed if you’re prepared to do the work and put within the time to be taught 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 event winnings, together with a $600,000 rating on the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and one other $524,000 earned on the EPT San Remo predominant occasion. Liu lives in Vancouver, Canada along with her rescue mini-poodle Didi.
Jamie Kerstetter is an expert poker participant and broadcaster, commentating for quite a lot of poker excursions together with the WPT, PokerGO and the WSOP. For the previous two years, she labored the WSOP predominant occasion on ESPN alongside Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, receiving a Global Poker Award nomination for Broadcaster of the Year. She is host of The Rake, a Run It Once podcast.
Danielle ‘dmoongirl’ Andersen started enjoying on-line in 2003 and is without doubt one of the highest incomes feminine on-line money recreation gamers in historical past. She was featured within the 2013 movie Bet, Raise, Fold, which documented the rise and fall of on-line poker within the United States. Andersen is a part of the LearnWPT teacher workforce.
Linda Johnson is named the ‘First Lady Of Poker’ and has a World Series of Poker bracelet. She is a proud member of the Poker Hall of Fame and Women in Poker Hall of Fame, and can be is a co-founder of TDA (Tournament Directors Association) and co-founder of Pokergives.org. She was a studio announcer for the World Poker Tour throughout its first six seasons. Johnson can be a accomplice in Card Player Cruises and a former writer and proprietor of Card Player Magazine.