I was at Ceasars in Vegas in May (my first experience playing Texas Hold’em (lost $63 at a $4/8 limit game)), and my good friend Milton introduced me to a friend of his named Jennifer Brown, who happens to be a professional poker player. Jennifer was in Sin City to play in the The Ladies International Poker Series Grand Championship, in which she placed 29th out of 397. Jennifer is the only person I have ever known who makes a living from playing poker. She has just returned from Ceasars Indiana, playing some WSOP circuit event, and has been kind enough to answer some questions about her thoughts and experiences about playing poker. Below is an email interview I conducted with Jennifer. I have titled it part 1, because I anticipate asking her some more questions down the road.
Suber: Who is Jennifer Brown?
Jennifer: I grew up in Tucson Arizona, I am a 37 year old proud mother of four. I also raise 2 other children that belong to a high school friend. I run free Texas Hold ‘Em games at local pubs around Nashville Tennessee where I live at the time. My nickname is Poker Bitch. I absolutely love the game of poker. I am truly blessed and amazed they actually pay us to play this game. I make it sound to easy ….. sometimes it is very very stressful and sometimes you want to kill the person that called your raise when they really should not even be in the hand, however there is nothing else in the world I would rather do for a living.
Suber: How and when did you get into poker?
Jennifer: I have pretty much played all my life. When I was little my family used to have Poker and Canasta Tournaments that went for days on end. I really do not remember ever not playing poker.
Suber: Are you making a living off of playing poker?
Jennifer: Yes, I do, even though it’s sometimes hard for me to believe I get paid to play the greatest game in the world.
Suber: Do you play mostly tournaments? If so, what recent tournaments have you played in? And how have you done in them?
Jennifer: Yes. I played in The WSOP Circuit Event In Tunica Miss. Oct. 1st and in The WSOP Circuit Event at Caesars Indiana Oct.25th. I finished on the bubble 28th, last one NOT to get paid! on Oct. 1st and 27th with a payout of $258.00 on Oct.25th. (I can’t seem to get over that 20th something mark lately)
Suber: Do you play cash games? If so, what sort of cash games and what sort of stakes?
Jennifer: Yes. Poker. Limit – No Limit – Chinese Poker. $1/2 and $2/4 Limit and $4/8 No-Limit
Suber: What’s the most you ever won in a hand/tournament?
Jennifer: In a single hand $900.00. In a Tournament $7500.00
Suber: Have you ever played in the WSOP? And how have you done?
Jennifer: In a WSOP Circuit Event – YES. The Main Event – not yet. I am looking for a backer or two right now. I finish in the money approximately .. 90% of the time.
Suber: What women/men do you think are good poker players?
Jennifer: Well the late Stu Unger was the greatest Poker player ever. He truly was amazing! They say he was so good at Gin that he could not get anyone at all to play him after a while. I really like Annie Duke and her brother Howard Ledderer. I think they are real solid consistent players. I also like Sammy Farha and Chris Ferguson (Jesus)
Suber: Do you play online poker? If so, what stakes? And in what poker rooms?
Jennifer: Yes. I only play tournaments online with buy ins from $5.00 up to $300.00. Well now I play River Belle Poker and AMCO Poker I used to play alot at Titan and Noble until they closed all US accounts due to the new law.
Suber: Any poker story about yourself that you’d like to share?
Jennifer: Well I can tell you about my favorite winning hand. I was in my first WPT Circuit Event at The Goldstrike in Tunica Miss. – I was high as a kite as all of my poker heroes were in the room playing all around me. I mean Sammy Farha was at a table literally 10 feet away. I felt like I was in a dream. AS IF it could get any better the second hand of the tournament the dealer deals me pocket KINGS!! I raise pre flop and get two callers the button and the big blind. The flop K 8 K (WOO HOO)uhhhhhh check!! The button checks, the big blind bets, I raise, the button folds & the big blind calls. The turn card 2. I check again the big blind bets, I raise, she calls. Im thinking what the heck ???? How do you call TWO check raises ???? What the heck does she have?? There was no flush, no straight, and no aces so I was 100% certain to win. The river card to tell you the truth I have no idea what it was. I check she bets half her stack I go all in and she calls me?? She calls a THIRD check raise ?? She had pocket 8’s giving her a Full House 8’s Full of KINGS. She says to me I have a full house what could YOU possibly have? I said uhhhhh only TWO MORE KINGS!! I put her out of the game and doubled up in the 2cd hand!! It was the sweetest and most intense hand of poker I have ever played!
Suber: Do you think playing against women is different than playing against men? If so, which do you prefer to play against?
Jennifer: YES !!!! Without a doubt!!! MEN……. The are WAY easier to TILT! However in general they play a better game.
Suber: How long did it take before you felt as if you could compete on a professional level?
Jennifer: Well……. I won a trip to Vegas and a trip to Tunica in a Local FREE Poker League. I also won a a buy in to a LIPS (Ladies International Poker Series) event. I won that event and part of the winners package was another trip to Vegas and another seat (which I finished in the money there as well), soooooo I guess you could say I did not think about it. I just sorta did it! I always say no guts no glory !!!! and Hold ‘ Em
is mostly BALLS and BULLSHIT!
Suber: Is there anything else you would like people to know about yourself that is poker-related or even non-poker related?
Jennifer: I love small suited connectors 5 6 is one of my favorites. It really hits a lot of straights and your opponent never expects you to play it. Never Ever slow play your ACES you will get them cracked more than not that way! I HATE POCKET JACKS!!!!! And always remember do not look for the Sucker at the table …….. look for the champion and make a Sucker out of him!!!