Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ok folks this one might be a long one. I feel I have to tell this story now for a reason and I will start from the beginning. I have always been a competitive person by nature. I also have always loved card games. With that said I never really thought about playing poker for real against real people. I did know however that poker runs in my blood. My grandmother and her sister my Aunt Marion would go on little poker binges for a couple of days at a time way back in the 40's and 50's. Back then it was in the back of bars and let me tell you these were smoking, drinking, cursing, bartending, bouncing women. Nobody messed with them. The stories though somehow got into my soul and stuck with me for years.

In October of 2004 I was in a horrible car accident that nearly took my life. I was in the hospital for a week in critical care and then transferred to a rehab hospital for three weeks more. I broke my pelvis in three places, broke my hip, my scapula, my ribs, and many more injuries that were not as severe. I was very blessed to have survived such a horrific accident and basically came out of it with some chronic pain and some disc problems in my back but nothing I couldn't handle or live with.

About a year after I had my accident I was anxious to find out when I could become pregnant or if I should even try because my biological was ticking away. When I spoke to the doctor he said it would be fine to try that it has been a year and it would probably take a little while. Next thing I knew a month later the line was pink when I missed my period. Wow we are 2 fertile people. Now I have to make my way through this pregnancy after barely a year has gone by since I crushed my pelvis. I got through about 3 months of the pregnancy with no real problems and then the pain. It hit me like a mac truck. The doctor told me that the weight of the baby is now putting pressure directly on my pelvis and I should be off my feet. So I set up my Lazyboy in front of my big screen T.V. and started watching this new show called Celebrity Poker Showdown. I was riveted by it I couldn't get enough. I TIVO'd every poker show on T.V.. I had never seen or played Texas Hold em before but I fell in love with the game. I was now convinced I could play this game and win. I opened an online poker account and started playing online tournaments. If I wasn't playing online I was watching on TV. Phil Gordon became my new crush. It was constant poker night and day. I started to notice I was winning a lot of tournaments, granted they were either 2 to 5 dollars or freerolls but I was really doing well. I entered a freeroll for the Aussie Millions one morning and next thing I knew I had got to the final table of 700 people and won an entry to the next round. A few days later I was playing in round 2 and I was doing really well. I actually knocked out Chris Ferguson who's Avatar was remarkably realistic looking. I actually won round 2 and got to the finals. Now I had beaten about 1800 people to get to the finals and my confidence was building. Unfortunately I didn't win the final round but this tournament gave me belief in myself that if I can beat 1800 people to get to the finals I have got something here. Suddenly my husband was on board somewhat with me and allowed me to keep playing. He told me that after I give birth and I am feeling better that I could go to Atlantic City for a few days and play for real.

After having a beautiful 8 1/2 lb baby boy on July 4th of 2006 I was feeling pretty well by January and my husband let myself and my sister and mother go to The Borgata for some R&R while he took great care of our two kids. I went into the poker room for the first time and was completely overwhelmed and excited at the same time. I decided to play in their nightly tournament for 120 dollars which seems like a million after playing online for 5 bucks a pop but I did it anyway. The tournament had about 80 people in it which was a nice size for me. I got pretty deep about half way through and I got knocked out on a bad beat. I went all in with a pair of aces and got called by queen ten off suit and lost to a four card flush on the river. Nobody told me how shitty that feels. I ran out of that poker room steaming like a teapot. I swore I would never play for that kind of money again and the 5 dollar online games were enough for me. All over The Borgata are signs saying WPT winter poker open and I am just dreaming of what if. Now its 7:00pm the next night and I walk past the poker room and it is calling my name. I have to try one more time. Its so expensive though and my husband will kill me if I lose even more money. What should I do! Suddenly right before they close the tournament out I run up to the window and buy my seat, what the hell I'm here I have the money in my hand and after all I could win. I did. I played about 6 hours and we got down to five people and we chopped the money so I won 2200 bucks. I was so excited I called my husband a t 3am to tell him because I cant wait. I told him I am giving him 1700 dollars and I am taking the rest and buying myself a seat in the WPT Ladies event which was coming in two weeks. He said you got a deal! And he said you can do this and always believed in me.

Two weeks later I go back to The Borgata and enter into the WPT Ladies event with very little expectations other than being a Poker groupie and maybe seeing some pro's walking around. Next thing I know I have the chip lead about half way through the tournament and I am confident. That 30 grand has my name on it! I felt like nobody could take this from me I was on fire. After 16 hours at about 4 am it was heads up between me and this girl Emily. We had become very friendly over the last couple of hours at the final table and it turned out she won. I was not as sad because I really liked her and after all I did just win 17000 dollars. I was so excited I called everybody in my family at 4 am I felt like I was on cloud 9. From this moment on poker has and always will be a huge part of my life. I find joy in it and passion and I know how some people feel that its all the same gambling is gambling but it really isn't. Being a woman poker player you have to believe in yourself because a lot of people will try to bring you down but over the last few years I feel that I have in my own small way broken down some barriers in local games that I play and now with what happened in September 09' I really have an opportunity to help people believe in themselves whatever it is that their passion is.

This story is far from over so keep coming back and I will keep writing some of the amazing things that have happened to me in my life so far.

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