“Take Me to the River” Review

[LL] “Peter Alson is just months away from marrying his long-term girlfriend and has written the screenplay for a movie that’s about to start filming in New York,” relayed Leroy the Lion, “but that doesn’t stop him from going to Las Vegas to play poker for a month. His interest in the World Series of Poker began when he read a Sports Illustrated article while in college in 1976, and now, nearly three decades later, he’s managed to get an advance to write a book about his experience playing in the world’s most famous poker tournament.”

[RR] “Some players scrape up $10,000 to buy directly into the Main Event, some satellite in, and apparently at least once a year, a writer bamboozles a publisher to get paid to play it”, Roderick the Rock suggested.

[LL] “That sounds about right. Alson acknowledges The Biggest Game in Town by Al Avarez (who would write about the WSOP a second time from a player’s perspective in Bets, Bluffs, and Bad Beats), Big Deal by Anthony Holden, and Positively Fifth Street by James McManus, but each writer brings his own perspective to the task. Alson was inspired by Alvarez to play poker, and over a quarter century later, to try to qualify for the Main Event via a PokerStars online satellite a la Chris Moneymaker.”

[RR] “That makes sense. It’d be a short story if his publisher bought him directly into the Main Event, then he lasted only a few blind levels.”

[LL] “Agreed. Alson provides the requisite summary of the history of the WSOP from the early days up through Greg Raymer’s 2004 victory, which was the final full event at the Horseshoe1 (conveniently replaying on ESPN on the hotel room television). But his journey begins far from Vegas, on his laptop playing on PokerStars. After a particular tough run, in frustration he deletes the app and, after a break, ends up resuming his quest later on the computer of poker pro Shane Schleger,2 who also gives him advice.

The story returns to Las Vegas, starting with the cliche flying-into-Las-Vegas chapter. Alson had been to the WSOP way back in the late 1980s to cover the World Series of Poker (and the Super Bowl of Poker) for The Village Voice and Esquire and played in the Media Tournament a few times without reaching the final table. He finally played in an open event in 2001 and cashed in one preliminary event; he even played in the Main Event but didn’t cash.

Alson’s actually a pretty good player who honed his game at New York City’s Mayfair Club among others.3 He already knew what M and inflection points were before reading Dan Harrington’s books (the second of which Alson was fortunate enough to get an advance copy of). On the other hand, he didn’t take Harrington’s lessons to heart, as in one event he allowed himself to blind down to two orbits worth of chips (M=2).

One of the most interesting tidbits in the entire book is relegated to a footnote. Alson gave his table the Gambler’s Anonymous 20-question compulsive gambler test, and the table averaged 14 positives, two more than Alson and double the amount needed to be considered a compulsive gambler.

Of all the writer-gets-paid-to-chronicle-playing-in-the-WSOP books, only two have truly happy endings: Positively Fifth Street ends with McManus’s excellent finish, and Alson’s tale, albeit not because of his play in the Main Event. He ends up playing a dozen or so satellites and six WSOP events. You can read the book to find out how he did, but if you’ve followed poker for a while, you already know he didn’t get far enough in the Main Event to turn pro as a poker player. If you seek inspiration though, Alson’s ‘Wayward and Perilous Journey to the World Series of Poker’ (as it’s subtitled) is worth reading more for the journey than the destination.”

Title Take Me to the River
Author Peter Alson
Year 2007
Skill Level any
Pros Vicarious ride to and through the World Series of Poker, ending with the Main Event.
Cons Alson neglects to finish telling the story of the 2005 WSOP Main Event, misspells a few player names, and occasionally loses track of position at the table.
Rating 2.5

Footnotes:

  1. In 2005, only the last two tables of the Main Event took place at the Horseshoe, with everything else having moved to the Rio.
  2. Alson is good friends with pro Shane “Shaniac” Schleger, having met in New York, and they trade a percent or two of each other when they play in the same tournaments.
  3. The V.F.W. (Thirtieth and Madison) and the Diamond Club (Twenty-Eighth off Seventh).
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“My 50 Most Memorable Hands” Review

[LL] “A short book deserves a short review, right?” Leroy the Lion asked rhetorically.

[RR] “Sure, if that makes you feel better about your laziness”, Roderick the Rock quipped. “But your shortcut might be shortsighted.”

[LL] “Don’t be short with me. I know my shortcomings.

Doyle Brunson had already had one of the longest and most successful poker careers ever by the time he wrote My 50 Most Memorable Hands in 2007, so the challenge he faced wasn’t finding enough hands to talk about but reducing his stories down to just 50 (less than one per year). The 168 sparse pages fly by so fast, you might wish he’d included another 50 hands.

Highlights of the book (or lowlights depending on your perspective) include cheating, robbery, and murder (and two other deaths at the table), but there’s also a lot of great poker, including high-stake cash games and ten stories from the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Read this book purely for entertainment purposes. If you happen to learn a little poker strategy along the way, consider it a bonus. The frontier days of poker will never return, so enjoy the reminiscences of a legend who has no shortage of short and tall tales.”

Title My 50 Most Memorable Hands
Author Doyle Brunson
Year 2007
Skill Level any
Pros Entertaining variety of stories with a wide cast of characters, covering half a century of poker. Clear hand diagram graphics with a touch of red for the hearts and diamonds.
Cons Hands are not presented in any particular order.1 Some hands lack details and the book is fairly short. Chapter titles appear in Table of Contents but not in the text, where the hands are simply numbered.
Rating 3.5

Footnotes:

  1. The hands are supposedly in the order in which Brunson remembered them, but there was no excuse for not organizing them by date or topic.

Related Links:

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“Exploiting Poker Tells” Review

[LL] “Following Reading Poker Tells (2012) and Verbal Poker Tells (2014),” Leroy the Lion began, “Zachary Elwood’s third book, Exploiting Poker Tells, came out in 2017 in response to readers’ requests for more examples, which make up the bulk of this book.”

[RR] “Please tell me all about it”, Roderick the Rock requested.

[LL] “Having previously written 666 pages on poker tells, you’d think Elwood would be out of material, but various new tips appear throughout, while discussions on tells with several poker pros add a different perspective. Mostly though, while the two earlier books focused on spotting and deciphering tells, Exploiting Poker Tells tries to show you what to do once you have, with examples from over 130 live poker hands from Elwood’s own play, other players’ recollections, and televised events. No-Limit Hold ‘Em dominates the examples with some Omaha mixed in. The events range from low buyin amateur cash games to $25,000 WPT Championship hands between top pros and cover a wide variety of tells, organized into Pre-Flop, Flop and Turn, and River sections. The Flop and Turn section is about as long as the other two put together not only because it covers two streets but because those streets are more interesting tells-wise. Pre-flop tends to be more straightforward, while the river involves bigger bets but no longer has draws to deal with.

Elwood, who consulted for Amir Lehavot and Max Steinberg during their WSOP Main Event final table runs in 2013 and 2015 respectively, is a former cash game pro who has become the poker tells guy, belatedly replacing Mike Caro a generation later. Even so, he concedes that tells aren’t 100% reliable and usually affect only a few hands per session, less than once per hour, even for an expert like him. Tells are more prevalent in lower stakes games with weaker players and in cash games, where players tend to be more relaxed than in tournaments. The quantity of tells in the book definitely makes it seem like they’re frequently useful, but these have been collected from years worth of play. Actionable tells can sometimes be more frequent if a particular player has a regular, blatant tell though.

Elwood states, ‘An opponent’s behavior should only infrequently sway your decision. For the most part, your decisions should be based on fundamental strategy.’1 He also stresses that most tells are player-specific. In the same exact situation the same tell may mean one thing with one player and the opposite for another, so it’s important to keep track of how each player behaves.

Elwood’s nuggets of wisdom include this river advice: ‘This is a spot where I know I’m calling but I think there can be value in waiting a few seconds and observing an opponent before calling. It’s a chance to observe a player’s behavior when you know you’ll get to see their hand.2

On the other hand, the biggest flaw in some of the sample hands is that Elwood never finds out what his opponent has, so his analysis remains pure speculation. Removing these hands would have increased the overall quality of the book, which is pretty high nevertheless.”

[RR] “I can tell you liked the book.”

[LL] “Yes, but not as much as his first two, which were more organized and thorough. This format can be more educational depending on your learning style, and the material is certainly less dry.

This is really a book where you won’t learn much from highlights or a summary; you really need to go through all of the examples, as there’s something in practically every hand that may be useful to you.”

The last section is a 57-question quiz, which is probably easier to take as an online quiz, since the scoring is done for you. The downside is that for answers you get wrong, you’ll need to look at the answers in the book for the page numbers where the topic is covered (an odd omission for the online quiz). If you don’t have the book, you can still take the quiz, and your score will reveal if you’d benefit from reading it.

Elwood claims that this is his final poker tells book, as he’s shifted focus to videos, which can be a better medium for learning tells. Exploiting Poker Tells, like the other two books in the trilogy, doesn’t have photos (let alone audio or video), which is unfortunate.”

Title Exploiting Poker Tells
Author Zachary Elwood
Year 2017
Skill Level any
Pros Explains how to use tells with many real-life examples. Ends with a long quiz that will reveal whether you need to reread this book (and maybe his earlier ones as well).
Cons Not as educational as his first two books. In several hands, he never finds out what cards his opponent holds, destroying the value of those examples. No pictures or videos to show what the tells look and sound like.
Rating 3.5

Footnotes:

  1. Page 14. “Some inexperienced poker players can have an inflated, unrealistic sense of what is possible with tells. So I want to reiterate: tells are a minor part of plying strong live poker.
  2. Page 173. “You might notice something that may be useful later on. It’s a chance to build a read.”
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“Beyond Traps” Review

[LL] “Another year, another book”, Leroy the Lion continued. “James McKenna followed up Beyond Tells (2005) and Beyond Bluffs (2006) with Beyond Traps in 2007. This is at least one book beyond how many he should have written, and it’s beyond me why he thought a trilogy was necessary.”

[RR] “I suppose you aren’t beyond words though?”, Roderick the Rock suggested.

[LL] “That was probably going to be the name of his fourth book, to keep the clever naming consistent. Unfortunately, McKenna is consistently awkward; he refers to ‘table bracelets’ (what the rest of the world calls WSOP bracelets) and the ‘national championship’, which is actually the World Series of Poker Main Event. He denigrates Mike Matusow, who ‘has never won a bracelet at a winning table’.2 What does that even mean? The Mouth had already won two WSOP bracelets between the time the book was written and published and has added two more since.

My favorite parts of the book are the ones that had nothing to do with poker. He relates inspirational sports stories about miler Glen Cunningham, long distance runner Emil Zatopek, diver Greg Louganis, and speedskater Joey Cheek.”

[RR] “But why are they even in the book?”

[LL] “Maybe because he couldn’t shoehorn then in to either of the first two? Actually, they fit in with the sections that belong in a self-help book: ‘Nine Characteristics of Winners’, ‘Heads of Winners’, ‘Shoulders of Winners’, ‘Bodies of Winners’, and ‘Foundations of Winners’. But this isn’t even a decent psychology book that happens to mention poker. I know my own writing isn’t beyond reproach, but it’s beyond question that you can safely skip this book and not worry that you missed anything.”

[RR] “Beyond doubt.”

Title Beyond Traps
Author James McKenna
Year 2007
Skill Level any
Pros Some interesting applications of psychology to poker if you haven’t read either of the two previous books in the series.
Cons Not much value added over his first two books. Often awkward or inaccurate when talking about actual poker hands.3
Rating 2.0

Footnotes:

  1. Star Trek: Beyond didn’t come out until 2016.
  2. See page 9.
  3. For example, on page 39 McKenna discusses having a $5,400 stack with blinds at $2,000 and $4,000, a state in which you should never find yourself except in the rare case of losing an all-in to a very slightly smaller stack. And on page 49, he refers to King-Four as having a bad kicker despite the board having given the player two pairs.
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“Beyond Bluffs” Review

[LL] “Just one year after publishing Beyond Tells,” Leroy the Lion began, “James McKenna thought the poker-playing public was ready for a sequel.”

[RR] “I take it we weren’t”, Roderick the Rock inferred.

[LL] “No, but it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d waited a decade. Beyond Tells was already fairly repetitious, so when Beyond Bluffs repeats what’s in the first book, the tedium is painful. ‘Response-Able’ playing and ‘Bluffing Styles’ both reappear, although the latter gets much more coverage. The 27 tells from Caro’s Book of Poker Tells appear in both books, this time listing the bluff counterparts.

On the plus side, most of his examples have changed from Seven-Card Stud to Hold ‘Em, albeit mostly Limit Hold ‘Em. Unfortunately, McKenna’s grasp of Hold ‘Em is significantly weaker. He repeatedly uses terminology awkwardly or incorrectly, like calling the river the ‘Hold ‘Em Card’, labeling a short-stack’s preflop shove of King-Queen a ‘bluff’, and describing being a ‘Calling Station’ as a ‘technique’.”

[RR] “Well, technically it is bad technique.”

[LL] “If you can ignore the pure poker parts of the book though, McKenna’s expertise in psychology does come through. He takes the four poker player quadrants (Reserved vs. Responsive crossed with Receptive vs. Aggressive) from his first book and applies them to both sides of the bluffing equation. He explains what types of bluffs each type of player is likely to try, and what types of bluffs each type is most susceptible to. This is by far the most useful part of the book and makes it worth reading.

Forced to choose, you should read this book over McKenna’s first one,1 but if the two books could be combined into one and reduced to about a third of the total pages, that book would merit four stars.”

Title Beyond Bluffs
Author James McKenna
Year 2006
Skill Level any
Pros Decent if you haven’t read McKenna’s first book, adding useful information comparing player types to bluff types.
Cons Fairly repetitive of his first book. Often awkward when talking about actual poker hands.
Rating 2.5

[LL] “But wait, there’s more…”

Footnotes:

  1. I nevertheless rated the first book higher, assuming that you would read the books in order.
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Women in Poker Hall of Fame Playing Card Deck: The Sevens

[LL] “The last group contains just the second member of the class of 2018”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Sevens:”1

Lupe Soto

7

Lupe Soto

7
Lupe Soto
Born: 1958 (Milpitas, CA)
Occupation: Poker Promoter
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2018
Quote: “I founded the Women in Poker Hall of Fame because during my trek and my discovery I learned of these phenomenal women that had done something. I didn’t know who they were. They needed to be in the limelight.” — Lup Soto (May 16, 2018 Top Pair podcast).
  • Created the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2008.
  • Founded the Ladies International Poker Series in 2004.
  • CEO of the nonprofit Poker Gives. CEO of the Senior Poker Tour.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of July 30, 2018.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2018 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

{ The Hold ‘Em at Home blog is brought to you by THETA Poker Pro, the strongest, fastest, and most configurable Texas Hold ‘Em game for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. }

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Women in Poker Hall of Fame Playing Card Deck: The Sixes

[LL] “The next group runs from 2014 to 2018 as the hall had switched to an every-even-year schedule”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Sixes:”1

Allyn Shulman

6

Allyn Shulman

6
Allyn Shulman
Born: 1954 (Brooklyn, NY)
WSOP Main Event: 396th (2006)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 30
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $1,507,342
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2014
Quote: I’m happy for myself, but I’m happy for all women that I won this, showing that any woman can win a poker tournament. I’d like to see more of them out there playing, feeling comfortable with going at it with the boys and winning.” — Allyn Shulman (June 18, 2012 after winning the WSOP $1,000 Seniors No Limit Hold ‘Em Championship).
  • Won 2012 WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em Seniors Championship for $603,713 from a field of 4,128 players.
  • Won 2013 Venetian Deepstacks $5,000 Championship for $293,966.
  • Married to poker pro Barry Shulman.

Victoria Coren Mitchell

6

Victoria Coren Mitchell

6
Victoria Coren Mitchell
Born: 1972/08/18 (London, England)
WSOP Main Event: never cashed
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 2
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $2,470,243
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2016
Quote: “I have made more money from poker than I have from writing and have done for a very long time now, but psychologically I think of my writing as a job and poker as my fun. I’m a professional writer with a very lucrative hobby.” — Victoria Coren (September 17, 2009 The Jewish Chronicle interview with Simon Round).
  • First player to win two European Poker Tour titles: London 2006 for $941,513 and Sanremo 2014 for $660,947.
  • Commentator for several British poker shows, including Late Night Poker and The Poker Nations Cup.

Debbie Burkhead

6

Debbie Burkhead

6
Debbie Burkhead
Born: (unknown)
Occupation: Poker Businesswoman and Promoter
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2016
Quote: “I’ve made some changes in my lifestyle and plan to play more poker and enjoy life… I see so many poker players who do not take care of themselves… Poker does require proper eating, plenty of rest and a good mental state. I plan to live a long time and hopefully [win] a WSOP bracelet.” — Debbie Burkhead (December 13, 2007 PokerNews interview not long after a heart attack).
  • Wrote the bimonthly “Debbie Does Poker” column in Poker Player Newspaper for over a decade; has won ten tournaments in Hold ‘Em, Seven-Card Stud, and H.O.R.S.E. since 1996.
  • Cofounded Poker Player Cruises in 2010.

Maria Ho

6

Maria Ho

6
Maria Ho
Born: 1983/03/06 (Taipei, Taiwan)
WSOP Main Event: 38th (2007)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 52
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $2,843,537
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2018
Quote: “I have been able to follow in [my parents’] steps, to put in a lot of hard work. I am happy to always start from the bottom of something and to work my way up. I know that if you ever want to be good at something, you have to dedicate a lot of time, effort, and energy. I have never shied away from that. I think, honestly, that is what makes me successful in poker.” — Maria Ho (2015 Card Player interview).
  • Last Woman Standing in the WSOP Main Event in both 2007 and 2014.
  • Finished 2nd in 2011 WSOP $5,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em for $540,020.
  • Appeared on the 15th season of Amazing Race with Tiffany Michelle.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of July 30, 2018.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2018 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

{ The Hold ‘Em at Home blog is brought to you by THETA Poker Pro, the strongest, fastest, and most configurable Texas Hold ‘Em game for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. }

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Women in Poker Hall of Fame Playing Card Deck: The Fives

[LL] “The next group spans 2011 to 2014”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Fives:”1

Phyllis Caro

5

Phyllis Caro

5
Phyllis Caro
Born: 1947/06/17 (New York)
Occupation: Poker Operations Director
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2011
Quote: “Phyllis was instrumental in helping stop dealer abuse. Players were given warnings and then time out (yes, like children). Poker was changed forever once management took a stance against dealer abuse.” — Patricia Chavira (February 14, 2017, Gaming Today)
  • Created the first non-smoking tournament at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles.
  • Became Casino Manager at Hollywood Park Casino and then was promoted to Director of Poker Operations.
  • Helped then-husband Mike write his books.

Kathy Raymond

5

Kathy Raymond

5
Kathy Raymond
Born: New York
Occupation: Poker Operations Director
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2012
Quote: “One of the biggest changes… is the poker skill and talent that has emerged from poker players in all walks of life. It used to be that the recreational player didn’t stand a chance against the pros but with the availability of training materials, boot camps, and… other… poker education the playing field has leveled a bit.” — Kathy Raymond (August 21, 2012 PokerNews interview).
  • Became Director of Poker Operations at the Venetian Resort and Hotel after leading Foxwoods Casino into the WPT.
  • Placed 20th in her very first WSOP event, the 2009 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E., but is primarily a cash game player.

J.J. Liu

5

J.J. Liu

5
J.J. Liu
Born: 1965/04/10 (Taipei, Taiwan)
WSOP Main Event: 442nd (2017)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 43
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $3,256,004
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2012
Quote: ” I think playing against women is a lot harder because we think alike and it’s difficult to bluff them off the best hand. But I have a lot of fun playing women’s events because it’s a bit more relaxing. I really enjoy the table talk we have.” — J.J. Liu (2007 interview with Kelli Griggs).
  • Finished 2nd in 2007 WPT Bay 101 $10,000 Championship Event for $600,000 (highest female WPT Main Event finish).
  • Has final tabled three WSOP events, including a 3rd place finish in the 2010 $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold ‘Em for $86,512.

Deborah Giardina

5

Deborah Giardina

5
Deborah Giardina
Born: (unknown)
Occupation: Poker Operations VP
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2014
Quote: “Deborah Giardina is… quite familiar to me and someone I have come to know and respect over the years. She’s been one of the top poker room managers in the country for a long time (not just women managers, but overall)… One of the best in the business.” — Nolan Dalla (May 1, 2014 blog post).
  • Vice President of Poker Operations at bestbet Jacksonville in Florida.
  • Former Director of Poker Operations at the Wynn Las Vegas Poker Room.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of July 30, 2018.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2018 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

{ The Hold ‘Em at Home blog is brought to you by THETA Poker Pro, the strongest, fastest, and most configurable Texas Hold ‘Em game for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. }

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Women in Poker Hall of Fame Playing Card Deck: The Fours

[LL] “The next group finishes 2010 and starts 2011”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Fours:”1

Kathy Liebert

4

Kathy Liebert

4
Kathy Liebert
Born: 1967/10/01 (Nashville, TN)
WSOP Main Event: 17th (2000)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 54
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $6,251,476
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2010
Quote: “In the 90s there were hardly any woman at all. They were saying I was the best woman player which was a compliment, but there were only a few women playing. So when people called me the best woman player I’d say, ‘Can you even name five other woman players?’ — Kathy Liebert (July 16, 2017 PokerListings Interview with Matthew Showell).
  • First woman to win $1 million in a poker tourney (2002 Party Poker Million Cruise).
  • Won 2004 WSOP $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout for $110,180.
  • In the top fifteen in WPT cashes (21) and final tables (6).

Billie Brown

4

Billie Brown

4
Billie Brown
Born: (unknown)
Occupation: Poker Marketing Director
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2010
Quote: “Billie Brown will be remembered as a savvy and accomplished poker player, a poker visionary, and a mother of three daughters and grandmother of three. Her influence lives on today, as poker continues to grow exponentially with opportunities for so many… just as she envisioned.” — Women in Poker Hall of Fame biography (2010).
  • Worked as a Ford model and dated Rat Packer Peter Lawford.
  • Was the first tournament organizer to offer a guaranteed purse in the early 1980s (Draw for the Gold Tournament had $350,000 guarantee at the Riviera Hotel).

Margie Heintz

4

Margie Heintz

4
Margie Heintz
Born: 1964 (Montana)
Occupation: Poker Operations Director
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2011
Quote: “I came to Las Vegas in 1976 and began to work for Bill Boyd at the Golden Nugget. Through that process I met Jack Straus and dealt his tournament at the Marina, a casino on the strip. From there I met Cowboy Wolford and he recommended me to Benny Binion to deal the World Series of Poker.” — Margie Heintz (September 29, 2011 Ante Up magazine interview).
  • Became the first female WSOP dealer in 1977, including the Main Event final table that aired on CBS.
  • Director of Poker Operations at El Dorado Casino in Reno.

Kristy Gazes

4

Kristy Gazes

4
Kristy Gazes
Born: 1967/10/28 (Torrance, CA)
WSOP Main Event: 200th (2013)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 12
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $1,042,999
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2011
Quote: “[If I had a daughter], I would lock her up and throw away the key. I would not let her play poker for a living. I don’t think it’s a good environment for women, or anyone for that matter. It takes a certain kind of person, and you gotta be a little crazy to want to gamble for a living.” — Kristy Gazes (September 21, 2007 PokerNews interview with Steve Horton).
  • Won 2005 $20k NLHE FullTiltPoker.Net Championship for $250,000 and 2007 WPT Ladies Invitational for $25,000.
  • Final tabled 2007 Aussie Millions Main Event, finishing 7th for $174,961.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of July 30, 2018.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2018 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

{ The Hold ‘Em at Home blog is brought to you by THETA Poker Pro, the strongest, fastest, and most configurable Texas Hold ‘Em game for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. }

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Women in Poker Hall of Fame Playing Card Deck: The Treys

[LL] “The next group covers 2009 and part of 2010”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Treys:”1

Jan Fisher

3

Jan Fisher

3
Jan Fisher
Born: 1956/04/02 (Seattle, WA)
Occupation: Poker Businesswoman and Instructor
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2009
Quote: “[Poker’s] an honourable industry. It’s finally earned the respect it deserves.” — Jan Fisher (comparing the poker boom to the 1970s when she first started playing in a July 23, 2005 interview for The Record).
  • Co-founded the Tournament Directors Association and the Poker Gives charity.
  • Penned Card Player’s “Poker 101” column for a decade.
  • Final tabled WSOP Ladies Championship in 1988 (3rd), 1990 (8th), and 2001 (6th).

Cyndy Violette

3

Cyndy Violette

3
Cyndy Violette
Born: 1959/08/19 (Queens, NY)
WSOP Main Event: 400th (2006)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 44
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $1,407,044
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2009
Quote: “I love my life. I can do whatever I want. When they legalized poker in Atlantic City, I wasn’t sure if I was going to move here. So there were months before I bouth my house that I lived at the Taj Mahal. I became friendly with Donald and Marla [Trump].” — Cyndy Violette (October 27, 1996 The New York Times interview with Bill Kent).
  • Won 2004 WSOP $2,000 Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split tournament for $135,900.
  • Finished 3rd in 1996 WSOP $5,000 Seven-Card Stud for $39,000 and 2nd in 2005 WSOP $2,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em for $295,970.

June Field

3

June Field

3
June Field
Born: (unknown)
Occupation: Poker Businesswoman
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2009
Quote: “I wanted a media vehicle that would be a reliable source for advertisers and readers alike… one they could turn to and find out what’s happening, where it’s happening, and who is making it happen. Our slogan was ‘the magazine for those who play to win’.” — June Field (referring to creating Card Player magazine, 2009).
  • Won 1982 WSOP $500 Ladies Seven-Card Stud for $16,000.
  • Founded Card Player magazine in 1988 and later created Card Player Cruises and Classic Poker Cruises.

Jennifer Harman

3

Jennifer Harman

3
Jennifer Harman
Born: 1964/11/29 (Reno, NV)
WSOP Main Event: never cashed
WSOP Bracelets: 2
WSOP Cashes: 35
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $2,739,645
Women
in Poker
Hall of Fame
2010
Quote: “I have always been a cash game player. I like tournaments, but with all the traveling and the long hours, I choose usually to play cash games. When I had children, I really wanted to be around for them. I hear it goes by so fast, and I don’t want to miss a second.” — Jennifer Harman (September 24, 2015 CardsChat.com interview; has also claimed to hate tournaments).
  • Won the 2000 WSOP $5,000 Deuce-to-Seven Lowball after Howard Lederer had given Annie Duke and her a crash course in how to play just prior to the event.
  • Won the 2002 WSOP $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em for $212,440.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of July 30, 2018.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2018 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

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