World Series of Poker star Jennifer Hamman has spoken about what it takes to make it in the big leagues of the gambling world.

In 2002 she won more than $200,000 from a $5,000 buy-in and in the process won the Limit Hold’em event.

Surprisingly, Harman is ambivalent about poker tournaments. ‘The real story,” she told news.com.au, “is that I get bored.

“In cash games I never wear earphones, [but] in tournaments I do. Sometimes I like to be pumpred up and inspirational, other times it’s slow music and ballads to calm me down. It depends on what mood I’m in.

“Later in the tournament it can be fun, but in the beginning it’s mundane. You have to play well, any poker player will tell you it gets tedious and boring at the beginning.”

Harman has taken the poker world while they slept. She crept onto the circuit in 2000 and virtually mugged the big guns in their beds. Since then she has won $1.8 million, two World Series bracelets, and earned a place playing with The Corporation (a legendary elite game against banker Andy Beal).

What are the secrets of her success?

  1. You need some people at the table you know to be weak players. You’re playing to make money, she says, not have fun.
  2. Tournaments often aren’t worth your time. In a cash game you have the ability to recover from an early mistake, not so in tournaments – and nobody ever plays perfectly.
  3. Guys still underestimate female players. So use this attitude to your advantage: Appear indecisive when you know what to do, be fun-loving when it’s actually business, use the charm if it will distract an opponent …
  4. Good poker is a combination of maths, intuition and ego. Confidence and objectivity will give you a solid foundation.
  5. Keep a large bankroll on hand. Losing streaks happen to everyone, no matter how good you are. If you have a good system, and you have faith in that system, then you’ll need a bankroll to see you through the unlucky times. If your system is good you’ll come out ahead in the long term.
  6. Get value for your hand. The biggest mistake made by rookie players is obviously betting big when they have a good hand. Thus tipped off, everyone folds and your winning pot is worthless. Get value from each and every hand – whether that value is in money or information.
  7. Don’t get emotional. “A lot of players,” said Ms Harman, “make big mistakes by making it emotional, by trying to go after somebody; but I just want to take everybody’s money. I don’t get emotional about it. I keep that part out of it, I’m emotional enough.”

Harmen is considering penning an autobiographical screenplay. She is thinking about it as a comedy entitled ‘A tough way to make an easy living.’ She also says she’d like to see more women playing in the big leagues of poler. “Poker is fun and it’s still male-dominated. Women have a very intuitive side and they would make very good poker players.”

Jen Harmen Image; commons.wikimedia.org

Jen Harmen Image; commons.wikimedia.org

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