Suzie’s Vegas Dreams Come True6 months ago
It’s every player’s dream to head out to Vegas and return with jewellery, but poker-loving Suzie Williamson’s story had a unique twist to it – a birthday trip to the City of Lights proving that romance isn’t dead with an engagement ring to bring home instead of a WSOP bracelet!
Tucked in among the daily tweets of tales from the online tables and live events which the 35-year old Chester-born lass regularly plays – and with increasing success – Suzie recalls the marriage proposal at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Vegas, overlooking the Bellagio fountains.
“As the waiter presented my dessert to the table and the stainless steel Cloche dome was lifted, not a cake in sight! Instead I looked down at a ring with a rolled up playing card inside.”
“The Queen of Hearts taken from a deck of Las Vegas playing cards, with the words ‘Will You Marry Me?’ written across it. After a few moments of shock induced silence, I said ‘Yes’ (With my passion for poker in-mind, what a perfect proposal).
Suzie’s story isn’t exactly a traditional one, the old school name for her would be a ‘tomboy’ as she tells me of her growing up “never feeling intimidated by the boys as most of my friends were boys, I remember being the ‘only’ female footballer in my age group playing in the local school’s football league. I went on to play football for a few years for Chester City Ladies FC”, football still a passion she likes to indulge with fiancee Keeley.
Add to this the tales of her mother’s legendary pool and darts ability – “I remember my mum playing pool at our pub ‘winner stays on’ and I remember just loads of guys putting their names on the chalkboard waiting their turn to challenge her. I sat there feeling fascinated, proud and inspired, watching ‘my mum’ sink the 8 ball time and time again, picking them off one by one,” - and it’s no real surprise that the male-dominated poker world holds few fears.
“Poker is a mind sport and it really shouldn’t matter what gender you are. In the future I would love to be able to encourage and inspire more women to play, it’s really not as scary as you may initially think.”
In the Money
That ‘mindsport’ has already brought the Yorkshire-based IT company Account Manager several successes, listing both the victories and the near-misses with equal passion and claiming:
“My biggest win in poker is most certainly still to come! Online my biggest single win so far is almost £1800. I have also won a few live event seats from satellites worth £1100 each for the GUKPT and busted out in 2nd place in an online final event to win a WSOP package to Vegas.”
We’ll allow her to relate the bad beat which follows just this once, Suzie describing the final hand:
“I had A7, Ace came on the flop, I bet, he raised all-in with A4 and a 4 hits on the turn!”
So, Vegas will have to wait a little longer for Suzie Williamson, but in the meantime there are plenty of online tournaments and live events to keep her happy, Suzie admitting “I’ve actually only ever played a total of 7 Live events so far, something I want to play a lot more of”, describing another good run at the GUKPT 2017 Blackpool leg, “making it halfway through day 2" before ‘Hong Kong Tom’ Hall rivered most of her stack away.
Poker gives as well as takes, of course, and she says happily:
“I’ve already won another £1100 seat for this year’s GUKPT from an online satellite and I plan to play the Manchester leg next month.”
The Good, the Bad and the Mouthy
When it comes to the big stars of the game, it’s a long list which impresses Suzie:
“Liv Boeree, Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Trickett, Steve O’Dwyer, Fedor Holz, Chris Moneymaker and of course Victoria Coren Mitchell to name but a few!” she reels off quickly.
Her positive outlook on the game doesn’t allow her to immediately think of those she dislikes, but admits:
“I think some players may get irritated by a lot of the ‘speech play’ players such as Tony G, Daniel Negreanu, Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow and Will Kassouf.”
However Suzie says:
“I actually love to watch them play, I think they add another level of entertainment for viewers of TV events, as these have ultimately encouraged me to play more Live events, although I’m not so sure I would like to be sat at their table.”
With that we’re off on another hand history and a tale of the stereotypical LAG motormouth:
“Very tough to play against and after 3-4 hours he was definitely getting under the skin of a couple of other players at the table” she states, and we all know at least one of those.
It’s a woman’s world as well
For Suzie it’s the inimitable figure of Victoria Coren Mitchell who turned women’s poker into ‘just poker’ in many ways:
“When she won her first EPT she was announced to be the ‘first woman’ to win an EPT Main Event... Until she went on to win another EPT! She was then…the first ever ‘player’ to win it twice! The first ‘person’ to win it twice! The first ever ‘two-time European Poker Champion’! I believe that moment was another huge milestone for women poker players in what is still an extremely male dominated game and environment.”
That being said, a lot of work still has to be done, but the support she has received from fellow female players gives her great hope for the future.
“I was recently contacted via Twitter by partypoker Ladies team member Louise Butler. She invited me to join a Party Poker Ladies Facebook group she has set up, which is very much a growing community of female poker players.”
"I think it’s hugely important to showcase ‘women’s/ladies events’ to continue to encourage more females to participate in the game.”
Looking to the future
Suzie’s own poker ambitions are clear to see - following online streams, YouTube and Twitch among others with Spraggy & Fintan (Easywithaces) her favourites along with LexVeldhuis, TonkaaaaP and the partypoker duo of ‘IT5_PAYDAY’ and ‘QueenBee902’ -on her quest to return to Vegas, perhaps with less romantic intentions next time…
“My ultimate poker dream currently has to be to play in the WSOP, it would be amazing!” she says, adding: “I can’t tell you how much poker I actually watch and how many times I’ve streamed replays of the WSOP main events. It completely fascinates me how quite literally anyone from all over the world can enter and can win their $10k seat from a few dollar satellite online, with of course Chris Moneymaker being the ultimate example of this.” And long-term dreams? “To win a major event, become a professional poker player and an ambassador of the game.”
And with that Suzie is off to play some more, perhaps tweet about her latest cash and make plans for the months ahead…
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