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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hey all! Decided I'm going to mix it up and start doing some video blogs to document this crazy lil' poker life I'm living. I'm entering this adventure as a clueless technology fish with a vision, and a trusty film student to help make it happen.

If you love the video share it and let me know! If you hate the video, don't tell anyone. Kidding!! Not kidding. 

On a related note, it's taken me three years to figure out how to allow comments on my blog. Today, magic happened. Told ya I'm a technology fish.

Without further ado........FML! That obviously means 'Follow My Life.' What else could it possibly mean?? :)

PS-scroll down for some extra pictures from Ireland adventures after the video.


Gus doing some break dancing moves in the streets of Galway:
 They should pay me extra for my nursing services. Here I'm doing minor surgery removing a sliver   for Gus:
Gus (finally) loses at the drinking game and has to take a shot. Group consensus back at the hotel is Martins should take one as well: 

See? Told you he's tall.
            Times are tough for Annie Duke so FTP got a sick deal on entertainment for the player party.
             Note: This is not really Annie Duke. Thank God.
Jake Cody about to tackle some homemade Romanian moonshine. Tasted about as good as can be expected. 
            My first ever live royal flush while playing a side tourney in Galway. Beautiful isn't it?

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I made a resolution at the beginning of this year to blog at least once a month. If I failed, I’d donate $100 to a charity of my choosing. I made it longer than I expected, but my busy travel schedule has caught up with me and it’s now been almost two months since my last blog. 


So, I will be donating $200 to a charity. Since October is national breast cancer awareness month, it only makes sense to donate to something that supports victims of breast cancer. Now is where I have an excuse to go on a small rant, which I’m sure is exactly what you all were hoping for in a blog with “Boobs” in the title. Gotcha! 

Us Americans tend to have a reputation for being uninformed consumers. Shocking. I know. I can’t think of an example where this is more prevalent than all the pink “breast cancer awareness/support” merchandise for sale in seemingly every store. A quick Google search turns up “Pink Ribbon” potato chips, mops, shoes, guns, cameras, sunglasses, staplers, etc. etc. The list goes on and on and on and on. You can even buy “Pink Ribbon” thongs and sex toys. I don’t know about you, but if I were diagnosed with breast cancer, I can’t think of a single thing more touching than someone telling me they purchased the “Justin’s Timber Vibrator” to support my fight! After all, it’s “bringing sexy back.” 

The biggest problem here lies in the fact that the majority of these products use the breast cancer platform as a way to generate publicity and create profit, without giving much back. That $69 Pink Blender you just bought from Bed Bath and Beyond to show support for your dear Aunt Betty?  I’ve got some bad news. First, it’s going to look like hell in your kitchen. Second, you could have purchased a white one, not ridiculously marked up for its ugly ass color, and written your Aunt Betty a check for $2.07 instead. That measly 3% of the purchase is the only amount donated towards Breast Cancer Research. The manufacturer is pocketing the rest. 

Unfortunately that 3% is more than some companies are giving back. I can’t remember the exact wording, but I recently picked up a pink ribbon bracelet in a gas station and the small writing on the package had some sort of eloquent legal jargon that said something along the lines of “This product is intended to raise awareness for cancer. No proceeds from purchase are directly given to charity.” Translation: “Thanks for buying this pink bracelet idiot! We really appreciate your money and we will use it wisely in future scams.” 

Even the products that DO give proceeds to charities are often giving them to the wrong ones. The American Breast Cancer Foundation is one of the more popular charities for companies to donate profits from pink ribbon proceeds to. It is rated 4th on the list of America’s worst charities. Out of the 59.8 million dollars raised by the “Charity” since 1997, only 4.2 million has been given to actually aid breast cancer detection for low income women, while over 18 million was paid out to the president’s son for “solicitation services.” Unfortunately, this is more common than we’d like to think. Of the 50 charities listed as “America’s Worst,” 13 of them are related to cancer, with another 13 devoted to “helping” children. There aren’t many things scarier to society than cancer and suffering children. These soulless bastards know this, and are using that knowledge to suck the money out of our back pockets for their vacation homes in Tahoe and Range Rovers in every color. It’s infuriating to think of the profit being made at the hands of someone's misinformed attempt to help those in need.

Last week, I attended the funeral of LeAnn Krzmarzick, who was the mother of my good friend. She was only 56 and passed away after a brutal three-year battle with breast cancer. 

When I called to ask my friend Elly permission to write this blog, and talk about her mother, she instantly agreed, saying it’s something her mom would want. Elly explained that throughout her life LeAnn was diligent about her health, attending every routine check-up and always complying with recommended tests. That is, until a job change left her for a couple years without health insurance. When given a choice between preventative check-ups or paying the bills, LeAnn chose the bills. It’s the same choice we’d all make. During the period she was most helpless, is when cancer attacked. By the time a diagnoses was made, LeAnn had stage 4 (incurable) breast cancer. 

Elly, fresh in her grief, seemed to welcome the excuse to talk to someone about her mom. She kept it together as she told me about her mother’s protective nature and the strength she showed in her three-year fight against this non-discriminating serial killer. I, on the other hand, sat at my desk with tears rolling down my face. We all know life isn’t fair, but certain moments strike us more than others. I guess this was one of those moments for me. 

I’ll save my health care rant for another blog, but I couldn’t help but think about what could have been. The American Breast Cancer foundation lists “providing financial assistance for breast cancer screenings and diagnostic tests for uninsured and underserved individuals, regardless of age or gender” as their mission. It sounds like a wonderful idea, exactly the type of service that LeAnn could have used. And maybe, just maybe, if they put more than a measly 6% of donations given towards their actual mission, she could have gotten that much needed mammogram. Maybe she’d still be here, spending time with her 8 grandchildren, tending to her beloved pets. 

Please don’t think I don’t support breast cancer awareness, research, and support. I wholeheartedly do. In fact, it’s why I’m writing this blog. At her mother’s funeral, Elly wore a bright pink scarf. It was symbolic of her mom’s fight against breast cancer. It also served as a reminder to me that the pink products are meant to be a symbol of solidarity for those impacted by this dreadful disease. I want to see pink everywhere. But, when I see those pink products, I also want to feel good inside, knowing that person donated to a worthy cause.  LeAnn never gave up in her fight against cancer. We shouldn’t give up fighting to make sure people like LeAnn get the testing, help, treatment, and support they need through properly utilized donations. 

If you want to donate consider the following options:
*Donate directly to someone: Maybe this is just a small town thing, but it seems around here you can’t walk out of a gas station without seeing a bulletin board advertising a benefit for someone suffering from some sort of life threatening illness. My friends and I had the pleasure of helping put together a benefit for Elly’s mom about a month before she passed. I felt great paying a ridiculous amount, for some item I knew I didn’t need, during the silent auction because I knew the money was going directly to LeAnn. 

*Donate directly to a medical facility: This one was actually Elly’s idea as she recalled how fondly her mother felt about the newly renovated oncology center in our small town. Through fundraising efforts and donations, the once sterile hospital environment has been turned into a family friendly, comforting area. Donate blankets and pillows so the uncomfortable process can be a tiny bit more bearable. Donate books or magazines for patients to look at while they receive their treatments. If you don’t have money, donate your time!  Any little bit helps.

*Donate to a charity that efficiently utilizes funds towards the research, prevention, treatment, and cure of breast cancer: It can be overwhelming to research this on your own, but has done the work for you. The site provides you with the specific breakdown of many major charities finances. You can find out who spends 98% on “administrative costs” and who spends 2%. 

*Buy “Pink” products that disclose the financial distribution: A water bottle that says “100% of proceeds go to…” is a good purchase. One that says “portions of proceeds go to….” Probably not a good purchase. 

It would be nice if we could just indiscriminately purchase and give knowing our donations are being used properly. Unfortunately, we can’t. But please don’t let the greed and corruption from some take away from the generosity and good efforts of others. By making smart purchases we can continue to support the battle of good over evil. Be generous, but be informed. 

As for me and my failed timely blogging attempt?  I’ll be donating $200 to the New Ulm Medical Center oncology department in honor of LeAnn Krzmarzick. 

                                                              LeAnn Krzmarzick

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

     Montreal Free Roll Results

Total Guesses: 412

Highest Guess: 1,000,001

Lowest Guess: $12.00

Most Frequent Guess: $350 or "bout three fiddy" :)

Actual Amount in Jar: $258.60

Closest Guess: $256.36

Winner: Laura Hutchens (my best friends sister) who submitted guess via Facebook. Good luck us!!!!

Thanks for playing everyone! I'm in Montreal for the Full Tilt Poker Montreal Festival but I'm slowly making progress on my trip report of Ireland. Check back soon for an updated blog and maybe? more Free Roll opportunities!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Feeling Lucky???


As I mentioned in my last blog I’m very grateful for the opportunity Full Tilt is giving me to participate in the UKIPT Full Tilt Poker Festival in Galway, Ireland. I decided to spread the love by giving people an opportunity to win a 1% freeroll in my UKIPT Main Event action by guessing how many pieces of Lucky Charms cereal were in a jar. I’m hoping I will run deep in the main event and ship the winner a nice check in the very near future. If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry. I had so much fun with this, I’m considering making it a regular occurrence. Everyone loves a good sweat right?!?!


Drumroll please........

Total Guesses: 614

Number of times I clarified to count ALL pieces of cereal in the jar: 11

Lowest guess: <100

Highest guess: >25,000

Total time spent counting cereal: 54 minutes (would have been quicker, but I used it as a math lesson for the kiddo).

Total pieces of cereal in the jar: 1378

Winner: @therealpokerbob who had a guess of 1377

Congrats Bob and thanks to everyone for participating!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Life Rush

           Holy cow! What an exciting summer this has been. I feel like my blog readers are going to start to hate me soon because all I do is gush about how awesome my life is, but seriously, it’s pretty damn cool lately.

I didn’t really think things could get any better after the kick ass premiere and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the documentary. Then, Full Tilt Poker came along and offered me the opportunity to represent them in the Main Event. To say this was exciting news for me is a massive understatement.
<---see I'm excited!
Back in the good old days, when I was building my bankroll up on Full Tilt Poker, my dream was to someday be sponsored by them. Like a Bronx kid grows up and wants to wear pinstripes, I wanted to “grow up” and wear a FTP patch. Then, Black Friday happened and like many of my other dreams, that one went out the window. Even when Poker Stars acquired FTP, it seemed completely unrealistic to think they’d want anything to do with an American player, when the American market is (for now) closed to them. So needless to say, this opportunity was a very unexpected surprise.

Now, this Main Event deal was presented as a one-time deal with no long term implications. It isn’t a FULL sponsorship, but still, it’s a 10k buy-in into the biggest, most exciting poker tournament in the world. What’s not to love??

This is the part of the blog where I’m supposed to tell you I went super deep in the tournament and I’ll be back to play in November for a shot at the title and the ultimate fairy tale ending. Unfortunately, the actual story is I didn’t play particularly well, nor run well and I busted out on day one. Booooooooo. My dreams of making a deep run and having Full Tilt present me with a long term sponsorship offer were for the moment, gone. 
          But wait!!! There’s more awesomeness. Even after my poor showing in the main event, FTP decided I looked really nice in that patch and they want me to wear it again to the UKIPT Full Tilt Poker Festival in Galway, Ireland.


I hope my excessive use of exclamation points is accurately conveying my feelings towards this new development. I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland but kind of assumed it would be one of those things I’d do many years down the road. Now, I only have to wait a little over a week longer. Weeee!!

Random story regarding this: When the FTP rep first asked if I’d be willing to travel to Europe for the UKIPT Galway series I snap said yes. I was so excited, I’m not sure I listened to a word he said after that except that it was still a secret and I shouldn’t tell anyone. I don’t think he realized A). how excited I was and B). I’m a woman. Not telling anyone wasn't really an option! But, I didn’t have a chance right away because we went directly from dinner to the WSOP screening of the documentary. I spent the entire time during the film (I’ve seen it about 10x now), daydreaming about going to Europe. Then, after the film was over, and as soon as I possibly could, I shared my secret with my friend Jay. After giving him the details he’s like “Sweet! So where in Europe are you going?” I then realized, I had been sitting on this news for around three hours and I had no idea where exactly I was going. We quick googled “Galway” and my exact words were “Oh my f*&#ing God, I’m going to IRELAND!”
    So, again, this is another one time deal with no long term obligations on the part of either party but for right now, who cares? I’m going to Ireland! If nothing more comes out of the relationship I’ve developed with Full Tilt Poker, I can still walk away with a positive feeling. This is a life experience I otherwise wouldn’t be having and for that I am (again) humbled and grateful.

             If anyone has any tips on what to see/do in Galway or ideas on how I can start liking the taste of beer in the next week, let me know!

Until next time friends,



- For those of you tired of my use of the words “excited, awesome and happy,” I plan on balancing my blogging range soon with a post about sick puppies and bacon shortages. Stay tuned for future super sad stuff!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vegas and Back Again....

I’m currently back in Las Vegas for some poker after spending a week at home recovering from the “Bet Raise Fold” premiere festivities. While I’m excited for new Vegas adventures, it’s hard to move on from the awesomeness of the premiere. The day was one of those rare days where your head hits the pillow and you don’t want to go to sleep because that means the fun is over. I’ll document some of my favorite parts here for both my readers, and myself to relieve 

  • Completion of the documentary and the actual screening:
As I mentioned in previous blogs, the start to finish journey of participating in this documentary was challenging. To finally be able to share the project with others was really satisfying. It was such a bizarre feeling to be sitting in a theatre with about 200 people, most of whom I didn’t know, watching a movie about such a major part of my life. It made me really happy to look around and see them smiling when my son would do something cute, or I’d say something funny. On a related note, it was also oddly satisfying to have the theatre be dead silent and somber during the Black Friday parts. I felt like the audience really connected with the moment and for that I guess I’m kind of proud.  Maybe my favorite moment of the whole screening was during a part I was initially pretty embarrassed about. I won’t give too much away, but I basically lose a big hand at LAPC and in frustration I say “F*$@ my life!” When I first watched the documentary I was horrified by this. I thought “I look like such a whiny baby, people are going to hate me. How could I let myself throw an F’ bomb like that on camera? I’m so blessed and I use such a horrible phrase. I look so terribly self-centered.” During the premiere I cringed as that part grew closer. I was sure that even if people liked me up until that time, they would see me at such an unflattering moment and I’d instantly become a villain. Then, the part came…..and everyone laughed. Like, they really laughed. Mike Sexton was sitting a row in front of me and I saw him laughing so hard he threw in a knee slap. I then realized I was being over-dramatic and ridiculous. While I typically pride myself on good sportsmanship and conduct at the table, every poker player can identify with that ridiculously frustrating moment where a donkey clicking buttons takes your hard earned chips.  If throwing an “F-bomb” is the worst thing they captured when following me around for countless  hours with a camera in my face, I should probably book it as a win. 

  • Sharing the experience with my friends
I am forever indebted to poker for all the cool life experiences the game has brought me. From playing high stakes with a legend like Manny Pacquio, to doing a shooting contest at halftime of a Clippers game, I’ve accumulated some pretty sick brags. The one thing I feel like has been missing during these experiences was my loved ones. When Jay first told me the premiere was a go, I knew I wanted some of my family/friends to come with. 

 My husband is a pretty introverted guy and I knew going to a premiere and after-party where he wouldn’t know anybody, wasn’t going to be his idea of a good time. When I mentioned he could maybe get out of going if I invited my friends, he jumped at the opportunity to play hooky. So, I invited about 12 of my closest friends and seven of them were able to make it for the event. While partying in a vila suite in Vegas with an all-night open bar, might be a pretty standard experience for some poker players, it is definitely NOT something that happens in the everyday lives of your average Minnesotan. Getting all dressed up and having them join with me in our mini-VIP experience was a blast and I’m so thankful they were able to join me.

  • People
One of the awesome things about the premiere, and after-party was it brought together people of all varieties from the poker world. You had people directly involved in the film making, online superstars who supported the film financially, poker media members, poker celebrities, executives, and just straight up poker fanboys (and girls). I had such a good time engaging in conversation with people from every one of these categories. As far as I know, you add an open bar to a room full of unique personalities, and it’s a guaranteed good time. This evening did not disappoint. 

Also, while I’ve never really been one to get “star struck” by celebrities, I have to admit it was pretty cool to have some poker rock stars introduce themselves to me (ha!), and say great things about the documentary and my role in the film. I have a ton of respect for sickos like Tom Dwan, Vanessa Selbst, Brian Hastings, and Liv Boree (among others), and to throw back drinks and hear their thoughts on the film was a little surreal. While I admit I’ve had some decent success in my career, I sometimes still just feel like a fangirl, intruding into this world of poker superstars. I can honestly say everyone I met was super laid back and easy to get along with.

As you can see the night was a true success. Now, it’s just a waiting game for June 30th when the rest of the world can see the film. Can’t wait to hear more feedback from a non-biased crowd. 

My plans for this week include playing a 1k WSOP event, two ladies events, grinding some cash, and celebrating my friend Jays’ birthday with some fun Vegas event. After that, I will return home to spend 4th of July with the family before returning for the MAIN EVENT! I really can’t think of a better fairytale ending to this journey than making a deep run in the main!!!! 

Thanks for reading 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Finish Line is in Sight....

The feature length documentary I naively agreed to be in over three years ago is finally finished and will be premiering in less than a week at the Palms Casino, in none other than Las Vegas. It's hard to believe it was three years ago that I got a random message on 2+2 from some creeper named Ryan Firpo, who wanted to know if I'd be interested in being featured in a documentary. It's even harder to believe I heard the creeper out, decided maybe he wasn't a creeper, and agreed to be featured in the film. 

It’s been a really long, sometimes challenging, but incredibly rewarding journey to be a part of this documentary. When I first agreed to be a part of this film, poker was going wonderfully. I was at the peak of my career, doing well in some of the toughest games online. After hiding behind my screen name for so many years, laughing whenever some smart ass would comment in the chat box about how lame I was for “pretending” to be a girl, I was finally starting to open myself up to the poker world and the attention I was receiving was flattering. 

Life was good. 

While I was hesitant, it seemed like it might be kind of cool to be part of a documentary, get my name out there, and have a visual record of this amazing journey I was on. What I didn’t know, was that in the near future my world was going to come crashing down. Having a camera in your face when you are on top of the world is easy. Having it there when you’re devastated, frightened, angry, and emotionally exhausted? Not so much. 

I’ll be honest. If someone told me Black Friday was going to happen in the middle of filming, I’m not sure I’d have agreed to be a part of the film. When the crew came out to Minnesota shortly after, I struggled with the instinct to protect myself at a moment when I felt so incredibly vulnerable, versus the desire to let the cameras see the raw, unscripted pain of the moment. To let myself go completely, felt like a betrayal of my own privacy. To not let my guard down, and show the despair I was feeling, felt like a betrayal to the thousands of poker players, equally as devastated, without a public medium to show the impact on their lives. I think that internal struggle is something almost anybody who has gone through a tough time can identify with. It’s one of the reasons the scene in the movie where I am in my office, choking back tears, with bags under my eyes while discussing the uncertainty of my future, has such an impact. It’s real. It hurt. 

In a bizarre way, I’m excited to share that pain with all of you. “Bet Raise Fold” will be digitally released worldwide on June 30th. I hope you will buy it and show it to your friends and family. Not because I want to be famous, or because I will make money from your purchase (ha!), but because I am hopeful it can somehow, maybe, in some way, shape or form, make a difference. 

Maybe it will make someone who brushed off poker as just another form of illegitimate gambling think twice? 

Maybe it will somehow make my 1st grade teacher realize that I have not, in fact, failed at life. Nor do I need rehab for my gambling “addiction.”

Maybe, it will make someone, who isn’t even directly impacted by poker realize it’s silly our government allows horse racing, slot machines, lottery tickets, etc. etc. but fights against a skill based game that has been around for centuries. 

Maybe it won’t make any difference at all, but there’s a chance it will and I’m proud and honored to be a part of the process. 

I hope I represented you well poker world.