Canadian Poker Player Profile Gillian Epp
I am a professional high stakes poker player. Some people call me a gambler, others call me a gamer, but mostly I get called un-employed. I don’t mind. I have an unconventional lifestyle particularly for a young woman.
Before I talk too much about High Stakes Cash games, let me give a brief background on who I am. I was born and raised in a small town in the Canadian Rockies. I spent my childhood competing in multiple athletic events and when I wasn’t on the field, ice, ski hill or courts, I was playing cribbage, backgammon, bridge, scrabble or monopoly. I would turn every mundane task into a competition and a game.
After graduation I moved to the city to attend university. Years of studying went by and I was no closer to finding a career path that challenged me mentally, as well as fed my competitive nature.
I left university to do some soul searching. I traveled through India, China, and South East Asia. I spent the day studying yoga and meditation under famous gurus. At night I took other backpackers money in games of Holdem’.
I began to eat, drink, and breathe poker. I would go to sleep dreaming about poker hands, tells, and strategies.
When I returned to Canada I engrossed myself in poker by taking a job as a dealer at a local casino. I studied the game more by reading countless poker books, and watching televised poker shows.
Eventually, I was making enough to quit dealing and turn pro. I was grinding mid-stake games in Vancouver and Vegas, and encouraged by an increasingly growing bankroll, and confidence level, I eventually made my way to the high limit cash games in Las Vegas.
The high stakes felt is where I really come alive. I like the challenge of competing against the best in the world. I like the reward of a good session, and I like the creativity that only comes with deep stack no-limit games.
I have been grinding the big games for a while now, and am considered a peer and fierce competitor by top Vegas Pros. What surprises players most about me, is not that I am a women playing High Stakes Cash for a living, it’s that I have never competed in a live poker tournament.
“How are you going to make your millions if you don’t play tournament poker?’ I am frequently asked.
“A few grand at a time” I respond
I recently played in a big cash game, where I was the only player at the table without a WSOP bracelet.
The truth is the allure of 8.5 million for a first place finish does appeal to me. But I am scared to try tournament poker. I fear being knocked out and the finality of that. It’s seems awfully depressing. I can spend hours grinding and walk away with nothing to show for my effort. I’m used to re-buying after being felted, but in a tournament you are knocked out and it is over.
This week I have a seat to the women’s only event at the NAPT in LA. I’m about to try live tournament poker for the first time. I have been playing online to prepare, but even then I multi-table four tournaments, so if I’m knocked out of one I have 3 more to play.
I’m anxious and worried about this tournament. I generally follow the circuit to play big side action and prey on tilted knockout fish. This series I might be that fish. I will evaluate the tournament after completion and will be returning for BCPC the following week. If the NAPT goes well you will see me at a River Rock tournament table. If not I will be grinding the biggest No-limit games the Rock has.
Wish me luck and I hope to you see you in Vancouver.