Frequent EPT qualifier Jan Combes makes friends around the world

I met Jan Combes, or "jamjars69" as she's known online, for the first time in 2010 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in the Bahamas, where she was friendly and outgoing but a dangerous force at the table. That dangerous side showed itself again the next year when she won the 2011 PokerStars Women Live event in London against a field of 52. She has played seven other women's events including Monte Carlo, Madrid, Barcelona, and the PCA and London events twice. Jan finished fourth in Monte Carlo and qualified for all of them but one by playing the online satellites on PokerStars.

Jan Combes in San Remo.jpg

Jan shared some anecdotes about her experiences in the following interview.

PokerStars Women (PSW): Jan, can you give us a few details about how it felt to realize you had won the London event in 2011?

Jan Combes: I was so tired; it didn't really hit me until the next day. The tournament took 15 hours with a five-hour final table. I went out with my son the next day to celebrate, but it didn't hit me until I read articles about me. And even then, I didn't realize how many top lady pros I had beaten to become the winner. It was only after Monte Carlo, where I came in fourth, that I realized it wasn't a fluke and I could actually play a good game.

PSW: Did you buy anything special with your winnings?

Jan: I put money aside to go toward an extension to my house, which is due to be built soon.

PSW: How long have you been playing poker, and how did you get started in the game?

Jan: I've been playing now for about four years and was taught by my son, Charlie, who is a professional player. I really enjoy the game, and it is far more exciting than sitting and watching TV.

Jan Combes.jpg

PSW: What is the event you would most like to play again?

Jan: I hope to play the PCA, as it is so nice to go to beautiful Atlantis in the Bahamas with sun, sand, and sea during the day and poker in the evening. I take extra days there and combine it with a holiday. It's so nice to be in the good weather when it's so cold in England. The poker room is huge, and there are always games to play and something to do. The lazy river, I have found, is not lazy at all and is great fun! Loads of pools and water rides, a huge casino, and wonderful underwater aquatic displays all over Atlantis with the biggest fish I've ever seen. I hope to qualify again for this January!

Jan Combes at PCA 2013.jpg

PSW: What advice would you give to women who are thinking of playing a PokerStars Women Live event for the first time?

Jan: For those who are worried about trying to enter a ladies tournament, don't be. Give it a try, and you may be surprised at how well you can play. Plus, the more ladies who qualify for the tournaments, the bigger the pot is for all the winners.

Ladies tournaments are great fun and a chance to meet all the people you've played with online. I've gained some very good friends from these events and we all keep in touch and meet up at events when we can. PokerStars looks after you very well with super hotels and fantastic parties. Be careful of too many Bahama Mamas, though, if you plan to play the next day. They are lethal!

PSW: What's your next goal in poker, Jan?

Jan: Of course I would like to win another ladies tournament, and I would also like to play more mixed tournaments with larger entries and bigger pots. I've gotten to the final table twice at the PCA but not at the Main Event. One day, I will . . . but as I'm not a spring chicken anymore, it will have to be sooner than later!

I just wish there were more tournaments that I could qualify for. Traveling the world, playing poker, and meeting friends of all ages and nationalities--I couldn't have done that without qualifying.


With satellites running now for the PCA in January, this is a great time to jump in there and be ready for the poker festival that combines top pros, top prizes, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. For more details about the upcoming PokerStars Women Live event at the PCA, see this page of our website.

And see these posts for more about Jan's win in London and last year's PCA event.

Rebekah Mercer
@PokerStars in PS Women