Keeping it cool and calm with Talonchick at the WSOP

Las Vegas has been called a Disneyland for adults, and for many, it's all that and more. There are plenty of rides and thrills to rival any theme park, some of the brightest lights in the world (the Luxor hotel's pyramid light can be seen from space), an excess of food (both good and bad), and plenty of ways to spend your money. And even if you're not that into the rides and entertainment, Vegas has you covered because you can find plenty of thrills at the poker tables and slot machines.

But when the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is in town, all that seems tame by comparison. The WSOP brings a whole new level of excitement and a new meaning to the word frenetic. The thrills are exponentially larger (make that millions of dollars instead of thousands), and so are the crowds and the excitement. If you're not careful, it's easy to lose focus and find yourself in a zombie daze as you're bombarded by the never-ending assault of slot machine noise and the constant clatter of poker chips as you maneuver through the crowded hallways and poker rooms.

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Adrienne Rowsome, circa 2006

That's what Adrienne Rowsome (Talonchick) from PokerStars Team Online is trying to avoid, and she has her game plan ready. "I won't be doing the full summer grind at the WSOP; it has never really been my style. I like to be able to jet in and out for different events. I love Las Vegas, but I can't manage more than a couple of weeks at a time."

She plans to stay in Vegas on two separate trips to play the Main Event, the $1,500 PLO8, the $3,000 PLO8, the $2,500 10-Game, and the $1,000 Ladies event. For the first trip, her plans are modest. "The first visit is only three or four days to hit the $1,500 PLO8, scoop up a bracelet, see a show, and then head off to New York to visit family." Adrienne has cashed in the WSOP PLO8 event three times in the last few years, so we would say the odds are in her favor.

The Rio will be home base for the first trip because "the convenience is important to me," she commented, but for the second visit she plans to rent a room at a friend's house off the Strip. "It's a great house, complete with pool, hot tub, ping pong table, and, of course, a poker table. What I struggle with in Las Vegas is finding quiet. That is where having a place to stay off Strip will pay off for me. The calm and quiet at a private pool works wonders for helping me clear my mind and refocus."

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This is how Adrienne relaxes.

On the return trip she plans to take a hard run at the Main Event. "I haven't played the Main since 2006, so I'm looking forward to challenging myself and seeing if I've learned from the coaching and work I've done on Hold'em in the past few years."

Poker will be her main focus at the WSOP, but having fun with friends is also a big draw. "With so many of my friends being poker players and living all around the globe, the WSOP is like a reunion. A long reunion, no doubt, but it is so wonderful to walk up and down to the Convention Center seeing familiar faces and catching up on what the year has meant to different players, both on the felt and away from the tables."

But everyone needs a break from poker now and then, and at those times, you can often find Adrienne observing the fountains at the Bellagio. "I like to stand by and just watch. Water has always been an antidote for stressors in my life." Another way that she normally winds down from a busy day of tournaments is by playing online at PokerStars, something she will miss at the WSOP. "I enjoy playing 50 to 100 hands or so to unwind most days. Live poker is so different from online. I am usually happy to play live for a couple of days, but then I certainly miss all the comforts of playing from home."

So be on the lookout for Adrienne at the Rio if you're there, and if not, maybe you'll catch her on television at the final table of the Main Event or winning that PLO8 bracelet she mentioned. In the meantime, keep up with her and all the female players on PokerStars here.

Rebekah Mercer
@PokerStars in PS Women