Talonchick adjusts to three-handed play at home
There has been an addition to the Rowsome/Carter household. His name is Carrick. We'll give you a moment (or as long as you need) to look at him.
Team PokerStars Online's Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome and husband Ryan Carter can't get enough of their bundle of joy. Adrienne told us how he entered the world.
"Carrick was born on May 26th at 10:30 in the morning. I actually went into labor while the milestones hands (on PokerStars) were going and made an effort to hit the final one, thought that would have been exceptional. Unfortunately, poker wasn't adequately distracting me from the tiredness and pain in the middle of the night, so I had to let it go!
"He was born weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and 19 ½ " long, although he has now stretched out a big for sure! Ryan and I had decided to have an 'out of hospital' birth, so this meant that because everyone was healthy and feeling good that we could go home shortly after birth. Three hours after his birth, we were loading him, ever so carefully (and nervously), into the car seat."
Parenthood has been an adjustment for this power poker couple but certainly a welcome one. Each of their mothers came to visit during the first month to help with the little one. Anyone who has welcomed a newborn into their world knows that the initial changes are difficult, and Adrienne and Ryan now know it as well. And the new routine is becoming the new norm already, "mostly centered around sleeping, eating and diapers."
Adrienne is home for quite some time now, taking maternity leave from her job as an Occupational Therapist. She explained that working 600 hours in one year entitles a person to 15 weeks of maternity in the following year, followed by 37 weeks of parental leave. She will be able to enjoy the first year of Carrick's life without returning to work until July 2015.
Meanwhile, Adrienne shares another job - poker - with Ryan. Since babies don't have much of a scheduled time bank and probably don't care if their parents have good pot odds to be in the hand, poker schedules must change. Their poker lives have already been adjusted for Carrick.
"I played in the Women's Sunday in early June because of the extra hefty bounty on me and the bigger guarantee, otherwise my poker playing has been a bit limited," Adrienne admitted. "We have been working on a schedule to make sure we both get enough games in. Thankfully, with being primarily a cash game player, I can be a bit more flexible with my schedule and session length!"
She went on to explain that shorter sessions have been part of the new game plan. "It is easy enough to play and care for Carrick now, even when he is awake. As he gets a bit older and more active, I may have to take more advantage of his naptimes."
Exhaustion and general time concerns are part of Adrienne's considerations now, as well as the emotions that come with motherhood. Not being much of a tilter anyway, she's simply paying more attention to her emotions and taking breaks from poker when needed.
Thankfully for Carrick, he has yet to hear any bad beat stories. "In good time, I'm sure he will have heard more than his fair share, but hopefully not from his parents," Adrienne explained. "We have shown him a deck of cards, mostly just spades/clubs, though. Infants are fascinated with black and white patterns in the early stages, and they really capture his attention."
Talonchick is not alone in her new goal of balancing motherhood and poker. Many men and women in the world of poker have learned to combine parenthood and the game they love.
As Adrienne heads into her second month of mothering little Carrick, she already has some advice for other parents:
"Consider trying the mobile app. When I am feeding Carrick, I often find myself surfing the web on my iPad. Once your baby is into a routine, you get a better idea of how long of a session you can play. Take advantage of your partner and anyone else who wants to help out with caring for your little one and see how many turbo SNGs you can get through in a bathroom break!"
PokerStars Women congratulates Adrienne and Ryan on becoming parents. We look forward to watching Carrick grow and get even more handsome, if that is possible!
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.