The newest member of PokerStars Team Online is Adrienne Rowsome from Canada, better known as "talonchick" online. She calls herself a grinder and has played poker since she was a young girl, having been introduced to the game by her father. Adrienne is an Omaha specialist and has had three consecutive top 100 cashes in WSOP Omaha events. But Omaha is not her only game. She is also a three-time WSOP Main Event satellite winner on PokerStars for three years running, giving her some serious experience in Omaha and Texas Hold'em.
PokerStars Women was able to catch up with her shortly after the announcement of her new Team Online Status and her run at this year's WSOP. She has a very busy schedule these days but was able to fit in a few questions from us. So in her own words, meet "talonchick."
Q. I see that you've final tabled the Women's Sunday several times. Tell me about playing the tournament. Does it differ much from other tournaments you play with men?
The game is different for sure. Sometimes, it is neat even just to know that you are playing against women. A different sense of community and camaraderie exists.
In terms of game play, it takes special focus to adapt and change when you value bet, the ranges that you call three bets with, and what you call down with on the river. Personally, I find that women play more in the extremes of the ranges (from tight to loose).
Q. You're apparently an Omaha specialist. Why do you prefer that game?
Omaha was first introduced to me in a limit variety. We played half an hour of hold'em followed by half an hour of Omaha. The Omaha half of the hour was filled with action, excitement and much bigger pots. I enjoy playing 30-40% of my hands generally and in hold'em you just don't get that many opportunities. The excitement of flopping a wrap (as opposed to an open ended straight draw in hold'em) and drawing to so many more outs (if the pot is right) is fun!
I prefer Omaha 8 because it has another component to it, you have to make decisions to save or make bets depending on what you believe or know your opponent will do (check/bet/raise) and how you can take advantage of someone who will bet a "naked" low.
Q. How many hours of poker do you play per week?
I tend to put in around 30 hours a week.
Q. How many tables at one time is average for you?
Often 4 - 6. I will usually have two or three cash games and two or three tournaments at a time. Otherwise, I may even just play one cash game while doing other activities.
Q. What stakes do you play?
I play primarily 10/20 Omaha 8, as that is the game that runs most consistently, but I have played as low as 2/4 and as high as 75/150 in the last three months.
Q. You have an interest in a lot of physical activities--snowboarding, softball, yoga. Is it a challenge to maintain those activities with playing so much poker?
I make an effort to commit to league play with slow pitch and basketball. By committing to the team I make sure to work it into my schedule. Snowboarding and yoga are a bit more challenging to ensure I stay current with. I did a thirty day yoga challenge in April and still put in the time. Yoga is great though, because I can give myself even just ten minutes in the morning to meditate and focus, or attend a ninety minutes class if I want to. Synchronized tournament breaks are the greatest, because in those five minutes I can get through a few poses too.
I have amazing family and friends also who make sure that I don't just stay in front of my computer all the time, but they know that Sunday's are off limits!
Q. Do you think your style is influenced by the fact that you're a woman?
Style of play is influenced by a number of things, not solely that I am a woman. It is influenced by the table dynamics, my bankroll, how I perceive I am running, my mood, distractions around the house, and other things.
Q. Is your gender a challenge or an opportunity for you as a woman?
Both. I see it mostly as a great opportunity though. I feel that I have to work extra hard to gain the respect of some players, but then others inherently give me respect.
Q. If you had to give up poker tomorrow, what kind of job would you pursue?
I work currently as an Occupational Therapist, and quite enjoy it, so I would probably do more of the same!
Q. What good things has poker brought to your life?
Poker has allowed me at times to lead a double life. It has offered me a kind of get away from the mundane and the routine of working a Monday-Friday job. I get to live a more extravagant lifestyle because of the winnings from poker, whether it is through traveling, designer shopping, fancy cars, or other things.
Poker has also introduced me to some quality players, I get a real kick out of walking through the Rio and being recognized as Talonchick. Some of my best friends I have met through poker.
Q. What are some of the challenges?
Poker can easily take over your day-to-day life. You can find that in all your down time you end up playing and not maintaining balance. That is why I am so persistent in finding outside leisure activities. I advocate that players need to spend time having fun outside of poker.