LAPT7 Panama: Rich at poker, after a fashion
Angelina Rich is among the Day 1A field today. Like everyone here, she's eyeing her opponents carefully, working out what makes what they are doing interesting and -- most importantly -- worth acting upon.
Rich has been playing poker less than a year, although having smartly surrounded herself with other experienced players she's learned a lot in a short amount of time, having entered into a kind of post-graduate education after earning a degree in fashion design in 2012.
"I just wanted a change," she explains, referring to her decision to go along with a group of poker-playing friends she'd known since high school in Seattle, Washington and live in Australia. The group had been playing for eight years, and as she says "one thing led to another." Before long she was playing, too, discovering a deep interest in the game from the start.
"They persuaded me to start playing," says Rich. But soon enough she didn't need to be persuaded to play. Her interest in the game and its competitive aspect grew as she played more with her friends and online.
"I was in Australia for about six or seven months, going back and forth and living in Mexico some, too," she says. "I just follow where they go and play and get better. It's great living with people who have been playing for so long. It helps with the learning curve and I've been able to pick up on things pretty quickly."
She set some goals for herself late last year, one being to win the Women's Sunday tournament on PokerStars where she plays as "ARichDesign." Just a few months later Rich did just that, topping a field of 241 in Women's Sunday to earn a $2,464.33 first prize. A month later she was at EPT10 Sanremo, cashing in three different events including winning the Women's Event.
"Winning the women's tournament in Sanremo was really amazing," she says. "It was only the second women's tournament I ever played, and so that [really made me] want to keep going."
The decision to come to LAPT Panama again began with the influence of her friends, but soon became a quest of her own.
"We were in Mexico and my friends were planning on going, especially after one of them won a satellite," she explains. "Once he did that, all of us were playing the Panama satellites and eventually a couple of us satellited in. I won my seat in the 5,000-FPP satellite, which was pretty rewarding."
So far today Angelina has done well with her seat, having collected chips throughout the afternoon to run the starting stack of 20,000 up to about 48,000 as players return from dinner.
In other words, she's seen enough interesting spots to make enough worthwhile moves, and has profited as a result. Perhaps it is that fashion design background that additionally helps, an interest she continues to nurture and grow via her blog, Rich Street Fashion.
"When I moved to Australia I thought it would be a good idea to start the blog," says Rich. "I was working in retail prior to moving, and since I have a degree in fashion I didn't want to lose the whole fashion thing while I was going to be playing poker. So I just decided to do it on the side."
The blog features pictures of individuals and locations she encounters on her travels, a satisfyingly diverse portfolio of images linked by the street theme.
"Pretty much everywhere we travel I take my camera and walk around and take pictures of people who I think are interesting or unique. I'll take photos of anything -- tattoos, architecture, anything on the street that is interesting and I'll document it online."
So what about poker fashion?
"Poker players want to be comfortable," says Rich with a laugh. "But you know, I'll see some interesting subjects once in a while. I think I need to get a media pass and take some pictures!"
For now, though, as play resumes here in Level 7, Rich is content to collect chips rather than images as she pursues her design upon continuing her LAPT7 Panama Main Event.
Photography from LAPT7 Panama by Carlos Monti. Click here for live updates in Spanish, and here for live updates in Portuguese. Also check out the start-to-finish live streaming coverage (in both Spanish and Portuguese) at PokerStars.tv.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.