LAPT8 Panama: Changing gears in fashion
Poker players come from all walks of life.
There's always been a steady stream of engineering, math and finance majors into the game; but, sometimes, we get players from areas poker scarce areas like fashion design.
Angelina Rich is one such player. Rich got a degree in fashion design from Central Washington University in 2012 and took her degree on the road.
After graduating, Rich went to Australia and was planning on bringing some rainy Pacific Northwest flare to the sunny outback.
That never panned out.
"I had some high school friends who had been playing professionally for some time," Rich said. "They were living in Australia at the time and I just kinda wanted to go visit them.
"I got a year-long work visa and was gonna get a fashion job over there but they kind of just persuaded me to start [playing poker]. They said I could make a lot of money doing it. Yeah, I just started playing and I haven't stopped since."
Since then, Rich has been travelling around, playing poker on screens and tables across the world.
Before coming to LAPT8 Panama, Rich was in Playa del Carmen, a place that's become somewhat of a haven for exiled American grinders.
Rich spent her birthday there, turned 25 and decided to hop on down to LAPT8 Panama.
Once here, Rich won one of the last live satellites to clinch her day 1b seat.
It's not Rich's first time qualifying for LAPT Panama though.
"Last year I qualified online," Rich said.
After winning her seat, Rich just squeaked into the money. Rich was the first to go after the bubble burst and won $2,820 for finishing 79th.
She feels better about her chances this year.
"I guess I've been playing longer now so I feel a little more confident," Rich said. "So I feel like I kind of have a grasp on things, I feel like I know my opponents a little bit better."
Part of Rich's confidence comes from having accomplished one of her goals: winning a live tournament.
Earlier this year, Rich won event #12 in the Aussie millions. Rich's victory came with a $27,224 payday, but that just made her hungrier for more.
Rich now wants to take down a tournament with a six-figure payday.
Luckily for her, LAPT8 Panama fulfills all her requirements.
Regardless of what happens here, Rich plans on heading back home to Seattle to visit her family before heading off the World Series of Poker.
"My family's really laid back and super supportive," Rich said. "They're into [poker]. They think it's pretty cool."
While her family likes her new career, she feels poker players might not like advice from her old one.
"I would never [give poker players fashion advice]," Rich said. "I think they'd get offended by it."
One thing she does advise fashionably dubious players to do is:
"Dress to impress."
For multilingual coverage, check out our Spanish PokerStars Blog and our Brazilian PokerStars Blog. If you're more of a watcher, head over to LAPT Live to check out the live stream. Updates are also available on the LAPT Facebook page.
All photos are snapped by Carlos Monti and all words are clacked by Alexander Villegas.