Adrienne "Talonchick" Rowsome, playing for two
The 2014 PCA Women's Event is in full flow here in paradise. When the klaxon sounded on registration, 69 players had contributed $1,100 to the prize pool, a figure which has since dropped to 40. Although maybe that should read "40 and a half".
The ever-smiling Adrienne "Talonchick" Rowsome is just one of those taking part today. And taking part inside Rowsome is the creation of life. All this is a roundabout way of saying that Talonchick has her own chick on the way, aka: she's pregnant.
Babies are in vogue amongst Team PokerStars players these days. From Team Online's George Lind III showing the world his amazing family in a must-watch PokerStars.tv documentary recently, to the High Rolling, Jake Cody, who'll soon have to juggle nappies with his triple crown. Sadly for today's other Women's Event competitors, though, there are still about 20 weeks to go before Rowsome needs to take maternity leave from the tables.
So while talk of talcum powder, tantrums and strollers edges closer, Rowsome chatted to us about how she's handling one of life's biggest changes, and her hopes going into the PCA Women's Event.
Are you excited about today's Women's Event?
"I'm super looking forward to it. I played the last one in 2013, as well as the World Series, and they're always a blast."
What makes them so special to play?
"It's just a different chance to celebrate being a woman who plays poker. Usually we make up less than 10% of the field in live tournaments and they're a lot more social, which means more fun."
Is there a reason you've not played more of these events in the past?
"It's been about timing for a lot of them. The 8-Game tournaments are usually scheduled around the same time, and that's one of my preferred games. But last year I just had so much fun in this one that I'm here again. I didn't do too well last year, so I'm ready to fire away again."
What's the standard of play like?
"The play is different from your traditional MTTs (multi-table tournaments), but that's because it's chattier and much more social game. You have to adjust if you're used to the regular MTT grind. I find that these ladies-only tournaments can be tougher for me because I'm trying to think in a real grinder style."
Why do you think that approach doesn't work?
"Women have a tendency to be a little more conservative and protective of their chips. When you have a really strong hand you have to figure out what's the best line to take against those women who try and buck the trend by being hyper aggressive, and those who are a little more conservative with their play."
Players like yourself and Vanessa Selbst are increasingly having an impact on poker. Has anyone ever told you they find you inspirational?
"A little bit. I think it's because unlike some other big name player I have a conventional life. I have a day job, I'm married, I have a house, I'm now pregnant. There's a lot other really relatable things."
How has the pregnancy affected your poker playing?
"I've played two tournaments so far and they've been totally different. In the first one I wasn't paying attention, I was up and down all the time, and I felt quite distracted. I was pretty upset with myself and surprised about how much it impacted my game. But I played yesterday and was a little more calm."
Can you describe what it's like to play while all that is going on?
"There's always the need for a few more bathroom breaks (laughs), and I don't like staying in one position for any long length of time. Although when I'm not pregnant I like to fidget, so maybe it's just a personality trait."
Finally, what's your goal for today?
"I always want to take tournaments down. I'm here to have fun and make some good plays and pay attention to everyone at my table to figure out what their styles are."
A number of PokerStars Women players will be following Talonchick closely -- what with there being some precious swag up for grabs -- so stay tuned for more from the $1,100 Women's Event on the PokerStars Blog, or click through to live updates, features and interviews from the $10,000,000 guaranteed PCA Main Event, the $25,000 High Roller and the $100,000 Super High Roller.
Keir Mackay is a copywriter for PokerStars.