Shirley Rosario
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Shirley Rosario Interview

Questions and Answers for Magazine

by Shirley Rosario

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Shirley Rosario(Originally answered for Magazine)

Q: Poker is attracting more female players on both sides of the Atlantic: are there advantages the female player can exploit over male opposition?

A: Most men treat women as stereotypes at the poker table, not as unique players. This makes it pretty easy to play with men that have never played with me before. Certain types of men check a strong hand because they want to be the “nice” guy. Other types of men might try to bully a “weak” woman. Whatever the case, I win bets. This is a huge advantage to me. There is less advantage against regular opponents of course.

Q: You work as a prop player in a casino. Tell us a little about what that involves.

A: I work for the casino to help start and keep games going. In the morning, when a floorman starts a game, there might be only six regular players that actually sit down to play. The empty seats will be filled by prop players like me so the game can start. Props filter out of the game as players come in. If games are in jeopardy of breaking up, we fill in to help keep them going. Although we work for the casino and get paid an hourly rate, the money we use at the table is our own. I get paid to do what I love… play poker. I couldn’t ask for a better job.

Q: How did you get into this line of work in the first place?

A: I started working at a casino years ago as a cocktail waitress. I became friends with many top players and they helped me learn the game. There was one player in particular that spent hours teaching me everything he knew about the game. I started playing live action and had some success at it, but it was playing in my first tournament that hooked me. I finished in the money and never looked back.

Q: And you also play in tournaments, how is that going?

A: After placing in the first tournament I played in, I thought it was going to be easy money. That has not been the case, of course. Tournament poker is extremely difficult because you have to deal with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Often times when I leave a tournament, I have a sick feeling in my stomach. I am such a competitor that it hurts when I lose. I imagine that is why I am consistently improving my game. I go home and replay the events in my head and figure out what I could do in a similar situation. This year I have done well in tournaments. I have two first place finishes, a second place finish, and a fourth place finish. I play more online and my success rate has been best there. I even won my way into the main event of the World Series of Poker.

Q: You’ve met many of the world’s best players. Does anyone stand out as a particular character – any favorites among them?

A: Phil Ivey is my favorite tournament player as far as skill goes, but there are many other players that I love because of their character. There are four players that quickly come to mind and all of them for different reasons. Phil Laak is probably the wildest. If you have ever seen him on a WPT event, then I am sure you know what I am talking about. I laugh just thinking about him. Amir Vahedi is another player that makes me laugh. He is always in great spirits and he makes it a point to acknowledge me when he sees me. He will yell, “Queen!!!” from across the room and that usually is enough to put me in a good mood before any tournament. Chris Moneymaker is one of my favorite players because he is so down to earth. I first met him when we filmed the Poker for Dummies video and we hit if off right away. I told Chris that it would be impossible to find another champion like him. Somebody might win that plays as good as or better than him, but nobody would ever fill his gentleman shoes. And no player will ever do what Chris did for the game of poker. The last person is Barry Greenstein. I respect him more than any other player. He is not only one of the most intelligent men I have ever talked to, but is a great humanitarian. In a sport where we see so much, “me, me, me” attitude, it is refreshing to see a man who wants to, “give, give, give”.

Q: What separates a good player from a great player?

A: There are players that can do the math of poker. There are players that can read situations. These and similar skills help players to become good. To be a truly exceptional player, you Must have three other qualities: focus, emotional control, and the ability to manage your money. Without all three of these things, it is impossible to succeed in the poker world in the long run.

Q: You review poker sites on your own website. What makes a good site and would you recommend any in particular?

A: As is the case most of the time in poker, the answer is, it depends. Every player has their own likes and dislikes. I have accounts with eight different online cardrooms and like I say on my website, I play on each one for different reasons. One might have a great No Limit slide bar, one might have weak competition, and one might offer tournaments at times that best fit into my schedule.

Q: On the subject of online play, what kind of advice would you give to the online player?

A: Online poker is different than casino poker. That advice by itself is the most important advice I can give a new online player. For example, online games are much faster than casino games. If you are the type of player who gets emotional when you lose a hand, if you tilt for ten minutes, that is a lot more hands online than it is in a casino. But still, the key things remain the same: manage your money, select the best game, and focus.

Q: So what’s in the pipeline regarding future plans?

A: I plan on writing articles for my website. I will continue to work at the best job in the world and I am going to play in more upcoming tournaments.

For more information about me, click the link to the main page in the top left corner.