Wednesday, May 21, 2008

At the rail with Jennifear

Jennifear is a fantastic young poker player from Niagra Falls, New York. She is a proud Contributing Writer for and a Presto Award Winner for 2006's Most Valuable Poster, as voted by the readers of Her writing and ideas on playing have won her a legion of fans. Jennifear teaches private poker lessons, and you can find the details at Jennifear's Poker Palace. A discount on these lessons is available if you support by joining a poker site through one of their links.

Thanks for joining me here at the rail Jennifear

It's a pleasure! Thanks for having me!

Tell me how you got started playing?

I never planned on playing for real money, and the fact that I did was a complete accident. I watched the WPT UltimateBet Classic in 2002 and was hooked. I went to UltimateBet with the intent of playing with playchips, which I did for three months! Then, something unexpected happened. They had a "high hand" jackpot that went off every 90 minutes, and I flopped a royal! I won $4.75 real money for my good fortune, and headed right to the cashier's page to make a withdrawal.

Minimum Withdrawal: $25

I was SO PISSED! I didn't really need the five bucks or anything but the idea of getting something for nothing was really nice!

I started grinding at the cash games (.01/.02 NLH) and realized just how easy that game was. I built my roll up to $100, took out my $25, and then discovered SNGs. I've never looked back.

I got into coaching by accident too! After seeing a few bad beat posts where people complained that they "always got their chips in as a favorite", but never won, I decided to show the world how to win without always "being ahead". I offered a lesson on MSN chat with two intentions. To get as many people to sign up for sites thru pocketfives as possible, and to have some fun. I ended up playing with a full chat room of 50 people, and I was overwhelmed. It worked out great though. Everything I tried that day worked. I couldn't lose, and was able to help a lot of people. I started getting requests for private lessons, and it took of basically through word of mouth. I try to help people on pocketfives whenever I can because it's where I learned a lot of my game, and I am paying the community back.

Did you play other card games growing up?

I've always loved games. Scrabble, Stratego, chess and backgammon were fun for me. As far as card games, I indulged in some gin rummy with the family, but that's about it.

You offer both group and individual tutoring sessions right?

I offer both, but the individual lessons is what I usually do. On occasion, someone brings a friend.

What's the most noticeable improvement your students will notice after a single session with you?

This is player-dependent. I ask a questionaire and do a full stats review of each student. With that information, and a few follow-up questions, I find their leaks. If I fail to find any, I ask for hand histories. I hunt those leaks, then I attack them relentlessly. For a beginner who is raising with A7 under-the-gun, it might be starting hands and the use of position. For the more experienced vet, it may be a deep knowledge of the Nash Equilibrium and ICM. Everyone has leaks. I've yet to turn down a student because I couldn't find anything wrong with their game.

What mistake do you see made the most often that is the easiest for you to address?

The easiest mistake to address is high blind heads-up play. So many people shove too infrequently, and it's an easy fix.

How does a group session unfold? An individual session?

I spend time with the player on Windows Live Messenger. I'll go over the questionaire and directly attack any problems that they are having. I will show them tools that will allow them to continue their education on their own. In effect, I teach people how to teach themselves.

Do you prefer sngs or mtts?

I love poker, period. I am very lucky this way. I have to admit that there's no rush like a final table of a tournament, and winning can keep me high for days better than any drug ever could.

What's your biggest MTT tournament result? Your biggest SNG accomplishment?

I don't play too many MTTs, but my best result came earlier this week, in the FTP Turbo Hundo, a $109 event that attracted 277 players. It's not the best game that I've ever played, but with a tremendous assist from the poker gods, I won the thing! It was worth $7202.

For SNGs, it didn't make me a lot of money, but my biggest accomplishment was winning nine consecutive $5.50 10-man SNGs on UB. The odds against accomplishing this are ridiculously long, even at this level. I was winning 20% of these SNGs at the time, and even at that rate, the chances of winning ten of these in a row was 1 in nearly two million. I don't know of anyone else who has won 9 in a row, and I probably never will.

That is a very impressive feat. Being able to avoid a bad beat for 9 straight tournaments of any kind is incredible.
Any interest on your part in joining on the teaching company sites and not having to do everything yourself?

I love being my own boss and doing things at my pace, so most likely I'll be on my own for a very long time. The site operators are the ones making the real dough anyway. I've got a good gig, and I most likely won't change this. Never say never though. I've been lucky enough to be approached by several sites that wanted SNG videos and articles. People who I respect greatly and never imagined would want me have offered me a chance to be part of their team. Even though I am on my own, I am forever grateful for their consideration.

Tell us about the best hand you ever played?

This was in a private tourney with a great group of people that was played every week called the Holdem Affair on UB. I had 44 in mid position with very low blinds, and I limped, hoping to set mine. The SB completed and the BB checked. The flop came K 8 4 rainbow. The SB led out a strange amount and I knew that made him, because he was a very tight player who would not lead a king here, or complete with K8 on his worst day. Also when he would hit, he would pause and then make a strange numbered bet. He would raise KK, because he's not a trapper. The only possible holding for him was 88, and I deduced that was exactly what he had from a single bet. I laid down my 44, showing it to him, and he showed me his 88, the only hand he could have that would beat me. On paper, the hand looks like complete dogshit, and a horrible laydown. My experience with this guy made me know right away what he had. I can say that I lost the minimum with set-over-set!

What's your favorite hobby away from the table?

I love professional wrestling, especially the vintage stuff. I was an actor at heart for my teenage years, and this always excited me. I loved watching the NWA with greats such as Harley Race, Roddy Piper, the Von Erichs, Ric Flair, and Dusty Rhodes. I got a videotape collection when I was younger and would watch this stuff nonstop!

Who is your favorite group/singer?

I like Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Phil Collins, and The Police. I absolutely love music.

What's your favorite movie / tv show?

The Family Guy is fucking hilarious. The Simpsons too. And wrestling. Every week, I still watch Monday Night Raw. I'm such a kid.

Which player makes you go "wow" in a good way every time you watch them?

Papoorboy. He is so sick. He isn't extremely well-known yet, but he had a great run about two years ago on UB and Stars. He won the UB major two weeks in a row, and final tabled it four times in a row, then he went on to win the Sunday big event on Stars, before it was a million guaranteed. This, to me, ranks as one of the top ten accomplishments in online tournament poker.

This guy can just flat out read people. He knows what your bets mean, and what every delay in the timing means. He pays attention and gets in your head. In addition, he is hard to read himself. He mixes so well that sometimes you are left hoping to guess what he has. Just when you think you have all the answers, he changes the questions. He is reading you with stone-cold accuracy while you are guessing what he has. He wins that war more often than not.

I've been lucky to have him as a friend, and along the way teach me a few things and recently I've been able to return the favor, and show him some of the deeper mathematical aspects of the game. Although I have good reading skills too, I am primarily a mathematically based player. He has helped to show me when to throw math out the window, and I have helped to show him when it's too expensive to trust your gut. He is even better at picking spots now.
what's the one thing you d like to say but no one has ever asked you before?
I can't think of a question that I haven't been asked!

What's the first thing you do if you win the $50 million lotto tomorrow?

I'd make sure that my family never had to work again. I might take up a few hobbies. I would probably leave poker because the object of the game is to win money, and without caring if I could win, there would be little point.

Thank you very much for your time. Best of luck at the tables.


Pud's Poker said...

In case Jennifear comes back to read this, I have a quick question if I may.

Would you agree that the SnG scene is now harder to make consistant money at long term? With all the training sites, programmes available and ICM calculators available the fish are simply no longer there!

Jennifear said...


It's harder than it was two years ago, that's for sure. The UIGEA was the biggest hit to the profitability of SNGs for sure. I think that the games aren't much tougher, if any, than say six months ago though. It's definitely a game you can make a ton at, given the right circumstances.

Pud's Poker said...

Many thanks for coming back to respond Jennifear,much appreciated!

I seem to have come to a crossroads in my play and fancy a change hence me asking the question.

I think I'll split my roll and try out some of the SnG's on various sites and take it from there.I expect the SnG and MTT scene to weaken in the run up to the WSOP especially with the hundreds of adverts being shown here in the UK attracting more fish!

Thanks again!