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A Poker Life After Vegas August 9, 2011

Posted by Jennifer in : feminism,poker,travel , add a comment

It took me a while to recover from the whirlwind of poker play, socializing and hard work at the World Series of Poker. An absolutely unforgettable experience. Check out my article on PokerStars Women for an in-depth account of my Main Event. I also played in a lot of women’s poker tournaments in Vegas and met some incredible female poker crushers, including the lovely ladies aka the Grindettes, Katie Stone, Katie Dozier & Jamie Kerstetter.

While in Vegas, I thought about some of the things I’m doing right and other things I need to do to take my game to the next level. Frankly, because of Black Friday I frequently wandered the halls of the Rio, wondering: “What’s Next?” Playing online was always my main poker activity. Would I quit poker after WSOP, despite feeling more connected and passionate about the game than ever before? Happily, I think I’ve found enough projects & plans to stay pretty involved in the world of poker for at least the rest of the year. Look for more details as the summer turns to autumn. And if you haven’t already done so, watch Cin I, Cin II and Goldilocks on Poker Fairytale. Those projects express more deeply in images & sounds than I can in words and that’s why Daniel and I made them. This may be my favorite:

Cin II from Poker Fairy Tale on Vimeo.

Play Like a Girl in Orlando August 6, 2011

Posted by Jennifer in : books,chess,feminism , add a comment

I’m in Orlando for the US Open, the USCF’s premiere adult event. Tomorrow, on Saturday 8/6 I’ll be hosting a book signing at the USCF Store. If you can’t make it in person, consider supporting my efforts as well as USCF’s and 9 Queens by ordering a copy of Play Like a Girl for your sister, mom or friend. If you want to learn more about Play Like a Girl, see the book trailer and an in-depth (and very flattering) review on Chess Vibes. Or if you’re more in the mood for a good read than puzzle-solving, pick up the ever popular Chess Bitch or Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess. *sales pitch over*

While in Orlando, I also played in the Fischer Random side event, which was a lot of fun. For those of you who don’t know, Fischer Random chess shuffles the pieces on the back row into one of 960 possible positions, hence the name by which Fischer Random goes by in Europe, “Chess 960″. Just like in chess, the game begins symmetrically.

I’d never played any Fischer Random chess except for blitz games, and my initial impressions after the event was very positive. Because my opening preparation is pretty rusty, it was relaxing to be on a level playing field. I also enjoyed having to come up with original opening concepts from move one, rather than following well-trodden paths. I’ll definitely be writing an article on CLO about the event and my games in it, so look out for that.

One of the reasons I played in the event is I’m an organizer and commentator for the upcoming K v. Q: Battle of the Sexes event coming up in Saint Louis. The event, also known as Kings vs. Queens, will feature both “regular” rapid and Fischer Random rapid games. K v. Q will coincide with the opening of the World Chess Hall of Fame on September 9th. Should be a very exciting week for me as I’m also on the board of directors for the World Chess HOF- check out our snazzy new website!

Everyone’s favorite American chess dynamo GM Hikaru Nakamura is surprisingly playing in Orlando, a huge treat for his many fans here. The last time I saw Hikaru, we were having a ball at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. That was less than a month ago, but somehow it feels like another eon. Follow the Orlando chess action on uschess.org/clo and Monroi.com.