Jessica Marks won her first WSOP bracelet last Saturday, playing a 2-day event of the $500 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship. She had to weave through a field of 167 strong competitors, earning herself a huge payday of $16,612.66
Our Head of Community, Hannes Neurauter sat down with Jessica to discuss her victory, poker journey and experience of the Team Pokercode community.
I literally realized on the river when I flopped a set and her flush didn't come. I was so focused and in a bubble that I just saw the flush draw on the turn and then the card peeling, not being a green card. Until then, I was just playing my game, not even thinking about the title or the win. The moment it was all over, I remember breaking down in tears, being overwhelmed, and just really, really happy, mainly from finally letting go of the focus.
I got my first call seconds after the river was dealt, and we just yelled at each other in disbelief. After that, of course, I had to call my best friend, who I had a drink with over a video call to celebrate. Everyone congratulated me on social media. The next day, waking up to articles written about it and messages on Instagram. It's super weird also to see your own name written down everywhere. Even until now, it feels a bit surreal.
I started back in 2009/2010 when there was still a German sports channel called DSF, and poker highlights were shown, including the legendary German high roller cash game with Erich Kollmann and Jan Heitmann. At that time, I made a PokerStars account and started playing tournaments. But after a year, I kind of lost interest until 2018 when I picked up where I left off and also started to play live. The good old CCC Casino in Kufstein, Austria, became my second home. Ever since, I've been playing live and online and pursued it more professionally with coachings and strategy content. The more I learned about the theory of the game, the more hooked I became, always eager to learn more.
Definitely the first hand coming to my head is my double early on with AK vs. Pamela's QQ and a shorty with A5. I started with 21bb, so at the start, I thought, this could go either way now. I then sat with 41bb during the bubble phase and felt pretty confident. Later on, I remember blinding down to 2.5bb but never lost hope. I was telling myself as long as I have chips on the table, there's a chance. And I turned it around, tripled, and got the chip leader with 3 left. I then applied a more aggressive approach to take it down.
The Pokercode community is a very open and kind community where everyone is welcome. Even before I became a member, I always liked how nice everyone is when meeting them at a live event and definitely made connections before I joined. It's very inspiring to see everyone's journey and what they achieve. The most motivating is seeing participants from a grindhouse thrive and binking tournament after tournament, such as Charlie or Tobsen. But at the same time, never forget that success comes from hard work. So even though I work full-time, I still make time to study or have 1-on-1 coachings.
Next up online is the WCOOP women's main event and the side events, aiming for a second title on PokerStars. My goal in poker will always be to improve and learn from my mistakes. I love to compete, not only against women. This is just the beginning and gave me back a lot of confidence in my game, which I lost during this year, I have to admit. So even now, the win is reviewed and not taken for granted.
This is a hard one, honestly. I've experienced true gentlemen but also not-so-nice things at the table. But that's only a few occasions, luckily. Try to be yourself, be confident, and don't shy away. You earned this seat at the table just as much as they have. This game is for everyone. Join a community with good people, talk about hands, talk strategy, and don't take stupid comments at the table too seriously. Some men can't handle their ego 😉.
We are wishing Jessica all the best for her future poker career, and we can not wait to celebrate further trophies with her!
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