Ask Gill

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21 Questions so far

  1. Kelsie January 7th, 2011 10:15 am

    I don’t know any female players, so I thought I would pick your brain a little – if you don’t mind. Are you playing full-time, or do you work somewhere? How long did it take for you to build up your bankroll? Have you read many books, or are you a more natural/feel player?
    I consistently make it to the money, but my bankroll just doesn’t support higher stakes at the moment. Also started playing cash online, but my style of play seems to suit tournaments better.

  2. Gillian Epp January 7th, 2011 10:50 am

    I starting playing poker while traveling, when I got home I worked as a poker dealer at the Casino in Cranbrook.
    Because I dealt in Cranbrook, I was a little more comfortable sitting down for a live game, but I often wonder about how people make the switch, from online to live, because it is definitely intimidating, especially sitting down at a table full of men in a room full of men.
    For the last 2 1/2 years, I’ve been playing full time, and as much as I’d like to say It’s the greatest job in the world… The truth is it’s tough.
    You spoke about the tilt you feel playing online, (by the way if you multi-‘table, online is the worst place to tilt)
    Poker players tilt and tilting affects every aspect of your life not just your poker game. Maybe a wal street trader has an idea about how sucky it feels to loose but most people don’t understand why your in a bad mood.
    I think that’s why so many poker players are single, they’re so moody.
    And loosing is part of the game. That’s what makes poker so amazing and profitable for pro players, the fact that I can play PERFECT poker, always make the right decision and yet have a losing session, and visa a versa the worst player in the world can sit down with the pros and make money.
    Tournament poker is not my specialty, but for girls like you and I we actually have the positive EV to afford to play them. What I mean is because you’re beautiful young and female sponsorship deals are available..
    Sponsorship has it’s pros and cons. As a sponsored pro you do have some sense of security, but a lot of the best parts of being a poker player are taken away; like playing when you want to play, traveling when you want to travel and basically being your own boss.
    To answer some more of you questions:
    I built my bankroll up quickly, as I had 6months without a losing session at a live 2-5 game. Having said that I have yet to even come close to a record like that. But it did give me a nice bankroll as well as confidence to attack larger games.
    Bankroll management is probably the most important part of poker, if your considering going pro that’s absolutely something you have to focus on. I’ve seen players blow entire bankrolls in one session; it’s hard to recover from that, especially if you have no other form of income. I guess that goes hand in hand with Tilt though, I would do everything in your power to work on getting your temper under control- try yoga :-)
    I try to read the poker books, sometimes I agree with them sometimes I don’t but it is interesting to learn other people’s perspectives on the game. It also helps when your playing to see the way someone else might play the hand.
    Keep playing your sit-n-go’s though, they’re great value games. I know people that make their living off them. Tournaments your going to have large swings in your bankroll, but SNG are great.


  3. Kelsie January 10th, 2011 9:00 pm

    Just a few quick questions again… What do you do during losing streaks? Lately I just haven’t been able to win a hand, and I’m about ready to take a break. lol Do you push through knowing eventually luck will turn around? Do you switch up your playing style? Do you change stakes? Also, do you find online to really have more bad beats than live? I haven’t played live yet for several reasons, but maybe I should try…?

  4. Gillian Epp January 10th, 2011 9:01 pm

    Sorry to hear your having bad luck. That’s definitely part of poker. When I go through a series or losing sessions, I try to tell me that it’s beneficial losing. You learn bankroll management and it keeps your ego in tact plus your forced to study your game.

    But I hate it, and I’m in a bad mood after losing, you need support and understand from those around you, to really succeed.

    You have to take a break from poker. Don’t change your game completely… but evaluate your play, learn what you could do differently in the future but remember that your style has been working in the past so it will continue to work. The worst thing you can do is change your game and play a style that your not confidant in. Just wait for your head to clear before you start playing again.

    As for changing stakes… that’s dependent on your bankroll, if you’re feeling less confident then lower your stakes simply to boost your confidence level.

    Personally, and I’m not a good example, I move up in levels when I loose. Which is why I now play the biggest stakes possible!!

    The sheer number of online hands means there will be more bad beats online. However there have been so many online scandals in the past that I’m jaded to believing that it is possible there’s something in the programming that rewards bad play.

    Live or online you’re going to have bad beats, it’s going to suck and there’s nothing you can do about it. Things that make me feel better is watching Durrrrr on Fulltilt lose 100s of thousands of dollars, his loses make mine look minuscule. And also a quote from Jennifer Harman who said ” The first time I lost a grand I cried for an hour, the first time I lost 10 thousand I cried for a day and the first time I lost 100 grand I cried for a week.”

    Good luck

  5. Abzisaledge February 5th, 2011 2:05 am

    Just a quick one really. Spoke to u on twitter for a bit but you said “I built my bankroll up quickly, as I had 6months without a losing session at a live 2-5 game”. How did you get the bankroll for this stage? Did u play online?


  6. Gillian Epp February 6th, 2011 5:09 pm

    Actually I suck at online poker. It’s an aspect of my game I’ve been working hard at, these past few month.
    When I started playing 1-2NL I had about 15k from working as a dealer saved up. On the advice of a fellow poker player I created a separate “Poker” bank account, and I kept my poker tracking immaculate.
    At 1/2 I played complete nit poker, never played out of position, and was able to turn a profit playing boring, unsophisticated poker. Even playing nit poker, there is an aspect of luck involved, because now-a-days I wonder if the rake at 1-2 is even beatable. If you can play online where the rake is so minuscule it is by far the best way to build a bankroll.
    The guys at the casino needled me to try 2-5NL and for a long time I said “no” I win at the lower stakes why would I move up. I would have to look through records to see what my bankroll was exactly when I did move up, but I had been making a decent wage at 1-2.
    Then one day I bought in at 2-5 for $500 and cashed out for 3K. After that I played the 2-5 regularly. For those first few years even at 2/5 I played very nitty poker. Again only in position, I wouldn’t even play AJ under the gun. People would comment on how patient I was.
    Looking back, I wasn’t a good enough player, to play out of position or get creative with mediocre hands. For my bankroll to grow and therefor for me to continue playing I needed to only play hands I was comfortable playing, and play only when I was last to act.
    In part I was really lucky, those 6 months work out to be 29 sessions ( I didn’t play all that often) But since then my longest no-lose streak has been 10 sessions. At any level if you have 29 winning session, not only will you feel invincible but your roll will be pretty. Oh and I also won a bad-beat jackpot during that time (the wrong side of it though, I had the winning hand, but that did contributed to building me a highstakes roll)
    I guess to answer your question, I didn’t start playing full time, till long after my 29winning sessions. At which point I was already financially stable from other aspects of my life, and I defiantly got lucky many times along the way.

    Hope this helps

  7. James February 6th, 2011 5:12 pm

    That a really detailed response and I really appreciate your time in writing this. I can have some really good sessions live, but like yourself I’m not brilliant online. I currently play .50/1 in pound sterling at my local cardroom. I want to really start making some money from it and take it seriously.

    I was thinking of depositing around $500 and playing .10/.25c on a poker room I like to play at. Is this a wise move?

    Thank you.


  8. Gillian Epp February 6th, 2011 5:14 pm

    If you can afford to lose $500, why not. Just go into the experience being honest with yourself. You do have to get lucky in poker. These stories about people turning $1 in to a million, good for them, if that really happened, but I doubt it. Daniel attempted this in a well published campaign, and then we just stopped hearing about it. My guess is because he realized its not possible.

    What I’m saying is, even if you do lose, it is not necessarily an indication of you poker ability.

    Now to not lose your $500- along with getting lucky, you will have to employ very disciplined bankroll management. Obviously I’m not the person to speak to about online br, you should do additional research on this topic, someone like Nanako , would be a good person to speak to.
    Live I say you should have 50-100 buy-in’s at your disposal. Online, because your multi-tabling this number changes, that’s what you’ll want to figure out.
    Learn how many buy-ins you need per table, and then figure out what your bankroll has to be to either move up in levels, or increase the number of tables you are playing.
    Tom Dwan knew he wanted to play High Stakes, and he came to the conclusion that the only way he could do that was by winning a big tournament. I remember him saying he built his roll up to 10k then bought into a 10k event, and lost it all, and had to start all over. So this is a risky way to do it- but the reward is having a huge bankroll very quickly.

    So Good Luck, Chronicle your journey, so when you do make your millions you can advise the newer poker pros on what path to take.


  9. AK Poker Guy February 11th, 2011 3:05 pm

    It is me, the AK heart guy from EdgeWater last night. I know I got kind of lucky hitting 2 flushes on you.

    I just want to say that I was pretty intrigue to meet a professional high stakes poker player. I read your story and blog and I like your story a lot. I can find similarities and the story of your parents support is quite touching.

    Anyway, if we see each other again or we can contact through email. I would like to share strategies about poker with you and know your thoughts about certain aspects of the game.

    Even though I’m nobody famous, I still believe I have a lot to offer as well. I started full time poker this year. Prior to that, I was playing part-time winning consistently online and occasionally at the casino. You can trust me that I’m the type of guy who knows what he is talking about.

    Nice meeting you,
    Let me know your thoughts,

    p.s. a quick comment about your blog. Nice bluff vs Phil Laak by the way but I think the risk to reward ratio there may not be optimal?

  10. Rick sewell February 16th, 2012 7:33 pm

    Congrats on all your success. We are jealous! Next time you come to Kelowna, remember who was so helpful when you lived here. :) so keep your bankroll management under control and put aside some for you taking us out for a nice dinner!!!

    Good job Gillian.


  11. Haley May 10th, 2012 2:53 pm

    Do you listen to music when you play live, and if so, what’s on your playlist?

  12. Gillian Epp May 10th, 2012 3:12 pm

    It’s important to stay in the moment and listen to verbal tells at the table; so I seldom put earphone on while playing cash.
    However, part of tournament poker is playing through difficult table selections and annoying players.
    When I need to relax or self-motivate myself, I will put on my headphones and turn on some inspirational tunes, to return to a profitable state of mind.

    Currently on My Playlist are:
    Eye of the Tiger
    I Get Knocked Down
    and Stronger

  13. CoachMarcus July 19th, 2013 1:34 am

    Hey Gillian,
    We played on Ivey Poker earlier today! You are great btw I have a couple questions for you. 1st when hit the bad beat what was the out come? How much did you win? 2nd since you were a dealer, when you play poker live how much do you tip the dealer? Do you tip every pot you take down? 3rd who would I contact to get you to play in a charity tournament for my bball team?

  14. Gillian Epp July 19th, 2013 6:21 pm

    Hey Coach;
    Nice playing with you on Ivey Poker, and thanks for the Post. When I hit the bad beat (years ago) it was straight flush, over straight flush, and it was for around 65K. When I play live, I generally tip $1 a hand, and $5 for big pots. I have an agent Randy Kasper of who manages all of my bookings and appearances.

    Thanks again for the note, and good luck at the tables.

  15. Diego Meza January 31st, 2014 6:20 pm

    hi, how are u ?
    Would you come to El Salvador one day ? 😀 we have pretty beaches here!
    i hope we can play one day together 😀
    just a question : full tilt poker or pokerstar? we don’t have good casinos here so i wanna play online 😀
    love ur smile 😀

  16. Gillian Epp March 13th, 2014 10:43 am

    I’d love to come to El Salvador one day.
    Online site is a personal preference, you have to find what works for you.

    Cheers, see you on the virtual felt 😀


  17. nycjosh June 28th, 2014 5:26 am

    Hi Gillian,

    What is the longest live session you have played in, and what was your motivation for staying in the game so long? What limits do you usually play now and days? I imagine you play an uncapped 10-20 or higher?

    I saw you questioned 2-5 being beatable with rake structures these days. What was the rake when you were playing 2-5? Where I play (recreationally) has a 5 dollar time charge with 1 dollar taken for the bad beat jackpot. The cap is 500 (although you can sneak a few black chips on there). What do you think of this structure?


    Gl with your career, on and off the felt

  18. Vincent Tong August 7th, 2014 9:12 am

    Love this article

  19. Bakyt November 23rd, 2014 11:55 am

    Hello Gill,

    Would you mind to give some advice for men playing against women? :) Like weaken the ego, or some information on how women or you, personally, exploit sex related properties (sorry for my English)

  20. Gillian Epp January 2nd, 2015 9:19 pm

    Hi Bakyt;

    I’ve been working on a series for women in poker, focusing on their strength’s and weaknesses. Here’s a link to the articles I’ve written (in very draft form).

    Thanks for visiting


  21. Emerson Eduardo December 20th, 2014 4:20 pm

    Olá! Tudo bem? Estou iniciando minha jornada no poker! Você é uma linda e boa jogaodora! Estou aprendendo com você também! beijos!!!

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