Q&A with Jennicide

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I read somewhere you actually came up with the nickname Jennicide at the age of 12 because it sounded dark and mysterious. Why did a 12-year-old girl from Delaware feel the need to be dark and mysterious?

Well I used to be involved in a lot of things in the computer industry. … Back then when IRC (an old-school chat network) was really hot I started getting into the computer-hacking scene a little bit. You know, back then it wasn’t even malicious, I was just learning about different infrastructures. … It just came up, the name Jennicide. Everybody had different aliases.

Do you still consider yourself a gamer nerd?

Oh my gosh! (laughs) I still have times where I still play World of Warcraft. I will be competing most likely in another type of tournament, which is the MLG, which is the major leagues of pro gaming, for World of Warcraft (laughs). … I’m such a nerd; it’s really funny.

Speaking of being a nerd, last month I interviewed Evelyn Ng, a fellow gamer nerd and good friend of yours. We chatted about how you had mentioned she’d be perfect for posing for Playboy. She said although she wouldn’t dismiss the idea, it’s not something she ever dreamed of. Was posing for Playboy a dream of yours and did the FHM photo shoot influence that?

No, actually none of that really influenced it. It wasn’t something I even had considered before. I think the FHM shoot was totally like the worst thing I’d have ever dreamed of in my entire life. It was an open shoot so therefore basically it was in the middle of the casino with people around. They didn’t enclose it and it wasn’t very professional. I just was not happy with the situation at all. But the Playboy shoot was very, very professional. It was closed; it was done over like three or four days. I actually had been speaking with Evelyn about it after the pictures came out in Playboy and she said, “I think I’d do it (just to have the pictures).” I think she’d be perfect for it. … We used to travel a bit together a few years ago and she’s just a very down-to-earth person, too, and also very nerdy. (laughs)

Were you at all nervous during the Playboy shoot and is it something you’d do again in the future?

I wasn’t really that nervous ’cause it’s so comfortable. I even had my mother on the shoot with me. You know, I’d probably do it again. I wouldn’t do Hustler, Penthouse or anything like that but definitely a Playboy-style type thing.

Is it still true your favorite movie is A Night at the Roxbury?

Yes! (laughs)

Is it because you’re such a bad dancer?

No, well, I am a bad dancer but, I still do it anyway; it doesn’t matter. But I absolutely just love Will Ferrell. Any Will Ferrell movie I’m kinda all about. I love movies in general. But a good comedy like that usually gets my heart right away.

OK, let’s talk poker. You recently signed with IronDuke.com, a poker site that welcomes U.S. players. What’s IronDuke.com like?

IronDuke is one of the better sites on the Merge Network. Basically you can have deposits and transactions with U.S. players. On top of that they have so many games available. … (laughs) even badugi. There’s not many sites that actually have badugi. It’s a site that’s still growing; it’s not a site that has any controversies. They are very, very strict about users and accounts and structures. They have such a great management team … and really, really good software, I really enjoy playing there, too.

What will you be doing for the site aside from just playing? Will there be special tournaments?

There are special tournaments. Once a week they have a bounty tournament. Last week I lasted maybe five minutes. (laughs) You get a special ticket on my head for an entry fee into a tournament (every Thursday night). … Plus we’re going to be implementing a chat room where … I’ll be able to answer questions (a few hours a week) for people who want to chat about a few things and if they want to flirt that’s fine, too. I’m into that.

Will you be exclusive to IronDuke or will you still play at the other sites?

IronDuke is certainly my home.

On your MySpace page you say you’re an ex-law school wannabe.

Yep! (laughs)

So, given your new relationship with an online poker site and the Unlawful Internet Enforcement Gambling Act, I’d like to know what you think of the act, and where you think the American online poker stands now?

(The act) has been a stick in poker players’ sides. It hasn’t really deterred them from playing online as you can see that. It’s just one of those things where it just makes it a little more difficult to get money on and to withdrawal money as well. I think (Congress is) going to see that it’s really nothing that has prevented people from playing online … hopefully it will get overturned … we’ll see. I’m just very hopeful about the situation. It was like a nightmare when I first heard about it. I was like “Oh my gosh!” Back in 2006 I was just sweating. I’m really hoping that the legislation, if anything, turns around and at least writes new legislation that accepts that poker is a game of skill and people are still going to play whether or not there is legislation against it.

You were one of the players on Poker Royale: Battle of the Ages on GSN a few years ago. How did you get invited to that and what did you learn from the experience?

At that point they wanted to validate that I was a female. (laughs) Hearing about an online female poker player was very rare back then. … So I had to go on a video conference. Once they confirmed I was a female they sent me out to San Diego and we filmed. The funniest thing is all of the under-28s (from the show) are now in their 30s and I’m still under 28. (laughs). I did better than all of the younger players. I ended with Miami John Cernuto heads-up and I ended up beating him. And then Dan Harrington as well. So it was a pretty good show. It was fun.

You mentioned your popularity online led to you being on this show, and you’ve had some very respectable cashes live (two WPT cashes) as well. So given that a lot of your experience is online, how do you explain being so popular worldwide?

I think that it’s just the female thing. It could also just be the youth and the female thing. And plus the fact that I always make myself available to the fans. … I always email them.
What’s your aversion to split pot games? Actually I’m starting to get a little bit better. (laughs) That was when I was first started playing really. I just hated getting quartered and getting scooped. I was always going for highs. I was never looking at the lows. So now I’m actually able to implement it. I’ve been playing a little bit of H.O.R.S.E. H.O.R.S.E. is, of course, eight-or-better. It’s not so much of a deterrent for me. It’s good now.

Is there (a non-hold’em game) you prefer?

I actually love razz. People laugh at me but I like razz.

Do you have any poker advice?

A lot of people expect to be able to win. You need to actually have a bankroll to win. Because a lot of people really don’t manage themselves right. I’ve gotten that way myself. You need to look at your bankroll as a pool to play poker. … don’t treat it like gambling. If you are going to treat it like gambling then you’re probably not going to win in the long run. You have to take your time and pace yourself, just like anything in life actually.

OK, let’s play word association. I’ll mention someone famous and you tell me what first comes to mind:
Jennifer Harman: Charitable.
Hugh Hefner: A Player (laughs)
Johnny Depp: Wow! That’s just a “wow” right there.
Phil Ivey: Intimidating.
Dutch Boyd: He’s goofy I guess.
Will Ferrell: Hysterical.
Doyle Brunson: Legendary.
Angelina Jolie: Gorgeous.

Is she still your favorite female celebrity?

Yes.

Is it because of her humanitarian efforts?

You can say that I guess. No, actually it’s just she’s always been so beautiful. … she is one of the most beautiful women in the world I think.

Do you consider yourself a role model for young girls?

I get a lot of that actually. I get a lot of younger girls saying they look up to me for my efforts. I mean, I don’t know how a card player can be role model for younger girls, but I guess if they’re interested in the gambling industry then I could be, but I don’t look at it like that. If anything it’s more flattering when somebody says they look up to me. So it’s really nice.

What are your goals as a poker player and as a person?

My goals eventually one day are to have a successful career and then settling down and having a family, which is the weirdest thing to say, but I guess I’m getting older, I’m 25 now. … That’s something I always said I’d never have, like a husband and children and that stuff, but now I’m getting a little bit more sentimental about it.