Trudi Smith, a smart, popular, winning poker player



Trudi Smith of Erie, Pa., is a popular player at Presque Isle Downs poker room. She’s smart with her bankroll and she knows what it takes to win at the poker table. She was kind enough to share some of her background with me.

How long have you been playing poker? I started playing seven or eight years ago. I loved watching it on TV and one day I walked into a tavern that had a free tournament where you could win $50. From there I started playing at a 25-cent/50-cent home game, and then started frequenting the local underground poker games.

Did you play a lot of games growing up? Absolutely. My parents were bridge players so as soon as our little hands were big enough to hold 13 cards at once we learned to play, too. I was only about 10 or so and my feet couldn’t even touch the ground.

Do you play anything besides NLHE? I like Omaha but I don’t get much opportunity to play.

What did you do before poker? I was a sales director of a software company. My team covered Northeastern United States and Canada.
Why do you enjoy cash games over tournaments? I like the freedom to come and go when I please. I don’t mind grinding it out in a tournament, but I want the stakes to be high enough to make it worthwhile.

Who is your favorite player? I still love Daniel Negreanu.

— Mike Owens is the Ante Up Ambassador for Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter @Holdemag and check out his blog at He can be reached at

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