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New Trends in PokerTips
Leveling The Playing Field
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Evelyn Ng isn’t usually mentioned when discussing great female poker players, but she is working on changing that.
The soon-to-be 31-year-old has been playing professionally for years, but is now looking to make a move among the better players, female and male.
“I feel like my poker game is getting better,” Ng said. “I still think there are areas I can improve upon, definitely.”
Ng started dealing blackjack at casinos in her hometown of Toronto when she graduated from high school. She moved to dealing poker shortly thereafter and started to learn the game.
When I got a job as a poker dealer that was how I was introduced to the game,” Ng said. “I saw the same people winning all the time, and I knew it was a game of skill that I could really put my mind to and I would probably do well in, and I think it was a good guess.
She didn’t rush into the world of professional poker, however. Instead, Ng worked on honing her skills while dealing.
“At first I was just getting down the logistics, the technical aspects of poker,” Ng said.
“Once I absorbed that, I really did pay attention all the time. I would listen to what they said and try and put them on hands as well as follow the action. I think that gave me a good way of focusing at the table and being able to know exactly what was bet, who was in, how many players. It was a good way to learn your pot odds and the math of the game.”
Ng was fortunate to have Daniel Negreanu mentor her and work with her on her game. When she played in the WPT Ladies Night in 2003, she finished second to Clonie Gowen but beat out Annie Duke, Kathy Liebert and Jennifer Harmon.
The progression of women in poker has been steady, and Ng has seen the infusion of women into the game since she began playing more than 13 years ago.
“When I first came out there were no women playing,” Ng said. “It was just old men with white hair and guys with baseball caps. It is nice to see that changing. It is good for the game.”
The playing field is level for both sexes.
“There is no physical attributes that a man has that makes them a superior poker player than a women,” Ng said. “If anything, I think women have the advantage because a lot of times men are going to underestimate them just for the sake of their sex, which really puts them at a disadvantage. I think women should really be capitalizing on that.”
One area that Ng could easily capture an advantage is with her stunningly good looks. Ng is 5-foot-11 and very statuesque, but unlike other women in the game, doesn’t want to flaunt her beauty.
“That’s not really my style,” Ng said. “I guess whatever your comfort level is. Anything you can do you that gives yourself a little bit of an advantage is definitely good for your poker game, but I would say there is a moral line that everyone has to judge. For myself, I don’t really try to oversell my sexuality. I just try and be myself, but I am sure being cute or whatever has gotten me an extra bet here and there.”
Ng has used her beauty to further a career in television. She has worked as a commentator for poker shows and also gets hired quite frequently to speak at corporate outings.
“It’s flattering that people want to pay me to have me come and talk about poker,” Ng said. “That’s always great. It’s exciting to be around.”
Ng could be making some excitement of her own. She is working harder on improving her game and could be one of the dominant women poker players in the next few years.
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