Online poker players Gary Suffir, 28, and Jackie Johnson, 27, who met in a $30 Omaha game at PartyPoker.com in September, 2004, will marry in a live, poker-themed wedding ceremony at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas on March 7, it was announced yesterday. According to a press release issued by PartyPoker.com, the world's largest poker room, the couple's upcoming nuptials mark the first known occasion in history when two people fell in love while competing against one another at online poker.
The two players, Suffir, a New York attorney, and Johnson, a Las Vegas artist, will celebrate their union with a honeymoon on the PartyPoker.com Million V Cruise around the Cayman Islands and Jamaica beginning on March 12. Together with nearly 450 other poker players, the couple will compete for a piece of the $5 million prize pool aboard the poker cruise.
PartyPoker.com spokesman Warren Lush said: "We were delighted when Gary and Jackie called to tell us that they were going all-in for life. It took us a while to believe that they weren't bluffing! They're having a full-on poker wedding in Vegas and are even having an online tournament for wedding guests a couple of weeks before the big day. We look forward to welcoming them on to the PartyPoker.com Million V for their honeymoon where company spokesman and leading poker ambassador Mike Sexton will toast their future happiness."
The two began talking after Jackie witnessed a particularly bad beat Gary took on the river. Discussions of poker theory and strategy soon gave way to more personal revelations regarding musical preferences, and the two exchanged instant messenger (IM) addresses and began to talk away from the PartyPoker.com poker tables. After three months of IM chats and a picture exchange, they made a date to meet face-to-face in Las Vegas while Gary was in town on business for one week. By March, 2005, just six weeks after their first meeting, Jackie had moved to New York City to live with Gary. In August, the two were engaged and placed a call to PartyPoker.com to thank the company for playing matchmaker.
"I was delighted she said yes and we agreed we'd get married in Vegas to try and recreate that great week we had when we first met in January," said Gary.
The upcoming marriage of Suffir and Jackson has created quite a stir in the offices of PartyPoker.com. Said Lush: "Since hearing about Gary and Jackie, we've now done a deal with LavaLife for some private poker dating tables. Perhaps we should think about creating our own online dating site."