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Jennifer Leigh becomes first IronDuke.com pro
Last week, online poker room IronDuke.com announced it had signed its first professional player, Jennifer Leigh.
Leigh is well-known for her online poker chops, her appearances on GSN's Poker Royale series as a 21-year-old besting the likes of Dan Harrington and "Miami" John Cernuto, and, lately, her April appearance in Playboy magazine.
An avid gamer who enjoys all enjoys all varieties of poker, Leigh said Iron Duke is right up her alley. "They have lots of different limits, and probably the most games available on the Internet - they even have games like Badugi."
In addition to the standard selection of Hold'em, Omaha and Stud, as well as Badugi, IronDuke.com counts among its offerings Triple Draw (both deuce-to-seven and ace-to-five) and Five-Card Stud. And when one game's just not enough, there's a long list of mixed games available.
"It's exciting," said Leigh. "This is certainly a site I can grow with."
A different crowd
Part of the excitement is the chance to play with people Leigh wouldn't normally encounter playing poker since she mostly plays higher limits. At IronDuke.com, she'll be mixing in plenty of lower-stakes action.
"I know that not everybody can afford to sit there and play high limits," said Leigh. "I want to play with everyone, and I want to play No-Limit games, even if it's just 25¢ No-Limit. The professionals online mostly play Limit.
"It's one of those things where I want to be able to actually talk and play with people who don't necessarily play high stakes."
Of course, dropping down in limits means Leigh has to adjust for her opponents.
"I guess you could say it's just a different caliber of play. They just haven't learned a lot about the game. There are some people that will just call down with the nuts instead of raising, and do a lot of different things you're not accustomed to."
And then there's the travel …
Besides giving her a chance to chat and play with her fans, Leigh's new association is also affording her the opportunity to get out and travel the live tournament circuit once again, starting with an appearance at the World Series of Poker Europe in London this month.
That's a welcome prospect for Leigh, because she hasn't had the opportunity to do so very much in the last year. Her plans to play at this summer's WSOP were foiled by, of all things, jury duty in her home state of Delaware.
"That was the worst beat ever, getting the official summons," said Leigh. "I called them and the only way I would have been able to get out of it was if I could show I had a medical or work excuse. I thought about maybe trying to have a tournament director or somebody tell them I was going to be playing at the WSOP or something.
"It was a really weird time for me, going to court. But hey, I served, and it actually wasn't that bad."
Live and online
While the opportunity to play more live tournaments is beneficial, Leigh found it also requires a different sort of discipline from online play.
"It's completely different. Online, I guess you could say everything is turbo," said Leigh. "You're going so much faster (than in live poker), especially when you play multiple tables.
"I think if you're an online player, it's a lot different to play live tournaments. You have to really have to pace yourself and almost really tone down your game just because of the fact that with the levels [being so long], you have a lot of time. It's about learning to keep calm, and just developing a lot more patience than you usually have online."
Then there's the fact that even when the live game is done, the siren song of the online game is always calling.
"Sometimes [at a live tournament] I'd play really late online - you know, I'd be up until 4:30 playing online, and the tournament started at 12. That's really, really tough, so I had to learn not to play as much online when I'm playing a live tournament. "
After London, Leigh isn't sure where she'll be playing next. She said she's still figuring out which tournaments suit her best.
"I've heard that the tournaments in Asia are awesome just because poker is so new over there. People are saying the players are just terrible. So that is certainly an option."
Wherever she plays next, there's no doubt that people are going to notice Jennifer Leigh.Editor's note: Jennifer blogs for PokerListings.com and if you're interested in seeing what's new in the world of Jennicide be sure to check out our blog section.