About Susie Isaacs
From the Bible Belt to the poker felt, Susie Isaacs has had an interesting journey from typical Southern Belle housewife to poker tournament pro.
Born in Nashville, Tenn., Isaacs was the third daughter of Cecil "Gaga" Jones, a Southern Bell Telephone Company employee, and Mary Ellen "Mimi" Jones, a housewife turned daycare operator and real estate investor. She and her older sisters, Judy and Teresa, grew up in what Isaacs describes as a peaceful and serene life in Nashville.
Though she was a happy child, Isaacs said that peace and serenity stemmed from "church, church, church." They were the typical Southern Baptist family, with a stay-at-home mom, a dad that was the breadwinner, and regular trips to church.
"I wanted out," Isaacs said. "I wanted excitement and to be grown, so I could seek adventure from the time I was 10."
That taste for adventure came partly from an early experience with the "forbidden" poker world. At age 4, her older male cousins allowed her to be the lookout while they played poker on a Monopoly board to try to camouflage what they were doing. As soon as she could count, she was playing in the games and even sold her collection of Little Lulu, Superman, and Archie comics to get her initial $2.35 bankroll.
Poker didn't become a large part of her life until much later, though. She married her high school sweetheart and they had a son, Doug, before getting divorced. In 1978, she got married to her "Prince Charming" and gained a step-daughter, Beth, to whom she remains very close. It was during her second marriage that Isaacs got more involved in poker again.
"It started as a pure social outlet. My husband was going to be 'the player' of the family," she said. "I discovered ladies tournaments. Back then there were three a week in Las Vegas. I made many friends who I still have to this day."
She played for fun and didn't mind losing a few bucks here and there, but when her marriage ended in 1990, she had to either give up the card game she'd grown to love or get better at it so she wasn't losing money.
Isaacs started out learning more about the game just so she could at least break even and continue to have her social outlet. Before long, though, she was also becoming a winning player.
She had her first tournament win in 1992 and has since earned two WSOP bracelets from back-to-back wins in the women's events in 1996 and 1997, making her the first woman to achieve that feat. Along with that, she's made the final table of the women's events in 1993, 1994, and 2004, and is one of the highest-cashing female players in the Main Event with her 10th-place finish in 1998.
Her career was quite a large step away from the norm for someone with a Southern Baptist background, and it took a while for Isaacs to ease her parents into the idea.
Isaacs said her father never really knew about her professional poker career. He just knew she played socially, and at the time, he was battling progressive dementia so he wasn't always aware of what was happening.
When Isaacs won her first WSOP bracelet, her mom was there to watch and went back to report to her dad she had won the ladies world title.
"They jumped for joy. The next day, she told him again, and again they jumped for joy - he didn't remember from one day to the next," Isaacs said. "She did this for over a week so they would have a reason to be joyful."
Her mother, however, eased into accepting her daughter's career and even came around to enjoying it. She used to tell friends her daughter had moved out west and was dabbling in high-risk investments.
Isaacs introduced her mom to people she'd met at the poker table and hosted some home games while her mom was visiting. Eventually her mom started going to tournaments with her, and by her last visit to the WSOP in 2001, she was like a mascot and many of the regulars knew her.
Since transitioning into a winning player, Isaacs' life has pretty much been immersed in poker, but not just in playing the game. She also maintains a job selling advertising in a poker magazine and has a successful career writing poker books and columns.
Her books include 1000 Best Poker Strategies and Secrets, Ms Poker: I'm Not Bluffing Books 1 and 2, Ms. Poker: Up Close and Personal, and Queens Can Beat Kings: Broad-Minded Poker for Winning Women.
Playing poker also led to her creating her own poker-themed jewelry line. After winning her first tournament, Isaacs wanted to buy a piece of poker-themed jewelry to commemorate it. She had no luck finding what she wanted in Vegas and decided to design something herself, a ring with two red aces in honor of her winning hand.
With each poker win, she treated herself to another custom piece of jewelry. People noticed her unique designs and began asking where they could get something like it. Thus Designer Gaming Jewelry was created.
Despite being busy with her "backup" jobs, Isaacs is far from giving up her poker playing career. She still has goals and ambitions she wants to fulfill before leaving the felt for good. We can be sure to see a lot of Isaacs in the poker world as she strives to win the WSOP Main Event and to become the first woman to win a third WSOP Ladies Event.
|250||$2,415.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 29 - $1,000 Seniors Championship|
|132||$3,106.00||WSOP 2011 - Event 30 - $1,000 Seniors Championship|
|78||$4,524.00||WSOP 2010 - Event 34 - $1,000 Seniors Championship|
|424||$30,512.00||2006 WSOP - Event 39, No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship Event|