Off The Felt With Nadya Magnus: Where Are They Now?

Nadya 'KGB' Magnus

PokerNews caught up with Nadya 'KGB' Magnus during her break in the $1,500 no-limit hold'em to do some catching up. In 2010 Nadya crushed the Big Game for $63,600. We wanted to see what she's been up to since being on Big Game.

Do you still talk to some of the players that you played with on the Big Game?

Once in a great while. I mean over Twitter. I ran into Barry Greenstein, I probably talk to him more than anyone else. But yeah, everyone is pretty friendly. Mostly we just talk over Twitter.

Do you have any pros that you became friends with since this experience?

Hmmmmm... friends? You know it's hard to become friends with somebody. I've probably made more friends in the circuit that I travel, and I don't travel their circuit. It's a little bit too expensive for me.

Speaking of the circuit, I know a lot of our reporters have seen you at the circuit events. How many circuit events have you played?

I played a lot the year of the game, the Big Game. And then this year, not so much because I've been dealing with some family issues.

Were you playing before you were on the Big Game? Were you playing professionally? Or what were you doing before that?

I started playing four years ago. And prior to the Big Game, I played a few tournaments, but I was playing online, mostly sit and gos. And now, since there is no more online, I've been playing a lot more live.

Are you going to be playing in more circuit events and other live events now?

Absolutely. Without a doubt.

One of the things that I noticed when I was watching the Big Game was that you picked up the nickname Nadya "KGB." Do you still have that nickname?

I didn't do that! I didn't pick that. I sort of picked it up. Yeah I still do go by that.

Do you have any other nicknames at the poker tables?

Not really, no.

I also wanted to say congrats on your first cash of series! It's only the second event and you've already got one cash. Is this your biggest cash since the Big Game?

Thank you. Not yet, no. The same year I played in a circuit event in my home casino, which is Horseshoe Indiana, and I came in 12th. And that one was my biggest cash so far.

I also saw that before you were on the Big Game, you won a ladies event on the circuit, right?

How do you feel about ladies events? Are they good for poker? Are they bad for poker?

I think it's good for poker in terms of the ladies. You know? It's really good for the ladies, because a lot of women, including myself, when I started playing, you kind of do feel intimidated going in. It's just a whole bunch of guys, and most of the time, you're the only one at the table. So especially when you're starting out it really does give you some confidence and courage to play in a ladies event, because you don't feel like you're outnumbered.

So what have you been doing since the Big Game?

Just playing poker.

How has the money you won on the show changed your life?

I wouldn't say it's changed my life. No. It has changed my poker life. It hasn't changed my outside of poker life, but definitely that was a great boost to my bankroll. Which allowed me to play in more events.


So is this your first time at the WSOP?

No it's not. It's my third time, but my first cash.

So this is your first cash at the series? Are you going to play anymore events this summer?

Right. It depends. It depends what happens this week. I'm staying for a week then I'm probably going to go back home and fly back.

Do you have any other plans to play any tournaments this week or just this tournament?

Well not at the series. If anything I'm just going to play Venetian Deepstacks.

What does your family think about you playing poker professionally? I know you have a son. What does he think about you playing professionally?

He fully supports me. He's proud of it actually. He brags in front of his friends, you know.

I bet he does! I would too. But moving on, last night I saw that you had {a-}{k-} and it got cracked by {10-}{9-} right at the very end of the night. That was painful for me to watch.

Well it was just as painful for me.

How do you cope with the stresses of being a live tournament player now? What do you do to deal with the beats and the swings?

You know, this has actually been the major leak in my game? Which I want to say I realized, not long ago, after the Chicago Poker Classic. I was doing really well in the main event and I ended up almost bubbling. And I took it real hard. And not only just in my poker life, I took it hard in my real life. I talked to some friends about it and we all decided, “OK, this is your major leak, and you have to work on that.” I actually took some time off and did some self digging and reading on how to deal with that and I came to the conclusion really that you can't control the cards. You have to make the best decisions at the time, one hand at a time. Whatever it takes. You know eventually in the long run it's all going to even out.

Speaking of friends, who do you talk about poker with?

Mostly the people I play with at the Shoe and players that travel the circuit.

What do you do in Vegas when you're not playing poker?

Play poker. I eat sleep and play poker. Although, I did bring a bathing suit. I'm not sure if I'm ever going to use it, but I always do that.

What did you do before the Big Game and playing poker professionally?

I didn't really do too much. I was married. We worked with real estate, I guess you could put it that way.

So now you're just playing poker professionally?

You could say that. I only really play part time, but since this is it!

Nadya is still alive in Event #2 and we will be sure to keep an eye on her chip stack and progress throughout the rest of the day. Check into PokerNews for updates!

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