Inside the Tour #77: The Rise of Anna Wroblewski
The internet has brought us many things, among them the emergence of a new generation of female poker players. The most successful of those is, of course, Annette Obrestad. Others exist, though, and we will hear about them from time to time. One of those is Anna Wroblewski. She was born in Vietnam and was adopted when she was about nine, therefore the misleading last name. Perhaps difficulty in life leads to carefree gambling? When your very existence is a miracle then any result is okay? Her family does not approve of gambling, but perhaps in time they will realize that success in poker requires a lot of skill, beyond just good fortune. Clearly a kid that likes cats and flowers is unlikely to turn out badly.
In a short while she has done very well in brick-and-mortar venues, placing first in the $3,000 NLHE event on April 16th, 2007 at the WPT World Championship held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, for $337,395. She followed that with a first in the Caesars Las Vegas Poker Tournament - WSOP Circuit Event #8 Ladies - NLHE for $18,668 on April 29, 2007; a second in the Mandalay Bay Poker Championships / WPT Event Season 6 Event #5 - NLHE for $71,540 on May 26, 2007; a third in the Bellagio Cup III Event #9 – NLHE for $28,525 on June 19, 2007; and a fourth at the 38th Annual WSOP in Event #47 - NLHE for another $192,876 on June 29, 2007. That is three months of achievement in tournaments that for some would compose an entire career.
Three key hands in Anna's career follow:
Playing ten-handed online in a $5/10 blind no-limit game, she had already stacked a guy for $2,000 and he raised under the gun to $30. In the cutoff and holding , Anna min- reraised to $60 and the button and one blind called, as well as the original raiser. It came , and the very aggressive original raiser made it 400 to go behind one check; Anna min-reraised him again to 800, hoping that one of the other two players would put her on a bluff and come over the top, or that the original raiser actually held an overpair and would move all-in. Instead the button, who had her easily covered, moved all-in, it was passed to her and she called. The button held and was drawing dead. This was her biggest win in a pot up to that point.
Playing in a no-limit game in Las Vegas with $1/2 blinds (there are $1/2 and $2/5 no-limit games at many locations and these games are sometimes much larger than one can imagine, with over $10,000 sometimes on the table), Anna announced that she was leaving and began to rack up her $400 profit over a $200 buy-in, when she was dealt in first position and raised to $10; there were two callers and then the small blind re-raised it $20 more. All three called and the flop came 10-9-2 with the re-raiser checking. Anna put him on A-K or A-Q and bet $30 as a feeler bet. The other two players mucked and he check-raised to $105. Anna called and the turn came 8, with the other player betting $105 again, having Anna covered. She went all in and he insta-called, turning up A-Q proudly! The river was another deuce and she left, winning over $1,000 for the play.
A lot can be said about these hands but several things stick out for mention. Anna typifies the LAG [Loose-AGggressive] player that is most dangerous in the modern game. Once she made her read, she stuck with it, no matter what, and put her win, as well as her buy-in, into the pot based on that read.
In the April 16th win she had a key hand that she understands she misplayed, but got lucky. It was with 20 players left and her holding J-J on the button, Shannon Shorr raised from the hijack seat and she smooth-called (the key mistake) with both blinds also calling. The flop came Q-5-4 and it was checked around. The turn brought an innocuous nine and Barry Greenstein bet 50% of the pot from the big blind, which looked like a feeler bet and she ignored it once Shannon pushed all-in for about 40,000. She called him, correctly thinking that she had him beat, but Barry now moved all in and she knew beyond any doubt that she was beat but was forced to call because of the pot odds. Barry had fives for a set on the flop, Shannon had 6-6 and was in the same boat as Anna, as he needed a miracle six to stay alive. The jack did show up, giving her a large stack and paving the way to an eventual tournament victory, with its life changing monetary award attached.
So keep Anna's rules of life on your icebox, or in your diary! They are:
1] Everything happens for a reason;
2] Nothing is as bad as it seems;
3] Do whatever it takes to make you happy, but always count on yourself;
4] No matter how bad your life is, it could always get worse;
5] Do everything in moderation.
Hmmmmm… A lot to think about, methinks.
Until next time, play good…and get lucky.