Daiva Byrne on Exploring Australia and Encouraging Ladies Poker
Lithuanian poker player and Unibet Poker ambassador Daiva Byrne has been traveling around Australia since the Dec. 10, taking in the sights and sounds of Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and now Melbourne. We sat down to have a chat with her about her travels.
"I've been loving it. Everyone over here is very friendly and welcoming. Everyone says 'Hi' and they're always there to have a conversation with. You never feel out of place; everyone is there to help. I'm really impressed."
At the time of writing, Byrne was sat in the Aussie Millions main event, on a healthy stack of 44,000 with two levels left in the day.
"It's all about sharing women's successes and both encouraging and supporting one another."
"Poker's been good. I played one local $300 tournament in Sydney and cashed that. Here in Melbourne I played the Accumulator, but sadly didn't make Day 2.
"The Main Event is my third tournament of the year and I'm feeling good. It's a decent table and let's just hope it continues to build."
In addition to her travels, Byrne works with Unibet as an ambassador. She is also heavily involved in the promotion of women's poker.
"I run a group for female pokers online. It's got 1,200 members which is amazing considering I started it from scratch six months ago. I'm very proud of what I've accomplished. We have weekly freerolls for members, and we then all meet up at live poker stops.
"I'm currently planning the meet-up for the WSOP Ladies Event later this year. It's all about sharing women's successes and both encouraging and supporting one another."
The 2017 WSOP Ladies Event champion and Australia native Heidi May (pictured above) could also be seen playing in this year's Aussie Millions Main Event, though she was unfortunate to bust out on Day 1a.
It has been said in the past that Ladies Events aren't the right way to go about encouraging more women to join the poker scene, but Byrne disagrees.
"With these freerolls and running more ladies only events, it means that women can practice and feel more comfortable."
"With these freerolls and running more ladies only events, it means that women can practice and feel more comfortable. It's also as simple as meeting more people and chatting, then going with these people they've met to live tournaments.
"I always encourage tours to have ladies events. Unfortunately there's not one here — maybe in the future! But it can definitely be a good stepping stone for ladies, and the feedback from ladies is that the majority prefer ladies only events. And if that works, then it works and we should do whatever we can to keep doing that."
Byrne survived Day 1b of the Aussie Millions Main Event, but will be starting off Day 2 as a short stack. Keep your eyes on the PokerNews live reporting blog to stay updated on her progress in the event.
Will Shillibier is based in the United Kingdom. He started working for PokerNews as a freelance live reporter in 2015 and joined the full-time staff in 2019. He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a B.A. in German. He also holds an NCTJ Diploma in Sports Journalism.