Poker Legend Jackie Glazier Back on Australian Survivor – as a Villain!
Back in 2018, Australian poker legend Jackie Glazier appeared on Survivor Australia: Champions vs. Contenders, which saw 12 average Joes (the Contenders) square off against 12 extraordinary players (the Champions). While she was ultimately voted off midway through the game that season, Glazier is getting a second chance as a part of the new Heroes vs. Villains season premiering on January 30.
With more than$1.4 million in lifetime earnings, Glazier currently sits 30th on Australia’s all-time money list. In 2012, she finished runner-up in the World Series of Poker Event #41: $3,000 NLHE for a career-best $458,996, and the following year she took 31st in the Main Event for $229,281. She also captured a gold bracelet when she won the 2013 WSOP Europe Ladies Championship.
Unlike its American counterpart, which traditionally has 18-20 castaways battling for $1 million over 26 days (it used to be 39 days), the Australian version has featured 24 contestants competing for $500,000 over 50 days.
Q&A with Jackie Glazier
PokerNews had the opportunity to chat with Glazier leading up to the debut of the new season.
PokerNews: When and how did the opportunity to be a part of Heroes vs. Villains come about?
Jackie Glazier: The opportunity came about around mid-last year. It was an unexpected phone call but a very welcome one! I was playing a poker tournament in Adelaide at the time and happened to be on break when the call came through otherwise I would have missed it. I was shaking with excitement when I returned to the tables and found it impossible to concentrate for the rest of the day.
How does it feel to get another chance to play the game? Did you have any regrets or unfinished business from the first go?
To be asked to play Australian Survivor once was a dream come true for me so to be asked back again was an enormous privilege. I don't have many regrets from the first season, but probably my one regret is not taking the opportunity to make a move when the tribe swap occurred. I think the tribe I was placed in made it difficult to play all aspects of the game so I definitely had unfinished business.
"Heroes vs Villains is such an iconic theme for Survivor and to be asked back for a HvV season was a massive highlight for me."
How do you feel about being cast on the villain’s tribe?
Heroes vs Villains is such an iconic theme for Survivor and to be asked back for a HvV season was a massive highlight for me. I knew that being placed on the Villains tribe meant that a lot of the tribe would be playing a more strategic game with less emphasis on physical strengths so I was really excited about that, a complete difference to my experience on Champions vs Contenders.
I don't consider myself to really be a villain but I suppose similar to a poker tournament I play to win and if that means I need to be ruthless then so be it. I also think being on the heroes tribe would have been a bit boring
During your first game you got to play with/against Russel Hantz and you actually came out on top. How did that feel?
I was so excited to see Russel on my first season and I was kind of shocked no one else on the tribe knew who he was! I have been a massive fan of Survivor forever so to get to actually play with such an icon of the game was a highlight for me that season. At that first tribal council I had convinced Russel not to vote for me and to draw a star on his vote so that I knew I could trust him. If we both survived the vote that night we were going to form an alliance and work together.
If I hadn't convinced him to agree, and he had of voted for me, I would have gone home that night instead of him. I had a lot of mixed emotions heading back to camp afterwards. Disappointment that we didn't have that chance to play together longer but also sheer relief that he went home instead of me.
Russel is largely considered one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, villain in Survivor history. Did you learn anything from him that you can take into your role as a villain?
Unfortunately, we didn't get to play together for long but when we got to our camp area that very first day of Champions vs Contenders, I noticed that while everyone else was fixated on building shelters and preoccupied with collecting wood, Russel was off working hard on finding idols and building relationships early instead. I took that into this season of HvV.
In your first season you hid the fact that you’re a poker champ. Do you plan to be more upfront and honest about it this go around?
Hiding such a big part of my life in my first season really hindered my ability to make connections with people. I felt like I had even more of a guard up and I was always needing to think carefully before speaking about everyday experiences in my life. I'm obviously not a stranger to bluffing but it was tiring trying to carry out the bluff to be a speed cuber for nearly a month. I'm definitely going into Heroes vs Villains being more upfront about who I am as a person.
What do you like best about the game of Survivor?
I really love all aspects of Survivor but probably my favorite part is the strategic components of the game. I know you didn't ask but the part I like least is how tough it is to live in such rough conditions. I really miss having a hot shower and a comfortable bed to sleep in. I kind of like brushing my teeth daily as well!
Do you see any parallels between Survivor and poker?
So many! When you are card dead and really have to find spots even when you don't have a lot to work with. The risk vs reward when making moves. Understanding your opposition and what motivates them. Reading players and situations. There is only one trophy/1st prize up for grabs so I'm playing for the win. Table/Tribe dynamics are so important, and you need to adjust and change gears as needed based on this.
How’d She Do the First Time?
Glazier made early headlines on her first season when she went toe to toe with Russell Hantz, the most notorious villains in Survivor history. In just the second episode, Glazier led the charge on getting Hantz out, though by doing so she put her neck on the line. Glazier received votes at that tribal council, but she was saved as Hantz, who did not use a Hidden Immunity Idol, became the game’s second casualty.
Over the next several weeks Glazier found her groove, thanks in no small part to a string of immunity wins by the Champions Tribe. She often struggled with the physical aspect of challenges but was the tribe's go-to puzzle solver. Then a tribe swap took place, but despite staying on the Champions Tribe with majority numbers, it ultimately led to Glazier’s elimination as she found herself outside an alliance led by rugby league footballer Mat Rogers, who claimed he just couldn’t trust Jackie.
Ultimately, the poker pro exited the game on Day 26 as the 11th contestant voted out.
After host Jonathan LaPaglia snuffed her torch, Glazier was gracious in defeat. As if they were opponents at the poker table, she turned back one last time and wished her former tribemates good luck before exiting the game.
"There's the perception of a poker player, I feel the negative connotations of the game would have put a target on my back," Glazier told Ten Daily in a post-elimination interview. "The way it was edited made it out to be that's what I did, but a grown woman traveling around the Rubik's cube circuit... I don't know how you'd make a living.”
When and Where to Watch
Glazier isn’t the first poker pro to tackle Survivor. Online legend Ilari Sahamies competed in the Finnish version of the show, and back in 2015, Anna Khait was a part of the USA’s 32nd season. Others to play in the past include bracelet winner Jean-Robert Bellande, Ronnie Bardah, and cash game specialist Garrett Adelstein.
Filming is already finished for Australian Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, and episodes will begin airing in Australia on Monday January 30 on 10 and 10 Play.
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.