Lee Davy catches up with the newest member of Team PartyPoker, Jamie Kerstetter, and asks her about her first experience in Europe and what life is like for a grinder in the latest state to open its doors to online poker.
Jamie Kerstetter is the newest PartyPoker Pro and was signed shortly after the site launched in New Jersey (NJ).
Kerstetter was one of the players who fled to Mexico to grind online after Black Friday and since inking a deal with Party has moved back to New Jersey where she now plays live and online representing the PartyPoker brand.
We caught up with her at the Gioco Digitale World Poker Tour (WPT) Venice Carnival and this is what she had to say.
So it’s your first time in Europe?
“I don’t love traveling because of the flying, but if I knew Venice was going to be this beautiful I would have made the trip earlier.”
And how have you found the play at the European tables?
“It’s a much more dynamic game. When I am in NJ people have a more standard type of play, but here I think people are capable of doing a lot more things. I have been expecting to see certain hands at showdown and I will be like…what? So it’s a lot more fun.”
How did PartyPoker sign you?
“I spent the last year and a half living in Mexico playing online. I had plans to travel to play in NJ every now and then but nothing permanent. Then I got a call from Warren Lush to ask me if I fancied moving back to NJ and to represent them so I’m glad that I moved back and took the opportunity because the games are great.”
How did Warren pluck the name of Jamie Kerstetter out of the air?
“I don’t really know. I knew there would be some opportunities in NJ, because there would be lots of companies starting up and in Nevada Ultimate has a huge roster for example, so I knew I had a chance because I have good results online and play on the live circuit…but it wasn’t expected.”
And what is life like in NJ since the new dawn?
“It’s great. There is a lot of money to be won and that’s really nice. I stopped playing cash online because it just got so hard, but PartyPoker is great now. The MTT’s are soft and people are coming home from work and firing away for fun so there’s a lot more money for the regs.”
And the liquidity?
“They have a lot of traffic on Sunday’s. Much more than I thought they would. I remember getting pulled into a business meeting at Borgata so they could pool players thoughts about tournament schedules, and they said they were going to have a $50k Guarantee every Sunday, and I was thinking good luck with that. Now they get 3,000 on a Sunday and they smash it every week. Last week they had $140k in the prize pool, so they have a lot more volume than I ever imagined.”
You play both live and online in NJ?
“I do and it’s great. That was the downside of Mexico because I was kind of restricted, apart from the LAPC and WSOP. Back in NJ I am playing my one game of online cash and sitting in a 5/10 table so its cool.”
Your view on the recent compact between Nevada and Delaware?
“I am hoping that it’s all going to connect. I am such an optimist. I was one of those people who just stayed put after Black Friday thinking things would get back to normal and eventually I was like wow this isn’t going to change I had better do something.
“The fact that they are making compacts between the states is awesome and I know NJ want to get into it. California also wants to have online poker as well so the future is bright.”
It’s more important that legislation is slowly being passed right?
“That’s the thing. It’s not a game changer for Delaware and Nevada but awesome that there has been no resistance to the changes in the laws. I am a former lawyer and I have been trying to understand all of the legislation but it’s so confusing.”
Have a lot of grinders returned to NJ?
“There are a lot of people who commute from New York and Philly on Sundays to grind online. Jersey is central to a good number of cities and it’s only a 40-minute drive for some, so it’s well worth it for them to come and grind a Sunday and then play live if they bust.”
The move must have improved your family life?
“That’s the best part. I have five nephews all under five years of age and I was skyping them each day from Mexico and I thought it was really tough that this happened to me. It sucked. I can’t believed I had to move so far away to play something that doesn’t harm anyone. It was tough to say to my family that I didn’t want to be a lawyer and wanted to move and play poker, but now it’s great because I am back home and have a normal life.”
What is life like being a PartyPoker Pro?
“They are treating me really well and I have no complaints. When they first launched I was really busy. But I am a lawyer and I am used to working 60hrs per week so I don’t find the work too difficult. In the beginning I felt like I was a customer service person other than a poker player with geolocation issues and what not, but things have settled down now and there are less issues.
“It’s important that the players have someone they know that they can go to with their problems.”