Lee Davy sits down with Jamila Von Perger to talk about her poker journey, her life; the importance of family, her relationship with Manig Loeser, and much more.
Is Jamila Von Perger the perfect poker package?
I think she is.
She has had a string of impressive results; received some high profile media attention – most notably during her run at European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona in Season 10, finishing in 23rd place. She is also the partner of one of the most talented MTT players in Europe in Manig Loeser – so she is getting tutelage from the very best.
She also looks the part.
You can see her face splashed on the front cover of poker magazines for a long time to come. Oh…and she’s German. I guess that’s all I needed to say really.
How did you get into poker?
“I first played poker in a home game with friends. It fascinated me immediately. After that, instead of going out partying I stayed at home trying to find out as much as I could about the game. I didn’t even know the rules at that time.
“I think that was back in 2008? Schoolwork suddenly overtook everything and poker took a back seat for a while. I never had too much time for the game, and I didn’t know anybody who was good in the game. I started out playing really bad, and got better really slow. Moving to Vienna was a big step. A lot of good poker players live in Vienna.”
What did you do before you found poker?
“After school I studied hard to become a dietician. I also had a lot of side jobs, one of which was working as a poker dealer for six months. When I moved to Vienna I started studying sociology. Right now I am having a break from that so I can focus on poker.”
What effect has your boyfriend Manig Loeser had on your game?
“He is a big help, and especially so in the beginning. He found a hundred leaks in my game. I don’t think I would have become a professional without him.”
Why do you think we don’t have even more women playing poker regularly at the highest level?
“I think a lot about this. In my opinion, I think there are a lot of women who love the game, and are fascinated by it. The problem is that poker is a game full of risk. And if you want to become a professional you also need a lot of time. You need to treat poker as seriously as you would when you study for university. I think it is the only way to earn money, unless you are insanely talented.
“I don’t think women like taking these big risks. Investing so much time without a guarantee of success is not attractive to them. It is a big financial risk. But this is just my opinion. If you really want to find out about this you would need an empirical study.
“By the way, I don’t think woman refuse to play because it is a male dominated environment. I think we are strong enough. To say we don’t play because we are scared of men feels like an abuse to me. If men treat me badly, or differently at the tables because I am a woman, I only feel sorry for them. In the end, it only shows how insecure and immature they are.”
What are your aspirations in poker?
“I think everyone likes to win a major title. It’s the same is for me. But more important for me is to become a very good poker player. At the moment I am a standard player, but I want to become great. You really need to work hard, and need to be incredibly disciplined. I have been a bit lazy in the past year. I am determined to change that attitude!”
Who are the five people you spend the most time with and why?
“Five is too much…I only have a very few close friends; although I know a lot of people – especially from poker. Manig is one of them because we live together, and then I have two best friends here in Vienna also. I met them in university.
“I have contact with my mom every day, but this is online because she lives in Germany. My family is very important to me, and I would lose something of myself without regular contact with them. This is why I visit them every Christmas, and as often I can. My mom loves poker as well by the way”
How would Manig describe you?
“I would say: funny, lazy in life, but busy in poker; very, very greedy; confident and of course super hot, haha!”
What are your most important values and why?
“I really hate people who lie; even if they do so because they want you to like them. I think lies destroy a lot of relationships, and there are a lot of people who lie to themselves every day. This is a big barrier for their happiness, and the happiness of the people around them.
“Loyalty is another important value to me. I think it’s important to stand by the people who are important to you. This gives them feelings of trust. Loyalty and trust bring people together, and this is a nice feeling to have in your relationships. A loyal person is someone who stands by the decisions they make in life. Loyalty is a great strength to have. It fills you with the joys of life. We only have one life. People often forget that.
“When I am in a bad mood I feel guilty. I feel like I am wasting my life. We should all be thankful for the value of life. If I am unhappy, I should ask myself why? Answering that question helps rediscover my happiness. It becomes simple after that. Change whatever is making me unhappy. I control my own happiness. Nobody else.”
What does your life look like?
“I play poker about five days a week. The rest of the time I meet friends. I also have a dog – her name is Penny – and I take her for regular walks. I also travel quite a lot in relation to normal people (not to poker people).”
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
“I have so many weaknesses I don t know where to start! I smoke, I am lazy, and I’m indecisive – even if it’s just what kind of milk I should choose at the supermarket. My strengths are honesty (sometimes maybe too honest); and I am ambitious. I would do everything for the people I love. I am able to see the things in all objectivity.”
What would you change about the world?
“This is the kind of question that deserves an interview all on its own. The shortened version is: make love- not war!”
What do you want for Christmas?
“I just want to see my family, and enjoy my time with them. I love Christmas and it is the best reason to go home.”