Jessica Dawley on Ladies’ Night: “Me and Eboney Have the Best Chance to Win”


When the televised poker show Poker Night in America announced that it was going to host a ladies-only cash game with some of the biggest and most accomplished female pros, the excitement was huge. Who was going to participate in the first televised all-female cash game? On Twitter Poker Night in America called for proposals, and it must have been hard to choose the final ten players as the suggestions kept pouring in. The lineup ended up being: Vanessa Selbst, Natasha Barbour, Danielle Andersen, Jessica Dawley, Jamie Kerstetter, Lauren Billings, Lily Killeto, Ebony Kenney, Marsha Wolak and Jaclynn Moskow.

PokerWomenNews caught up with Team 888poker pro Jessica Dawley to hear what she thinks of the ladies-only cash game. Dawley has more than $130,000 in live tournament earnings, but as she is primarily a cash game player, the numbers aren’t that adequate. When Dawley is not playing poker herself, she’s a coach at Femme Fatale Poker Training with Marsha Wolak and Natasha Barbour.

What do you think about the idea of a Ladies’ Night? Is it good for the game?
“I’m always a fan of ladies’ night or anything that highlights women in poker. I think it’s good for the game because overall a lot of women are intimidated by poker, and when there’s a chance for women to just play vs. women it’s a more relaxed atmosphere.”

Have you tried to play in a ladies-only game before?
“I have played in several ladies-only tournaments, however this will be my first ladies-only cash game! It will definitely be a change of pace for me!”

Have you played with some of the other players?
“I’ve played in tournaments with everyone except Lauren (Billings) and Jaclynn (Moskow). I’ve played cash games with Ebony (Kenney).”

How do you think it will differ from a “normal” game (with you being the only woman at the table)?
“Luckily for me, I don’t use my sexuality to profit in poker unlike some others in the lineup”, Dawley says with a smile. “Therefore it won’t be difficult for me to transition to this game. The hard part will be reading my opponents as women are harder to read in my experience.”

The blinds are 25/50. How much will you bring to the table?
“It will depend on what seat I get at the table. If I’m sat to the right of the most aggro player, I will buy in for 5k to start. I’m bringing a total of 15k.”

The lineup is pretty tough. Who do you fear the most?
“The lineup is tough, however only a couple of us play cash for a living. The majority play tournaments so I’m not scared of them, because cash is a totally different beast, and I think it will be hard for them to transition. Vanessa (Selbst) has the biggest edge for tournaments, but I’m not sure about her cash abilities. I would still take her over the field excluding me of course!”

Who will be the fish at the table?
“Well, I don’t want to say a name per se, but I will tell you the one showing the most cleavage is probably the fish!”, Dawley says laughing.

Who will walk away the biggest winner?
“I would say myself and Ebony (Kenney) have the best chance to win! “

Whether Dawley’s prediction will come true, you can see for yourself by watching the live stream on Tuesday, December 2nd on Poker Night in America. Tapings for the show take place at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The Ladies’ Night will also be broadcast on Fox Sport 1 in 2015.

Photo: Seminole Hard Rock

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