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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | Poker Personalities

WSOP Diary of Kristy Gazes: Starting Down but Staying Determined

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Known as an outspoken yet respectful pro, Kristy Gazes is welcomed at any table. Though her long-proven skills in most variations of poker give opponents a reason to be fearful, her sense of humor, honesty, and understanding of the game’s ups and downs are refreshing.

Kristy learned to play poker from her father, and the L.A. native has spent most of her adult life in poker rooms. It was the cash games that drew her in, but it was the tournament scene that created an excitement in her that remains today. Her resume boasts of tournament cashes dating back to 1998, though most of her most significant victories have come in the last few years. And it was the 2005 Full Tilt Poker Championship win of $250,000 that put her on everyone’s radar.

The competitive side of Kristy keeps her in the game, as a World Poker Tour open and World Series of Poker win has eluded her thus far. She has several WPT cashes, along with a 2007 Ladies Night Invitational victory. There are a few WSOP cashes among her list of accomplishments, including a final table in 2001, a seventh place finish at the 2007 Aussie Millions main event, and a fifth place at the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Championship. While these accomplishments are impressive to most, Kristy is not satisfied.

A major tournament win is something for which she has strived for years, and nothing short will do. Sure, she has found success as a stock trader and several poker-related business endeavors, but a significant tournament windfall will allow her to go into semi-retirement in Hawaii. Even so, poker is a part of her, and Kristy may never be able to stray too far from it.

At the 2008 WSOP, Kristy may joke about it, but success is vitally important to her. She spoke briefly on her way into the Rio for the first event of the Series, the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em World Championship.

JN: What are your goals for the 2008 WSOP?

My goals are to never eat at the Rio poker kitchen, to try to be on time for every tournament and not get busted less than 15 minutes into the tournament. I want to make at least one dinner break and to win two bracelets, of course.

JN: How many events are you going to play?

I really don’t know. I always said that my eyes are bigger than my stomach; I have about 20 picked out but it really depends on how I feel and how I do. I might be driving home tonight, so I don’t know. I’m such a mood monster freakoid with this stuff. But I really tried to change my attitude this year because I’m notoriously bad at the World Series and because of my lack of love for this place, but you create your own reality so now I’m trying to change my whole attitude and love the Rio. I love the Rio! (Singing) I love the Rio! Let’s dance!

Note: The beginning of the WSOP was not kind to Kristy, despite her positive attitude. Before the first break of the tournament, she was eliminated with A-K against pocket Aces. She may have driven back to Los Angeles to spend a night in the solace of her own home, but she will undoubtedly return within a day or two.

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