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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – Get to Know Amanda ‘Mandy B’ Baker

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Amanda Baker, known online as Mandy B, has been playing poker for 5 years and is racking up the accomplishments. She won her first live event in 2007, the $1000 Caesars Indiana WSOP Circuit event, and she has taken down numerous online events for more than $400,000 in tournament cashes.

KL: How did you get started playing poker?

Mandy:
I always knew I would like poker. One day while I was in college, I watched the WPT at a friend's house and then we played a little bit afterwards. I had no idea what I was doing. I lost $15 that day, but I was hooked. I started playing online, and by the time I graduated two years later, I was making enough money to do it professionally.

KL: Where and what do you play?

Mandy:
Mostly $50-$200ish online Multi Table Tournaments, but also some $1,000-$10k live events. I used to play cash games as well, but I haven't been interested in playing them for the past couple years.
 
KL: Are you mostly an online player? Which do you like better?

Mandy:
Yes. I like online, because it is much faster and I don't have to leave my house.
 
KL: What are you most proud of in poker?

Mandy:
Winning the $1,000 WSOP circuit event is my biggest accomplishment, but I'm much more proud of the fact that I've been a consistent winner for the last five years. Anyone can get lucky and win one tourney, but it takes consistency to make it in the long run.
 
KL: Do you have any poker rituals when you play?

Mandy:
Sometimes I listen to music, but sometimes I need silence. I rarely watch TV while I play. It's too distracting.

KL: Why do you think you are able to be successful at this game and most others aren't?

Mandy:
Intrapersonal intelligence. Having a strong understanding of yourself is a very important trait that is often overlooked. This is one of my areas of strength. For example, I know that I don't play very well in the morning, so I never play the Sunday Brawl or Warm-Up even though they are juicy tournaments. For me, it is more important to be well-rested and focused during the afternoon tourneys. Another component of intrapersonal intelligence is being honest with yourself. If you play a hand poorly, you need to be able to admit that to yourself before you are able to learn from your mistakes.

KL: How do you use being a female to your advantage at the table?

Mandy:
I don't. Except for maybe bluffing more often against certain people who think women are less likely to bluff.

KL: How is it being a female in this male dominated game?

Mandy:
I try not to think about gender too much. Women are just as capable as men to become great poker players, and I think most people know this. However, it bothers me when I hear people comment on the appearance of a female poker player. For the most part, women are treated with respect at the poker table, but away from the table we are still being judged on our appearance and that needs to change.

KL: If you could change one thing about poker - what would it be?

Mandy:
No more complaining! Anyone who plays poker for a living has a pretty good life compared to most people, and they should be grateful instead of complaining about trivial bad beats.
 
KL: How differently do people play against you with you being a red pro on Full Tilt Poker?

Mandy
: Some people will go all out for the bounty, and others miss good opportunities to go for it. So it makes things difficult for me because I don't always know which type of person I'm up against until I've played a few hands with them.
 
KL: Do you have any poker goals?

Mandy:
Yes, every year I set a few goals. So far I've met them all. I haven't narrowed down an exact goal for this year, but so far it's just to do something more impressive than the circuit event and Ultimate Bet win.

2005: Play in a $1,500 WSOP event
2006: Win a seat to WSOP main event
2007: Win a live tourney (1k WSOP circuit event)
2008: Win a Sunday major tourney (UB 200k guarantee)

KL: How often do you travel for poker and what is your favorite place to go?

Mandy:
Usually about 3 time a year. I don't like to travel that much. I like to go anywhere sunny and near the beach.
 
KL: Do you like to talk poker strategy with friends? If so - who?

Mandy:
Yes. The people I probably talk to the most are Joel Casper and Matt Stout, but I discuss hands with other people as well.
 
KL: What is the most important thing someone has told you about poker?

Mandy:
Take your time.

KL: What is your favorite thing about the game?

Mandy:
That trickery and deception are encouraged.

Like a wheel, the Round Table is a circle of adventures and victories, beats and stories, and life as it unfolds with a cast of characters that may, or may not, have joined you in your home on a local TV program. There's so much more to poker than what you see on TV. Although I won't use canvas, I will paint the full picture for you as I follow the lives of some of your favorite (and some unknown) players. The Round Table is an ongoing series of life, viewed full circle.

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