UP’s Danielle Anderson discusses the trials of a Female Live & Online Poker Pro

There’s no question that the professional poker world is dominated by the male gender, but there are plenty of women who play, both recreationally and professional. Very few have made a name for themselves, though. Danielle Anderson is one such female poker phenom, gaining fame for her appearance in the documentary film, “Bet, Raise, Fold”, which depicted the rise and fall of online poker before and after Black Friday.

Danielle started playing poker in 2003, not because it was her passion, but rather the passion of her boyfriend and future husband, Kory Anderson. Both had a busy college schedule, so Danielle decided to join him at his poker games so they could spend more time together. As it turned out, she was quite good at the game. In 2004, she signed up as “dmoongirl” at an online poker site, made a $50 deposit, and has been supporting her family, including their son Easton, ever since.

In a recent interview with Vegas Seven Magazine, Anderson said that juggling parenthood and her professional poker career was a lot easier pre-Black Friday. She was forced to turn to live poker tournaments and cash games after April, 2011, but she still finds the road much easier than a regular day job.

“Being a professional poker player is a perfect job for a mother, because I create my own schedule. I don’t have to miss big events,” Danielle explained. “If I want to volunteer at my son’s school [or] if I want to make an appointment, I just don’t play that day—no big deal.”

Anderson revealed that the only notable obstacle is the occasional need to travel. “A year before “Black Friday,” when they shut down online poker in the U.S. in 2011, I didn’t have to travel at all.” The female poker pro added that live poker “can be stressful, too.” She said that most people have fixed jobs with a steady paycheck, but “as a poker player, that can vary greatly.”

When asked how hard it was to make the switch from online poker to a live setting, Anderson called it “a huge transition”. She described the biggest change as being that, “people can now see me”. When playing online, even though her moniker “dmoongirl” denoted her gender, it didn’t make much of a difference. At live poker games, however, Anderson said that “There are people who think because I’m a woman, I’m completely incapable of bluffing.”

Anderson suggested that some male poker players have a superiority complex, describing them as those who seem to think, “Screw this, I’m not getting beat by a girl,” and “I’m never letting this girl bet me out of my hand.” Danielle explained that bluffing is a waste of money against these types of players, and that “having to adapt to that has been interesting—enjoyable, but interesting.”

Fortunately for the lady poker pro, she is now able to spend much of her time playing online poker once more. Danielle Anderson was offered a position as a sponsored pro at Ultimate Poker in Nevada. She and her family left Minnesota and moved out west to Henderson, NV in 2014 to pursue that new path in her career.

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