CardsChat Podcast host Robbie Strazynski talks with Daiva Byrne, professional poker player, outreach and community advocate for GGPoker, and the founder of Fantastic Ladies in Poker (FLIP) in this week’s episode.
Byrne fell in love with poker as she was falling in love with her husband, who taught her the game while going to college in the UK for business management.
The Lithuanian soon found she could make more playing online while going to school than working in bars and nightclubs. This was before she was known as the Baltic Blonde — her Twitter handle, by the way.
Her degree landed her a position in accounting and consulting, but she was more interested in counting outs than other people’s money. She spent more and more time playing live poker in London and knew something had to give.
“I didn’t like the office environment and feeling restricted and, you know, bureaucracy — I guess the rules,” Byrne says. “I was lacking freedom. I wanted to do it my way. I’m not very good at faking”
So she quit to play full-time poker, making the Fox Poker Club in London her new office. Six months later, she was hired by the room as a poker ambassador, and the fuse to her poker rocket ship was lit.
She founded FLIP, an online community supporting woman poker players and industry members, four years ago after chewing on the question of what can she do to help women get into, and stay, with the game.
It grew from an initial 100 or so, to more than 5,400 members. She talks about the future of her organization.
“I want to continue building the FLIP community, getting more women into the game. I want women to succeed and get more coverage, because the more publicity we get, the more people find the game and get inspired. “
Interested players should check out its Facebook page.
As is standard on “the friendliest poker podcast in town,” Bryne answered questions from CardsChat forum members. Visit the thread to find out who will be the next guest and submit questions.