As the November Nine prepare to square off next week in the World Series of Poker’s Main Event, another card player is making waves. Danielle Andersen, who started playing poker in college as a way to spend more time with her then-boyfriend (now husband), went from anonymous competitor as her online moniker, dmoongirl, to starring in Bet Raise Fold, a documentary about the evolution of online poker. We recently caught up with the 30-year-old Minnesota native, now an Ultimate Poker-sponsored cash game specialist living in Henderson.
How do you balance being a mom and a professional poker player?
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. 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. But there is some 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. It can be stressful, too. Other people have [their] job and work “x” amount of hours and have a steady paycheck; as a poker player, that can vary greatly.
Has there been a transition from online to playing live?
It’s a huge transition. One of the biggest things is people can now see me [when I play live]. A lot of times men will play differently versus a female. There are people who think because I’m a woman, I’m completely incapable of bluffing. Then there are people who are like, “Screw this, I’m not getting beat by a girl. I’m never letting this girl bet me out of my hand.” They refuse to fold to you. If they’re never going to fold to me, then I don’t need to bother wasting my money trying to bluff them. Having to adapt to that has been interesting—enjoyable, but interesting.
At one point you were considered one of the highest-earning online female poker players. Is that still the case?
I’m not fully up to speed on what’s going on with the online games, because you can only play a couple of sites here in Nevada, and I obviously just play on Ultimate. I would guess that if I’m not the top one, I am one of the top ones. I can tell you that I have both won and lost pots that were $40,000. That’s usually regarded as pretty high.