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Ask Chip and Karina

by Chip and Karina Jett |  Published: May 31, 2005

Q: In your careers have you had a mentor or anyone who really grow as a player? What specific advice did you receive?
Karina: I've always been a bit of a free thinker, but have learned a lot from watching the greats of poker. I have been friends with elite players for many years. I have known Johnny Chan for almost a decade, and Scotty and Men Nguyen are friends of my family whom I remember from my childhood. I have learned from watching them, as well as successful female players such as Jennifer Harman and Kristy Gazes.
Chip: Early in my career, I became friends with Jamie Brooks, a top player from Arizona. He taught me a lot about poker, and gambling life in general. There was one thing he said that has stuck with me over the years. "Chip, have you ever thought about taking up a cheaper hobby than poker? Like yachting?" I look forward to dishing out that kind of wisdom down the road.
Q: How do you guys handle the relentless attention and agressive come-ons that Karina receives at the table?
Karina: Who, me? Those guys are not hitting on me. We are just friends. I know the guys who are always talking to me and asking me out and for my phone number mean no harm and wish me the best in my marriage. Their intentions are very respectful and professional. Just ask them.
Chip: I know that she receives a lot of attention at the table. The flirting usually only lasts until they hear her bark at me on her cellphone. At that point, the conversation usually turns as they try to avoid ending up on the receiving end of such verbal abuse from their own significant others.
Q: The Five-Star World Poker Classic was recently held at Bellagio. What was your take on the entire event, including the $25,000 championship event?
Karina: The entire month at Bellagio was great! I skipped most of the tournaments to focus on the live games, which were fantastic. I was planning to play in the main event until I realized I had spent my entire buy-in on purses and shoes. Oh well, maybe next year.
Chip: Jack McClelland (Bellagio's tournament director) has a reputation for consistency in his tournaments. It used to be that all of Jack's tournaments would start about 45 minutes late. Nowadays, everything starts on time, with a great structure and plenty of chips, making Bellagio an absolute must-play event for any serious player. However, I think the payouts are still a little top-heavy. Here's an example from last month: First place: $189,000 + $25,000 seat Second place: $1,435 + $10 calling card Third place: A buffet comp Fourth place: A swift kick to the groin Fifth place: You actually owe Jack $10 Just kidding. Doug Dalton (Bellagio's director of poker operations) has done another fine job of running a great event. Also, Bellagio recently unveiled its poker room expansion. It is very nice, with lots of room and beautiful decorations.