Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Danielle Andersen: "I've Got My Eyes On The Big Prize"

High-Stakes Cash Game Grinder Looks To Set New Career-High Score With Deep Main Event Run


Despite being one of the more prominent female poker players in the game, Danielle Andersen only has five career live tournament cashes, totaling $79,721.

She’s in the midst of her sixth career cash, in the money of the World Series of Poker main event. As one of the chip leaders late on Day 4, she’s very close to besting her career-high score of $31,170 from her 402nd place finish in the same event two years ago.

Andersen, who was a focal point of the famous 2013 documentary Bet Raise Fold, is a regular in the high-stakes no-limit hold’em cash games around Las Vegas. Pre-Black Friday, she established herself as one of the best cash game players online by beating high-stakes online under the name ‘dmoongirl.’

She would need a 414th place finish or better to beat her previous high-mark. She needs to outlast about another 100 players, but she’s not worrying about laddering up.

“I think more so my comfort with high-stakes cash games and stuff [gives me an edge over the field],” said Andersen on break. “The money, not that it doesn’t matter to me, but you can tell that some of these people are trying to level up a little bit and get their cash up. I’ve got my eyes on the big prize. I’m not trying to grind out one more pay bump.”

When it comes to no-limit hold’em cash games, there are few players feared more than Andersen. Tournaments, on the other hand, aren’t her specialty. If there was one event that was geared towards cash game players find success, it’s the main event.

“I don’t have a lot of experience in tournaments. I pretty much only play the ladies’ event and the main event every year. Thankfully this one translates more to a cash game background since it’s deeper,” said Andersen. “So, I feel a little bit like a fish out of water, but I’ve got some chips to play with and I’m just enjoying the experience right now. This is so much fun.”

Part of the allure of playing cash games for a living is getting to choose your hours and having more freedom, whereas a tournament pro has a specific time they need to show up, an allotted time to eat dinner and are told when to go home.

But nothing compares to running deep in a tournament. Especially in the main event, when the ESPN cameras are following your every move as you inch closer to a $10 million payday.

“This is just so much more intense than a normal cash game,” said Andersen. “Every decision is so important and so crucial.”

As a wife and mother, an added benefit of tournament life is that Andersen’s family can follow along from home. Both her nuclear family in Las Vegas and her extended family back home in the midwest can read the updates and watch the ESPN and CBS All Access coverage to see how she’s doing.

“I’m from a small town in Minnesota, and the support I’ve gotten from there, the family and everyone from there is watching and tuning in,” she said. “That’s pretty cool. And honestly, the person that is probably more nervous than anyone in the world right now is my husband. He’s too nervous to even be on the rail right now. He’s at home clicking refresh. It’s fun to share the experience with everybody.”



3 years ago

You can't win it on Day 5, but you sure as hell lose it.