WPA POY Spotlight – Cynthia Paquette

Playground Poker Club in Kahnawake, Canada (just outside of Montreal), has truly embraced their women’s market.  Creating a Four-Part Women’s Series where the top 5 finishers in each open tournament received a direct entry into the Finals and the remaining spots were filled by the Top 10 point earners on the Leaderboard, once the tournaments were complete. Thirty women were invited back to battle it out for the grand prize in January 2020.

The Second Women’s Series begins Feb 22nd, 2020. Good luck to all who play!

Playground Poker Club
1500 Unit C Route 138, Kahnawake, QC J0L 1B0
Phone: +1-450-635-7653 | +1-855-MTL-POKER | +1-855-685-7653
Email: info@playground.ca

Cynthia Paquette 
Age 53
Saint-Jerome, Quebec, Canada (near Montreal)
Event #3 Women’s Series Champion for $2,156 (plus entry to the Champion’s final)

What is your background?
I am a senior drafter, architecture & engineering

How did you get started in poker?
2007, Club Med, They were showing the guests how to play Hold’em… got hooked

What is a good early story about your poker beginnings?
In Quebec, there was an organisation called LTPQ (loosely translates into Quebec Tournament Poker League). This league allowed for free play in bars all around Quebec. Players could only win points. At the end of each year, the top-60 (or so) players would receive a package to go to the WSOP!! I won in my first year (league was disbanded a few years later) and had the opportunity to go to the WSOP! I did not win anything, but after barely 1 year of playing, I could not believe that I was in the WSOP! Fondest Memory.

Where do you go to find information about poker?
I got my original info from the LTPQ (which had a mission to teach recreational players the real rules and etiquette of Hold’em). I also bought quite a few books on the subject, from Caro’s Tell’s, Ace on the River all the way up to Super Systems… I read them all!!! Now, I play often enough to get the poker “news” from the players where I play.

Tell me about an unusual or unique experience you’ve had while playing poker.
One day, during one of the LTPQ’s final tournaments (remember there is no prize except points), I was in a four-way pot and the original aggressor said: “If anyone beats me on this hand, I will give them my piano”. I won the hand, and the piano. I had it appraized, moved, and had it fixed. I refurbished it completely, it’s 110yrs old and int perfect condition.

How would someone external describe your poker play?
Bi-polar. When I get into a mood of “not caring”, I get dangerous. Dangerous to others who try to play smart, and dangerous to my bankroll.

Who do you confide in about your poker play?
My ex-boyfriend (whom I met at poker) is a serious player and my “deep” conversations about poker are usually with him. I also have a dear friend that I introduced to poker. He is an avid player now and we ofter do the poker “cock ‘n bull” and never seem to run out of stories.

Is there a poker experience you are most proud of?
2012 WSOP, I was playing a small event with about 1000 players. I finished 20th after 17 hours of play and by that time all of my friends along for the trip were behind me and rooting for me.. .that was “special”. Not a big win “money-wise”, but a huge confidence boost while realising that when I put my mind to it, I can play smart and perform well.

What were some of the unexpected hurdles in poker?
Money. But not in the way you probably think. For 5 or 6 years, I was making some decent money in my job. I got used to play with a “don’t care about money” attitude. I had a lot of fun, but ended up being a loosing player; but I did not care; I was having so much fun. For the last few years, a business venture gone bad robbed me of almost everything I have. I am getting back on track, but I cannot play like I used to. But, the silver lining is that I think this reduction in funds is actually making me better. Keep in mind, though, that I have never played higher stakes than low limits; I wasn’t making THAT much money!!

How do you identify your greatest competitor at the table?
Body language, how they stay focused and the way they change up their game when faced with different types of players in different situations. I pretty much don’t fear any player who has a “monochromatic” way of playing.

What are some of the greatest challenges in your game?
Shutting up.
And… my late mid-game to early end-game. My switch from passive/tight to aggressive/loose lacks focus and aim.

Looking back at where you were when you started your poker journey, where did you think it was going to lead you?
I never could have imagined that two of my three sons would one day deal poker professionaly at the age of 18. They are now both dealers at Kanahwake’s Playground Poker Club.  Also, I never thought in a million years I’d get to play in all these different countries. This answer will make more sense with the next question…

Outside of poker, what do you do for fun?
I have been in a choir for 18 years. Through that choir I get to go on tour on the international level, to sing with an International Choir. So every time we go on tour, I make it a point to play in the different coutries we visit.  Aside from my choir, my other hobbies include assembling scale models and playing board games. A lot of board games!

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