WPA Spotlight – Linda Johnson

Meet Professional Poker Player & Host, Linda Johnson!

1. What is your name?  Linda Johnson

2. Where are you from? Las Vegas

3. How did you get introduced to the game of poker? 

When I turned 21, I started playing Blackjack. My dad told me if I was going to gamble, I should learn to play poker because I could have an edge playing against other players, rather than against the casinos.

4. Tell us about an unusual or unique experience that you’ve had while playing poker. 

I’ve had the opportunity to play poker in many foreign countries including France, Costa Rica, Mexico, Singapore, and England. I enjoyed playing in France because I speak French and I could understand what the players were saying about me. Another unique experience was playing in a $25,000 PCA tournament. It truly was a highlight of my poker career and I am grateful to PokerStars for the opportunity.

5. How would you describe your poker style/play? Any specific poker experience you are most proud of? What is your favorite poker game to play and why? 

I would describe my style as tight/aggressive. I don’t play too many hands but when I do play them I usually come in raising or three betting. As far as proud poker experiences, there are many of them including winning a gold bracelet at the WSOP, co-founding the TDA, being in three Poker Halls of Fame, publishing Card Player magazine, co-owning Card Player Cruises, teaching WPT Boot Camp, and helping found the WPT.

6. What were some of the unexpected hurdles that you have experienced in poker? How are you overcoming those? 

When I first started playing poker, female poker players were not well accepted by many males. I just had to develop a thick skin and earn respect with my chips.

7. Who is the most difficult player that you have ever competed against? How was that experience? 

Antonio Esfandiari is one of the most difficult players I have ever played against because he is so aggressive and so intuitive. It is fun to play against someone like that, as it is a good opportunity to learn.

8. Looking back at where you were when you started your poker journey; how has your game evolved and what are your poker goals going forward? 

My game has changed tremendously since I first started playing poker. I went from being a very tight passive player to being a much more aggressive player. I have also learned many various forms of poker so I have a choice of which games I want to play in most cardrooms. As far as my poker goals, they would be continuing to compete well into my 70s and 80s, and continuing to maintain a great reputation. I love teaching poker and definitely want to get more women involved.

10. What is your favorite hobby or passion outside of poker? 

Outside of poker, my favorite hobby is traveling, especially with Card Player Cruises. I also love going to the theater.

11. What are your plans for poker in the future, if any at all?

I will continue to host charity tournaments around the country, teach seminars, and host ladies events in an effort to get more women involved in our wonderful game.

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