From a full-time medical malpractice defense attorney to the last woman standing in WSOP Main Event, Kelly Minkin had a fabulous 2015. The Phoenix, Arizona native has a tight schedule as she is pursuing her passion for poker in parallel to her day job. She has a long list of admirers after the WSOP success last year wherein she cashed 4 events including the 29th place finishing in the $10,000 Main Event. In total, the 28 year old has $779,519 in live tournament earnings.
Kelly’s mainstream poker career begun with the runner-up finish for $ 151,983 in the $ 1,000 + 80 No Limit Hold’em tournament at the 9th Annual Arizona State Poker Championship, Scottsdale in August 2013. She won the $ 570 No Limit Hold’em tournament at 2015 L.A Poker Classic, Los Angeles for $ 54,630 and bagged $ 262,912 finishing 3rd in the $ 3,500 No Limit Hold’em – WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship before coming to WSOP last year.
She has cashed one tournament so far in 2016 – $ 1,100 No Limit Hold’em WPT DeepStacks Main Event and is preparing for the upcoming challenges at the felt which includes 2016 WSOP. OPN caught up with Kelly to know about the post WSOP life and her plans for 2016.
How has been the past 7 months at the poker felt after WSOP Main Event?
Kelly – I definitely can’t complain. I focused a lot on work, and tried to fit in some tournaments where I could. It is a weird feeling getting recognized and congratulated in public that I definitely haven’t gotten used to yet!
Are you focusing only on tournaments or you are playing cash games too?
Kelly – I have made a pretty solid transition into tournaments. I am working full time, so there aren’t enough hours in the week to play cash as well. I try to squeeze in a few sessions when I can, but rarely.
Do you have any plans of traveling outside USA for poker this year?
Kelly – I currently do not, but I would love to at some point. I don’t plan too far in advance, so it is a possibility.
2016 WSOP is a few months away. Any special preparation going on?
Kelly – I think being prepared for 2016 WSOP parallels to just being happy and content with what you’re doing. I am in a good place. I am surrounded by wonderful people, and am working out more thanks to a workout bet with two close friends.
How do you balance off your day job with poker?
Kelly – It is difficult, but I personally like staying busy. It’s hard for me to “relax.” It’s all about just focusing on the task at hand, and staying in the present.
In India, we have seen a rise in popularity of poker among women in past few years. What would you suggest to such female players?
Kelly – Be confident. I think women are underestimated often in poker and in the world in general. Use it to your advantage!
How do you like spending spare time off the desk and poker felt? What are you hobbies?
Kelly – I really enjoy spending time with my family. I also enjoy working out and eating good food with good people.
Have you ever visited India or would like to come for a vacation in future?
Kelly – I have never been to India, but I would love to visit in the future.