Playing Poker: A Female Perspective

Typically surrounded by men at the poker table, Denise Ambrosio says she doesn’t feel much different than the gentlemen when she plays.

She does notice one difference between the sexes, however.

With the men, there’s much more “ego bantering” compared to the women.

Ambrosio–who grew up in Minneapolis and now lives in Minnetonka–is a regular in the Canterbury Park poker room, primarily playing Texas Hold’em cash games.

She said she does occasionally play tournaments, and plans to take a seat during the Saturday, Feb. 10 Galentine’s Day Tourney.

Galentine’s Day Tourney Details

Though Ambrosio grew up playing several card games with her family, it was her husband, Glenn, who got her into poker. She has now been playing for more than five years.

Ambrosio’s favorite part of playing poker?

“Making money and having fun at the same time,” she said.

Calling herself a “moderate to good player,” Ambrosio said she enjoys the competition on the felt.

The Galentine’s Day poker tournament will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 at Canterbury Park.

“I challenge myself every time I sit down to hone my skills and get better,” she said.

Ambrosio said her playing style depends on the table and makeup of the players, but overall tends toward conservative. Before she began playing poker regularly, her husband tutored her at home “a little bit, or quite a bit, I should say.”

“So I came down and I’ve been having fun ever since,” Ambrosio said.

Over the years at Canterbury Park, Ambrosio has made friends with other female poker players, and she now plays in a regular game with some of them. Those evenings involve a wide variety of games, and she even keeps a cheat sheet to keep track of how they work.

“But it’s a lot of fun,” Ambrosio said.

She’s also in a book club, but has thus far been unable to convince any of those women to come down and play poker at Canterbury Park, which she praised as a professionally run cardroom with nice people and the best dealers.

“Best place we’ve ever played. Our favorite place,” said Ambrosio, who added that she’s looking forward to the Galentine’s Day Tourney, noting that it’s a fun and friendly tournament.

Though her husband Glenn is more of an Omaha poker player, they do occasionally tangle on the felt.

The results?

“Oh, he sleeps on the couch sometimes,” Ambrosio said with a laugh.