One of the great features of the game of poker is that it attracts players from far and wide and who are from many different backgrounds. Our Meet The People feature allows you to meet some of these amazing people and one such person is Kara-Jane McGill.
Kara-Jane was born and lives in the British seaside town of Blackpool, often referred to as the Las Vegas of the United Kingdom, where she spends a large portion of her time managing a large hotel and restaurant on the popular seafront. When she’s not busy working, Kara-Jane is a keen poker player, one with six years’ experience under her belt.
Like many fellow poker players, Kara-Jane first dipped her toes into the world of play money before building her confidence and skills to a level where she began playing for real money.
“I first played poker on Facebook where my son showed me the basic,” said Kara-Jane before divulging another interesting fact. “I am diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which is a very misunderstood debilitating condition.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates there are around 39 million people around the world with ADHD, a condition that as the name suggests can cause attention deficits, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. I personally know people with ADHD so have seen first-hand that it can be a very difficult condition to live with, but Kara-Jane has found ways to use it to her advantage, especially at the poker tables.
“When channelled (ADHD) in certain areas of my life can be a great asset, and I quickly realised this with poker. My hyperfocus and weird maths brain are perfectly suited to poker so I quickly made the transition to online real money tournament play.”
Kara-Jane prefers tournament poker to cash games as she likes to adopt a “small risk, great reward” strategy, something that tournaments allow. Although extremely busy with work – Blackpool is always busy throughout the year – Kara-Jane does try to make time for playing poker and has started playing live tournaments at some of the casinos located in Blackpool.
Everyone remembers their first big score and Kara-Jane is no different. She won an $11 buy-in tournament in her first year of playing, but it is her progression as a poker player that she considers to be her greatest poker achievement.
“It’s more a personal sense of pride and achievement in my game, I know its improving, but I also know it could improve much more, but I am really happy with how things are at the moment.”
If Kara-Jane could travel back in time and meet herself when she first started her poker career she would instil better bankroll management, but is quite philosophical about the mental side of poker.
“Understanding the importance of bankroll management is huge, and I wish I had learned that earlier. Also, a huge part of how my game has improved is about my state of mind. My life is quite good now and on the whole I am content, which is reflected in my poker game. Going on tilt really impacted my game for the first couple of years, I very rarely do now, and if it does happen I just take a few moments and sort myself out. Maybe I wouldn’t advise myself about tilt though because I possibly had to go through that to realise how important a good positive attitude is.”
Practising solid bankroll management also ranks highly in Kara-Jane’s tips for new players and does continually enjoying the game “because if you don’t enjoy it, what’s the point in playing?” She also suggests not listening to people who berate others in the chat box when they’ve lost a hand because “obviously are not managing their own game very well if they react like that.”
Keep an eye open for Kara-Jane at your tables as one of her goals for the rest of the year is to qualify for a her first major live event. Be warned, however, as Kara-Jane informs us that when she does eventually qualify for such a tournament, she’ll be pulling out all of the stops to win.