Gina Fiore: The Woman Who Lost $500k in Ivey's Room
Gina Fiore gambles for living for over 10 years. She started as a blackjack dealer and became an advanced player, later she decided to win over the world of poker. What is the outcome and is there a happy end?
The story of our heroine was told in details in the Thrillist article. Several years ago Fiore was also interviewed by Card Player Magazine. This is a well-known person in high stakes Vegas community, she was even invited to Poker Night In America TV show.
Let’s get closer to the point.
Gina became familiar with gaming slots and table games when she was 15. More to that, Fiore’s mother was a professional dealer so the fate of the young lady was practically destined to come to the world of gambling.
As soon as she became of eligible age, Gina started to work as a dealer in Vegas. At first, she didn’t want to come to the other side of the table and become a player. This changed after one accident (quire and ordinary one):
“When I was 22 I worked in Las Vegas Strip Casino. Once some guy sat at the table and said he’s counting cards and playing poker. I think it all started from this statement. I realized one could make living doing that,” remembers Fiore.
Then beginner poker player first tried herself in real game:
“After working for six months a dealer in Vegas, I moved to Palm Springs (California). Local dealer played $3-$6 Limit Poker in Morongo after the work, I played horrible back then but climbed up the limits (my day job gave me a good income)”.
It wasn’t going very well at first. Fiore was losing and losing for quite some time:
“About a year or year and a half I was losing. Maybe for two years even. I went up the stakes from $3-$6 to $20-$40 losing all the time. Any two were nuts for me. In result, I came all the way down to $10-$20 in Hollywood Park and started winning. I climbed up to $40-$80, in a traditional manner, not in my “Hi-I’ve-got-money-let’s-play-high-stakes” style
I lost $500,000 in a year
The story gets more interesting then.
“Then I came on a higher level. Things went good. There are always many weak players in the city during the World Series. They play cash games everywhere and I have an edge. Just in a couple of months I’ve made $100,000. I was so lucky in poker I started to act recklessly.
I went for the most expensive games in Vegas – to ARIA, Ivey’s Room. $200/$400 no limit. Many people won and lost 6-digit amounts in a night. I found backers who bought half od action and caught an awful downstreak.
I lost $500,000. Half of it was my own money. I played good but had the worst luck. It looked bad from the financial point of view. My bankroll wasn’t ready for those games”.
We should notice that Fiore lost about ten buyins at the stakes she was playing. This is huge money in real world but relatively small in Bobby’s room and within the norms of variance here.
Gina had an awful depression after that. She was losing connection and all her savings. Fiore tried to rehabilitate. She went to Berlin, where a big tournament took plays (is was EPT, probably). She played cash games there and lost $20,000 more.
Then the heroine of the article financed the blackjack team she was a part of for $50,000, once again the investment wasn’t good. Than another fiasco in poker.
Later Fiore tried to create an app for Chinese poker – $70,000 more lost. The peak was in Planet Hollywood where Fiore was found the owner of package of fake documents.
“It was 2014, almost the beginning of 2015 and I had no money left. No team, no colleagues. My boyfriend and I were struggling for every dollar. They knew me personally in all Vegas casinos. My brain was about to explode”.
Then happened what most women face and it drastically changes their lives. Fiore got pregnant and gave a birth to a beautiful child.
Her boyfriend, professional poker player as well but not a degenerate gambler. He follows bankroll rules and has income from playing. This played a part.
“Three months after the son was born I started to play again. Not as good as before. Just one trip a month. I got rid of all the fake documents (as I still can’t play in Vegas). No profits but I don’t spend as much at least.
I earn more than $100,000 per year playing blackjack and poker and making sports bets. This is more than enough to live a full life. I am happy for the first time in years”.
“I have no regrets. Maybe of being a maniac who loses too much. Do I regret I am playing again? Not at all. I always liked it even in the worst moments and I still like it.”
That’s about it with the Thrillist article. But we still have something interesting to tell.
It’s a nice thing to win from the casino
Gina was about 30 in the end of 2000s. She was an experience advanced player and was a part of a gamblers’ team. Fiore was learning to find weak dealers who had mistakes in dealing technique. This is where the major income comes from.
Common counting cards gives the player 2% edge over casino and it’s great. As Fiore claims, you can bet $500 on average and play about 100 hands per hour which will give you profit of $1,000
This is too small in comparison with hole carding technique.
The player finds a goldmine when he is able to see both dealer cards against one. One of 200 of 300 dealers unintentionally shows the second card when he picks it up. This is a super gold mine.
The edge of the player then reaches 12%! This allows professional win a fortune. That’s why those dealers are superstars and all the advanced players know them and compete for the right to play at those tables even.
Should the dealer be fired, he finds a new place of work and gets the same old clients there.
That’s what so special about them.
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