Anna ‘OhUrAPro’ Antimony used to grind on the slim margins of the Borgata $2/$5 cash games until a tournament result opened her game and life up to new possibilities.
Last November, Antimony chopped the Borgata Fall Poker Open Event #1 for $126,146. For the first time in her professional career, Antimony had the bankroll flexibility to take a deep breath and bask in the glow of the work put in to reach this point.
This wasn’t Antimony’s first stab at a tournament during her professional life. Antimony was a staple in lower buy-in Borgata events like the Saturday Series but never got over the hump required to play larger buy-ins or a consistent basis. Finally, she did and hasn’t looked back since.
“Chopping Event #1 was huge for me,” Antimony said. “I think for any poker player grinding cash every day and playing a tournament here and there, it’s always hard to consistently build your bankroll. When you have a six-figure score, not only does it boost your confidence and make you feel like you can finally tell your parents you’re not just a degenerate gambler, but it gives you so much freedom in terms of doing what you want.”
Antimony carried over her success in 2017, where she collected $167,285 in live earnings along with her first two Borgata Poker Open trophies. One of those wins came in the prestigious Six Max event where she beat a tough final table with Mark Dube and TJ Shulman finishing on the podium.
No chop, no deal. My first real win. pic.twitter.com/3eFWaZyfOK
— Anna (@BonaFideAnna) September 17, 2017
The win also represented a culmination of Antimony’s efforts into improving her own game. Antimony owns a strong group of friends in the poker community, including WPT500 winner Jon Borenstein. In addition to talking over hands, Antimony watches tournament live streams to learn from other players and how they play certain spots.
“Besides just playing a lot more volume and constantly discussing hands with other players I watch a lot of poker. I am just so fascinated by how many different ways a single poker hand can be played and the various lines people choose to take.”
Now that she has a title and more experience playing in four-figure buy-in events, the general expectation might be for Antimony to shoot higher and try to become a regular on the East Coast circuit. Not so fast.
Coming into 2018, Antimony’s goals in life do not center around poker. The balance that many players seek is something Antimony wants to achieve for herself. Antimony clearly has a passion for the game but the emotional toll of having poker be the sole source of income is starting to gradually weigh on her. So, if playing less poker means more personal stability in the new year, Antimony is going to make the appropriate sacrifice.
“I’d like to venture out into new things. As much as I love the game, I can’t see myself doing this my whole life for a living. I’ve also found I play better and am way happier when I take breaks and do non-poker stuff with friends and family,” Antimony said.
“It’s crazy, when I had a full-time job I would drive down to Atlantic City after work and play cash till 5:00 am and go straight to work and be so miserable the next day. I loved the game so much you couldn’t drag me off a table. I think the best way for me to get back to a place where I can be as enthusiastic about poker as I once was is to have other sources of income where I have more stability and balance in my life.”
The one time during next year when Antimony plans to put her full heart and soul into grinding is the World Series of Poker. Antimony limits her travel for most of the year but is already eyeing a big summer out in Las Vegas.
“I’m really excited for WSOP next summer and for sure planning on playing bigger tourneys and putting in more volume. As cliche as it may sound, I want to win a bracelet. I want it so bad. Every summer I watch the winners give their thank you speeches and all I can think is ‘That should be me.’”
It could very well be her but before that time comes, Antimony is expected to play a heavy schedule in January’s Winter Poker Open and perhaps come close to nearing the exit point she’s searching for.