Maggie Morris: “I Find Women a Lot More Difficult to Read Than the Boys”

Maggie Morris3

When Margareta “Maggie” Morris decided to play the World Series of Poker this summer, she had no previous WSOP cash to her name. When she returned home to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, she had $212,202 in her bank account for her 4th place finish in Event #49: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em.

Even though this was Morris’ biggest score till date, she is no stranger to winning tournaments. In February she won the Big Stax 300 at Parx Casino for a nice $95,000 payday.

PokerWomenNews caught up with Maggie Morris to hear more about her experiences at WSOP this summer.

How many years have you played at the WSOP?
My first year at the WSOP was 2004. I only played one event and didn’t cash. Unfortunately, I was unable to take time off of work the last five years. I’ve only been able to take part in the series three times since 2004.

Why did you decide to play the WSOP this year?
I decided in October of last year to start playing multi-day tourneys again and not let work continue to take over my life (ed. Morris works as a tax-manager). It was a great decision, as I have been running hot in these deeper stack tourneys, and decided I was going to get out to the WSOP for a week. I scheduled my trip to play the Ante Only event, the Monster Stack and if I got no traction in the Monster Stack to play the Ladies Event.

What expectations did you have at the start of the series? And were they fulfilled?
I expected to do well and cash in an event, but I was certainly thrilled with making a final table. I didn’t run well in the Ante Only, so I decided to play sit n gos while waiting for the Monster Stack to start. I did extremely well by chopping four out of five, so used part of the cash to enter the 5k instead of the Monster Stack. I often aim to satellite my way into tourneys or use cash won to buy in as I’m closing in on early retirement!

Did you play in the Ladies Event? And what’s your view on women-only tournaments?
I like the Ladies Event at the WSOP, but with the Monster Stack and the value of that tournament, I preferred playing it. Unfortunately, due to the small number of entries, low buy-ins and my limited amount of time to play, I prefer to play non-ladies events when playing locally. Also, I find women a lot more difficult to read than the boys.

Thinking back at the WSOP, is there a special hand you recall – and can you tell us about it?
Actually, I have two hands. The first was on Day 2 in Event #49. They had just announced the last hand before break, and I’m in the big blind and JC Tran is on the cut-off. I just knew he was going to try to steal my blind. He raises and it folds to me. I look down at A9s. Usually it’s a pretty easy fold for me, because generally I find you get more trouble from this hand out of position, than it’s worth. But here I think, I have him crushed. I could re-raise, but thought I would slow play it.
An ace hits on flop. I check to him thinking my ace is good and that he’ll bet. He bets and I call. Turn is a nine. With aces up I feel like I am way ahead. I check again into this aggressive player to incite a bet, and he bets big. I call.
A scare card for a straight prevails on the river, and I check to him again. This time he bets huge, basically for 3/4 of my remaining stack. My read is I’m still ahead, and I make the call and scoop a huge pot.

The second hand was a horrendous bad beat I put on Melanie Weisner. In this hand Melanie opens the betting from early position, a caller, I look down and see AQ. I re-raise big, Melanie calls. The flop is AKx. Melanie bets, I go into the tank and think about other hands, I’ve seen she’s opened with. I think her range is wider than AK, could be AQ, AJ, AT. I re-raise knowing I am committing myself to the pot, and Melanie calls.  And she has AK!
I am such a dog in this hand, and turn comes a queen and river a miracle queen. It’s one of the worse bad beats, I’ve ever seen: queen on the turn and one of two outs on the river. This hand ends up making me chip leader at end of Day 2.

What was the most fun this summer?
Making the final table in Event #49 was the most fun, but it was also great to be able to sweat fellow east coasters winning bracelets and running deep: Alex Bolotin, Melissa Burr, Matt Glantz and Joe McKeehen.

What was the worst?
The worst was only playing for a week and missing the Main Event. I will be playing it next year and take 2-3 weeks off.

You are among the 4-5% women at the WSOP. How is it often to be the only woman at the table?
It’s so nice to see more women playing tournaments. Back in 2000-2006 you’d enter a tourney and most of the time I’d be the only woman – or one of two or three – in a room of 1,000 men. These days you see a lot more women participating, and it’s growing all the time.
It seems the bigger the buy-in the less women participate. But it’s inspiring to see the growth of women in poker, and there are more women crushing it! Vanessa Selbst, Loni Harwood, Melissa Burr … great poker players and wonderful people too.
I do think it can be intimidating to be the only woman at the table, but it works both ways. It can also be an advantage as some men have difficulty reading women, and then there are players that think they can push you around. You just pick your spots and use it against them.

What are your plans for the rest of the year poker wise?
Unfortunately I have limited vacation time left this year, but I’ll be playing in a couple of Parx Deep Stax tourneys, since they have the absolutely best structure, value and run over weekends and then the WSOP circuit stop at Harrahs in Atlantic City.  If I can, I will try my best to fit in at least one other WSOP circuit event.

This is the second part of our series “My Summer at the WSOP”. Check out the first part with Jamie Kerstetter.

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