A former Maxim model and burgeoning American TV star, Christina Lindley is now forging a career as a poker pro.
Hi Christina, we noticed you grinding the tournaments at the World Series this summer – how did you do?
I was a little disappointed this World Series. I did very well in a $2,500 no-limit Hold’em short-handed tournament, and cashed pretty deep. That was about it.
How and why did you get into poker?
During the writers’ strike [Hollywood TV and film writers went on strike in 2007/08 to protest at lack of royalties] I went home to see my dad who took me to Tunica and sat down at a poker table. I did really well, especially for being a complete rookie, and fell in love with poker.
You’re obviously a decent online player having managed a second place in an FTOPS event and some other big scores – is that what you mostly do now, grind the high stakes MTTs?
I would definitely say I am more of an online player. I live in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and travel quite a bit for modelling and acting. When I’m not doing either one, I am usually grinding cash live at the Commerce Casino [in LA] or online high stakes MTTs.
What’s your screen name?
cristinalindley or lindeyloo22.
Approximately how much have you won in online tourneys?
Somewhere around $375,000 since I have been actively grinding online.
Are you hoping to pick up a sponsorship deal with one of the major poker sites?
Of course, but all in good time. It is more about being with the right site, people, and not making any snap decisions when it comes time.
Being a model, what kind of response do you get at the table from guys?
I think the response I get at the table as a model is no different than the response any other woman gets at a table. It varies and depends on the players and the table.
Do they underestimate you as a player and, if so, how do you exploit your image?
I think in the beginning they did, but it seems like the more of these interviews I do the less I can get away with that.
What are your goals in the poker world?
I want to win a major live tournament in the next year and continue to have success online. I would especially like to win an FTOPS event, as I came so close and missed out before on that elusive jersey! I would also like to begin to travel on the European circuit, and maybe play in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker Europe in September.
Which players do you look up to most? And whose success would you most like to emulate?
I don’t want to sound clichéd, but I really like Tom Dwan’s style of game and fearlessness at the table. I also look up to my friend and coach Steve ‘MrSmokey1’ Billirakis. I think he is one of the best players out there.
What do you think about the WSOP ladies event argument that Daniel Negreanu and Annie Duke talked about in their blogs?
Well, I played in the event if that tells you anything. Look, people are entitled to their opinions. Personally, I prefer non-segregated events. However, some women feel uncomfortable beginning to play poker around men when they are starting out. If women’s events bring more women into poker, then why not have them?