Carolyn Zegeer has been a regular in the ballroom during the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” and she’s back in action for the Championship event. She’s a full-time lawyer, some-time TV host, but poker is her passion.
“I love the game, I think it really hits my passions; I’m a very competitive person.” Zegeer said. “I have a lot of interests so this puts everything in a neat, little package. If I could do this more often, and travel the circuit, I would do it.”
Zegeer has been practicing law for 10 years as a graduate from Duquesne University and the University of Florida but she picked up poker at a young age.
“My grandfather has four grandchildren, three boys and me, the only girl and he’s my only grandfather. We always had a really special relationship.” Zegeer recalled.
“We went on a trip when we were much younger and he wanted to teach the boys how to play poker, and of course I’m the favorite so I tagged along. I’m the only one who picked it up. I fell in love with (poker) ever since then.”
Zegeer only has one result during this series, cashing in Event 1, but she found success in the secondary events and has a “trophy” to prove it (pictured below). The secondary events draw a different crowd and she is trying to transition her success in those events to the bigger tournaments.
“I actually think there’s a hole in my game for the bigger events; I think I take them too seriously because I want it so bad.” Zegeer laughed, “My personality doesn’t come out as much and I notice when I’m just myself, I just relax and have fun with it and joke around, the hands start hitting in a strange way.”
“These bigger events, because I’m new to them, have gotten into my head a little bit. But that’s going to change because I’m aware I’m doing it.”
Zegeer also thinks her career as an attorney helps with her game at the tables. The two have a lot in common and it might give her an edge.
“Poker is a lot like practicing law.” Zegeer explained, “If you’re a trial lawyer, your job when you’re negotiating is to know where you’re at, to know how strong the other person is and how serious they are and when they’re not.”
“You’re trying to see where the holes and weakness are in your case and poker is the same way. The psychology of it is very much like law.”
Zegeer set her passion for poker aside for a few years but that changed when her Grandfather passed away in 2012. Since then she’s picked the game back up and hoping to do well.
“He passed away two years ago this December and ever since then I’ve had a renewed passion for the game.” Zegeer explained, “I’ve played in home games and smaller tournaments for a long time but really in the last year I’ve said, ‘I’m going to start playing in the bigger tournaments.’
“I practice law, I can afford to do it, and I’m going to go deep in one of these big events. I hope this is the one.”
While this is Zegeer’s first large tournament series, she likes how the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino runs the bigger series.
“This is the closest you’ll get to a WSOP-type event outside of Vegas for the Florida area. You’ve got the massive fields, with the ballroom and tables lined up.” Zegeer said, “They really go out of their way to make this feel it’s equivalent to any of the big events you find out in Vegas.”
“For people who are local, who are just starting to think ‘Could I go on the circuit? Could I travel for an event?’ this is a chance for them to whet their appetite and see if they can do it.” She continued, “Nobody else really provides that other than the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.”