Ana Marquez Interviewed by Somuchpoker’s Gaelle Jaudon
[Photo from Katerina Lukina at PokerNews]Somuchpoker: You signed with ACR around 1 year and a half ago now, what’s the best part of being in their team?
Ana Marquez: Yeah I signed not long after the WSOP of 2021. What I particularly love is that it’s a very family-type organization. People are really close to each other, they love to hang out together, and you have a real freedom to speak your mind. They take your feedback very seriously. I feel that you’re growing the company with them, and it’s really motivating. It’s not like you’re working for them, but more that you’re growing with them, and it really pushed me to give my best. And we have regular meetings with the other members of the team and a chat where we constantly talk with each other. In PCA for example, half of the team was there and we hung out with each other a lot, same thing in Triton Vietnam. It’s really nice.
SMP: About that, you participated in your first Triton Series in Vietnam and even made the final table of the 25K Turbo. How was that experience?
Ana Marquez: Yeah it was my first time and I really loved it. I wanted to go to a Triton event for a long time. I’ve been really preparing and focusing for it, and I knew Vietnam would be a really nice stop also. So I decided to take the shot and go there. It was an amazing experience. And I can’t complain that for my first Triton event I reached a final table!
SMP: Is your goal to play more high roller events this year? And what would be your next one?
Ana Marquez: Yes but I want to take things slowly. I’m a person that doesn’t like to rush things and I really want to get fully prepared before jumpông into something like this. I pretend to play more high rollers this year but I really want to pick carefully the ones that I’m gonna go. My next big poker event is EPT Monte-Carlo and it’s very possible that I will be playing the 25K, if I see it’s a good one. And if I win the 100K Challenge with ACR I’ll have the opportunity to go to the Triton in Cyprus in may and fire more high roller events. But if I don’t win I will stay home and study a lot and get more ready for the WSOP, and possibly, the Triton in London.
SMP: You have 2 millions in live earnings now and you constantly travel all over the world for poker events. What is still today a poker moment that gave you the most emotions?
Ana Marquez: To be honest I think Triton Vietnam has been one of my biggest experiences. I always wanted to play high stakes and big high rollers. I’ve been already playing high stakes but never a super high roller, and Triton is today probably the most prestigious SHR tour in the world. I already played 25k in the past, for example at the PCA, but I consider that the jump between a 25k and a 50k event and plus is really important. In my opinion, up to 25k it’s considered as a high roller but above we’re in the world of the super high rollers. And during the Triton in Vietnam I played my very first 50k event. For me it was amazing. It was a dream to be able to play that tournament. So it’s definitely one of the most memorable moments in my career. Besides that, every step that enabled me to move forward in my career was a very emotional moment. It doesn’t necessarily mean a big win, but several cashes in a row, getting a sponsorship, getting interviews, important podcasts ect… There are so many things that have been important for me.
SMP: About that, we can say that it has been more than 10 years now that you’re in the spotlights of the poker industry, through your sponsorships, your results, and even your personal life. You’ve always been under the radar of the poker media. When you look back at it now with more experience, how do you see this aspect of your career?
AM: It has its ups and downs. Obviously getting a sponsorship has been a huge opportunity for me, and in that aspect that’s great. But there are other parts of the exposure that get a bit tougher. I really like to be in my own bubble, and that’s what I love about poker. You can just keep grinding and not paying attention to anything else, you just focus on your game. But when you’re under the radar and there is also a sort of pressure on you. Especially at the beginning. When I started and I got ranked number one in poker in Spain, I had two years after where I fought hard for the ranking and it became really stressful. It just added an extra pressure that I felt was unnecessary. And also I like to be quite private on social media and about my life and it feels a bit unnatural to post on social media. I understand that I have to do it but it gets a little uncomfortable sometimes. So it had good and bad things. But overall, having this exposure is positive, it definitely brought more good than bad.
SMP: And you saw the poker industry changing a lot in the 15 years that you’re in it. What do you think are the best changes?
AM: Yeah I started in 2008 so it’s been a while now! In terms of the game itself, I love how much poker content is available today. It’s been a huge progress. There are so many training sites now, streamings, youtube channels, it’s everywhere. You can get so much information easily now. I think we’re getting big as an industry and it’s very cool to see. And also in terms of women in poker, I think getting so much exposure today can only bring more women in poker. Poker becoming more and more mainstream is only a good thing for the growth of the game.
SMP: Who do you consider today the best tournament players in the world?
AM: That’s a tough question because it’s changing and people evolve so it’s difficult to say. But being in the Triton festival was amazing because I was playing with people who I consider to be the best. Actually, I already know them all, we are used to play on the same events, but I really admire the work they put into the game. And being able to play against them is a huge opportunity to learn and grow a lot. It’s considered to be much more difficult to play in those fields, but when you love poker, it’s also the best feeling because you get to learn when you’re with them. For example, I’m a big fan of what Pads (Patrick Leonard) is doing, and I can name players like Stephen Chidwick, or Isaac Haxton, who is someone I really love to play against. I also love the game of Michael Adamo, in general all this group of super high roller players are really great to play with.
SMP: Do you still play online quite a lot? Do you have a balance between live and online?
AM: To be honest it’s been quite unbalanced the last two years. I still play online but not as much as I want to. I think it’s because I’ve been way too distracted with too many trips and I was constantly moving for a year so I haven’t been able to really put a good online grind in place. I really want to have a better grind schedule and I was confused if I needed to organize my trips better or if I needed to travel less. Going to live events is great but I really want to keep my online game going.
SMP: The WSOP are approaching. Do you already have your schedule of what you’re going to play? What would be the biggest tournaments and will you also play some cash games in Vegas?
AM: I think I’m going to do a little bit of both. Last year I played lots of cash games but this year I want to go hard on tournaments. I want to play the most tournaments possible, but it also depends on how you’re feeling too. So we’ll see when I get there how I feel through the series. I’ll try to play as much as possible and some cash games as well. Concerning the biggest events I will play, besides the Main Event WSOP I really want to play the WPT EveryOne for One Drop, which is a 10K event with a 10 millions guarantee in July. I’m not sure if I want to play higher than those buy-ins when I’m in Vegas because the series takes a lot of energy, and it really depends on how I will feel. Sometimes when you cash events you feel great and super excited but then you have a bad run and you get burned out and feel bad. So I don’t know yet. I want to take it easy and focus. I want to recharge before Vegas and arrive there strong and ready.
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