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Event Recap: Chicago Sky and Poker Power

Nadia Rawlinson, Chicago Sky, at a Poker Power Event

Picture this: elite basketball athletes, renowned for their agility and finesse on the court, swapping dribbling for going “all-in”. This was the scene last week when Poker Power partnered with Chicago Sky for a poker workshop. The event took place at a basketball court in the notable Fulton Market in Chicago. The court, typically a backdrop for players’ usual competitions, served as the setting for a different kind of competition.

The entire team including Angel Reese, Kamilla Cardoso, and Dana Evans took a hiatus from basketball to dive into the world of poker guided by our vibrant instructors—Lisa Pickell, Tammi Endemann, Sparky Brown, Becca Scales, and Liz Huey. Amid much laughter, they also explored and discovered the interconnection between the world of sports and poker.

Jenny Just at a Poker Power and Chicago Sky event
Jenny Just speaking about the mission of Poker Power and the intersection of the game of poker and sports.

The evening began with inspiring speeches from Poker Power’s founder, Jenny Just, and Chicago Sky’s head coach, Teresa Weatherspoon, both discussing the intriguing intersection of sports and poker. Jenny Just took the stage to introduce the vast potential of poker as a tool for understanding complex dynamics also across various arenas of life, including the court. Following her lead, Teresa Weatherspoon directed the discussion towards the mental discipline that both games require of the players. She underlined the fact that basketball, just like poker, requires a significant level of emotional control and discipline when trying to the next play. The shared skills between the two fields became a focal point of the evening, highlighting the synergy between seemingly distinct domains.

High pressured decisions occur in both games with unknown pieces of information. Taking calculated risks and reading one’s opponent are essential to both games’ strategies. The Chicago Sky players were able to take their on-court skills to the tables, getting their reps in with chips, not laps.

As the event unfolded, it became evident that the fusion of basketball and poker was more than just a game; it was a platform for growth, discipline, and camaraderie. Success does not always lie in the spotlight, but in the consistency and strategy applied to every move, whether it’s a free throw or a poker hand.

Kamilla Cardoso evaluating her next move.

Poker Power frequently collaborates with women’s athletic teams, from recreational to college and professional levels, for enjoyable and inspiring events, virtual and IRL. We invite you to experience this unique opportunity. If you or a team you’re familiar with might be interested, we encourage you to reach out to us.

Ty Young and Crystal Robinson at a Poker Power and Chicago Sky Event
Ty Young and Crystal Robinson discuss poker tactics with one of the Poker Power instructors.

 

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