Adrienne Rowsome has a lucky chair that's old, dark, and leather.
The recliner might be a cozy spot to work, but it's taken a lot more than luck for the Edmonton woman to establish her career as a professional poker player.
Rowsome has put her work as an occupational therapist on hold to make bets, play cards, and explain her hands to hundreds of fans along the way.
Fifteen years ago, Rowsome had just graduated from university when she started going to the casino with a friend for easy entertainment. Her friend eventually started working at the casino, dealing cards.
"She said, 'You should really start playing poker — you're good at math, you're good at games. I think this would be good for you.' My initial reaction was, 'Me? Play poker? No!' I was a little taken aback."
But she eventually took a chance and got hooked.
It took a few years of consistent winning for Rowsome to realize she had the chance to earn some real money if she dedicated herself to the game.
"I was treating it a little like a lottery. Like, if I got lucky then maybe I would win. But I was finding I was profitable even without putting in too much effort."
Her talents were eventually noticed by the online enterprise PokerStars and she was recruited to be an ambassador for their Team Pro Online. The position gave Rowsome some profile and the incentive to treat her poker playing as a professional endeavour.
Rowsome describes her earnings as "variable." She says her family is "comfortable, without being ready to retire." She earns her money, in part, by entering tournaments (her buy-ins will average between $1,000 and $2,000 at a big tournament).
She also streams between 12 and 24 hours of poker per week on her online channel, a forum where fans can ask about her plays and the decisions that she makes.
All about the hours
Rowsome has two young children and says she enjoys the flexibility of being a professional poker player.
She plays from her home office — sometimes seated in that old leather recliner. When her youngest son was an infant, she'd nurse him while playing poker.
"To stay home with my family and set my own schedule, that causes me to look at poker as a profession that I want to work at," she said.
"I work on my mental game. I do meditation, I do warm-ups to make sure I'm in a good headspace. I study my hands after I play to make sure I'm not making big mistakes."
Rowsome has bet a lot on poker but, through both good times and bad.
"There have been ups and downs in the poker world over the last 20 years. But I can't imagine a life without poker right now."