• Presenting Courtney Friel WPT Host

    Let's meet Courney Friel World Poker Tour's beautiful face:

    Question: How did you get into poker?

    Answer: This job, I am not going to lie, I had played video poker before in Vegas, but when I got the job, I told them I could learn, and they sent me to boot camp. And now I play.

    Question: What made you decide to audition for the WPT if you didn't play?

    Answer: It was pretty much every girl in Los Angeles got the chance to try out. Agents get breakdowns on auditions, and I just decided to go to this audition. I had the audition, then I had a call-back, and as I started having meetings with them, I started watching the show and getting into it.

    Question: What was the poker boot camp like? You won a tournament?

    Answer: Yes, I won my first tournament. It was 10 people, and all of them had played poker before, and literally this was my first tournament. I was so nervous! I would blush when I get pocket aces and all the good cards. Everyone asked if I had a nickname, which I don't, but I said I should call myself "Rosey," or something like that. Then I did the sit n' go the next day, and it was out of 50 people. I made it to the bottom 20, so I was proud of myself. My biggest problem is having the guts to go in and play a tournament and sit down at a table. I'm still not clear on how to do that, and I just get a little scared.

    Question: How has this job changed you life?

    Answer: It's opened more doors, I think, and just being able to go to so many places that I would never have been able to go to. Aruba, probably, we got to go to Paris, the Bahamas, and just meeting all of the great poker people out there, because I think they really are gentlemen. It's such a gentlemen's game. They are all really nice, and it's kinda like a club. I feel like I joined a club that I would never have known about if I had not had this opportunity.

    Question: How does all the traveling affect your home life?

    Answer: It's fine. My husband comes with me all the time. I love hotels, I love traveling, and I am getting a little more used to flying. I look forward to it, it's great.

    Question: I have spent more time with Phil Laak and Antonio, they are just great guys! Are they my favorites? I don't know, I really like poker players in general, and everyone I talk to, I think they are great. In poker, they are all really nice, and they come from different backgrounds and decide that they have a passion for poker. They are all my favorites.

    Question: What has been your favorite tournament so far?

    Answer: I really liked Borgata! I think maybe because I'm from Philadelphia, so some of my friends came down to visit and watch the show. I really like the hotel; it is like a mini-Bellagio. Also, I can't forget about Paris and Aruba.

    Question: What are some of your hobbies?

    Answer: I like to make sushi. I have some of the girls over and teach them how to do it. I picked up a book, bought supplies, and I was in Tennessee, actually, so there wasn't even any fish. I just learned the technique of doing the rice, and I got, like, the generic crab, avocado, and cucumbers and learned how to cut it all. It's become fancier; I can make spicy tuna salad and the salmon with the cream cheese on top. I mess up a lot, but my secret dream job is to be a sushi chef! Every time I'm eating sushi, I think about that. When I'm not working, I like to power walk on the beach or at the canyon by my house. I like to shop, lay out, but, honestly, I'm on, like, a 25-days-in-a-row working schedule. I have been working so much, but it is good. You can't complain about having work.