By definition, that’s exactly what Team Bodog’s newest poker pro is – a phenom. “A person prepared for work by extended study or practice; a young prodigy.” At 25, Amanda Musumeci has the wisdom and wit of a well-educated, well-traveled 40-year-old. Fortunately, she’s got the body and online wherewithal of a 21-year-old, which makes this Philadelphia, PA native a perfect fit for the oh-so-sexy and super-sleek Bodog brand.Let’s get one thing straight, though: Amanda Musumeci is no ditz. A Kutztown University Speech/Mass Communications major, Political Science & Public Relations minor, this girl can talk.
And by “talk” we mean in a kind of English that reflects an extensive vocabulary and advanced level computer talk, sprinkled with notes of sarcasm. Plus, she’s got a super cute voice. Sassy, spunky, sultry and sweet; or as we like to call them, the four S’s. PLUS, she’s got other interests outside of poker. In fact, Amanda prefers to be outside – camping, hiking, paragliding – that sort of thing. Her other indoor “likes” are pool, dancing and cooking. Above all else, though, Amanda loves to play poker.
Originally playing under the alias, “Manderbutt,” Manda (as she prefers to be called) credits Bodog’s online poker room for providing her with an atmosphere most conducive to learning, allowing her to “blossom” into kickass player that she is today. In two years, Manda went from playing in Bodog Poker’s sit-n-go tournaments (while adhering to a stingy bankroll management strategy), to winning numerous guaranteed tournaments and bigger multi-table tournaments.
Now living in Las Vegas and playing under the alias “BodogMander,” Amanda still spends the greater part of her day playing poker online but she also squeezes in as many live events as possible and makes enough money overall to be able to play poker for a decent living. With the 2010 WSOP just around the bend, this girl is prepping to win big.
In her own words, as told to one of WPP’s field reporters, here’s how Amanda Musumeci won the hearts of Bodog to become the new Team Bodog Pro (…she’s got some great poker advice, too):
How did you come to playing poker for a living?
It was in college that I came into playing cards. I read up on all the poker basics – the rules, to pay for my schooling, it made it difficult to save my poker bankroll so that I could play the higher limit games and move up in my buy-in levels. So for awhile, I was stuck just grinding the same small-mid stakes MTTs to ensure my bills were all paid.
So you won some money here, you lost some money there and along the way you gained some confidence. How’d you take the leap to playing poker professionally?
A friend offered to take me to the Aussie Millions. That’s where I met the young famed female pro, Anna Wroblewski. Anna took an immediate liking to me and convinced me out to Las Vegas to live with her so that she could train me and stake me. I felt beyond blessed, as I came to learn that Anna was living in an unoccupied condo in Las Vegas, belonging to the great Barry Greenstein, who was a close friend of Anna's. The whole thing was really like this dream that I was living out – as I had just started playing poker only months before and all of a sudden all of these big things started happening for me. I felt beyond blessed and was happy that my hard work was coming to fruition.
How did you come to choose Bodog as your “home” site? That’s where you got your start online, right?
I started playing MTTs about two and half years ago on Bodog when my friend 'bigboat21' convinced me to get some money online. I started to win a few sit-n-go tournaments and then I’d take the occasional risk playing a MTT with my profits. I ended up winning a few re-buy tournaments and guaranteed tournaments. The confidence I gained from that has propelled me to where I am today with my poker career.
I continued to make a name for myself on Bodog over the following years as one of the site’s only regular female players, someone who played on a nightly basis and win. I was proud of that title and loved what I considered to be my 'home site.' In total, I ended up winning around 200K strictly through MTT play at Bodog over my two-year run.
Over the past two years I have been lucky enough to have networked with many, if not all of the Bodog regulars, and eventually I went onto some of the bigger sites that were offering the bigger guarantees. But Bodog has always been the one online poker room that I've recommended time and time again for people who may be new to the game or for those players looking to grind mid-stakes successfully.
I owe many thanks to Bodog for years of great customer support. I've valued the many times that the Bodog Poker staff has come to the forums and listened to OUR suggestions on tourney structures and schedules.
Bodog is definitely one of the only poker sites that listens and gives feedback to its regular players, and it’s something that I have always highly valued.
As the newest member of Team Bodog, what do you bring to the team and the brand?
A vast amount of online poker experience, a huge network of online friends who also play poker, intelligence, youth, determination – and it probably doesn’t hurt that I’m cute. I say that modestly, of course. This decade is definitely going to be HUGE for woman in poker, and it's great to see that Bodog is growing along with the new trends and demographics in the game.