Poker Couple Goes Down the Aisle - Tuesday 14th of February 2006
GIBRALTAR It was inevitable. Withonline poker becoming the world's largest social network-where peoplecompete, but also meet, share experiences and become friends-it was only amatter of time until one of those interactions resulted in a marriage!
Thus, PartyPoker.com is delighted to announce what it believes to be isthe world's first marriage made in online hold'em. On March 7th at the ParisHotel in Las Vegas, 28-year-old New York attorney Gary Suffir and 27-year LasVegas artist Jackie Johnson will wed after having met in September 2004playing poker on the online gaming site, the world's largest online pokerroom. Needless to say, the wedding will have a poker theme and then thecouple will embark for their honeymoon on the PartyPoker.com Million V Cruisearound the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, starting on the 12th, along withnearly 450 other poker players.
PartyPoker.com spokesman Warren Lush said: "We were delighted when Garyand Jackie called to tell us that they were going all-in for life. It took usa while to believe that they weren't bluffing! They're having a full-on pokerwedding in Vegas and are even having an online tournament for wedding guestsa couple of weeks before the big day. We look forward to welcoming them on tothe PartyPoker.com Million V for their honeymoon where company spokesman andleading poker ambassador Mike Sexton will toast their future happiness."
It all started with a turn of a card. "I first met Gary online atPartyPoker.com in September 2004," noted the bride. "We were both playing ina $30 Omaha game and I was very much a beginner to this version of the game.Gary made what I considered to be a good play, but got nailed by a bad beaton the river. The guy who won the hand started trashing Gary. I supportedGary in the argument and the rest, as they say, is history."
They chatted for a while that day, mainly about poker. She began gettingadvice on strategy from her new friend. They talked online constantly, at onepoint staying up for 24 hours playing in multi-table tournaments together.For three or four days they only communicated via the buddy function on thePartyPoker.com website. After that, they exchanged IM handles and discoveredthey were passionate about the same kind of music.
"I told her that Jeff Buckley brings a tear to my eye," adds Gary. "Bycoincidence Jackie was a Buckley fan had been to a Bright Eyes concert thenight before and I really liked him too. It blew my mind that I'd met a womanwho was not only into the same music, but with whom I could talk about Omahapoker strategy. When I first started chatting to Jackie I was even unawarethat she was a woman because it's often hard to tell by the nicknames peopleuse online."
Gary and Jackie continued to compete in the same multi-table tournaments,which often have hundreds of entrants. "Two months before we metface-to-face, we played in a $20 Omaha hi-lo game. I said if we get seated atthe same table, it's fate! Then our tables popped up and we were sitting nextto each other," laughs Jackie.
"We exchanged photographs three months later and in January I went toVegas for some temp attorney work, to play some poker and meet Jackie," saidGary. "The day before we met, we actually spoke on the telephone for thefirst time. I knew we had a connection, but didn't know where it would go.I'd never met anyone on the Internet before, let alone on a poker site. Weonly used IM for such a long time, but I felt the closeness between us."
What began as a one-day meeting of online friends became much more andstretched to a week while the couple revelled in their chemistry in person.They were each hesitant to admit how strongly they felt about each other, forfear of undermining the budding relationship.
By March 2005-six weeks after their first meetingJackie moved to NewYork City to live with Gary and it was at then, according to Jackie, thatthey actually had their first kiss. In August, Gary got down on one knee andproposed. Jackie thought he was going to work, but instead Gary arrived backat the apartment with yellow roses and daisies.
"I was delighted she said yes and we agreed we'd get married in Vegas totry and recreate that great week we had when we first met in January," saidGary. Then they called PartyPoker.com to thank the company for playingmatchmaker.
The couple are looking forward to their honeymoon where they'll competefor $5 million in prize money on the poker cruise. "We both play hyperaggressive, "said Gary, who plays under the name 'I_like_birds' on the net.Jackie plays as 'Supplanter.'
"What makes me laugh is that when I sit in our apartment and listen toGary expound about his online chat over someone's bad play. And, to think,that is how we met!"
The upcoming marriage of Suffir and Jackson has created quite a stir onthe offices of PartyPoker.com. Said Lush: "Since hearing about Gary andJackie, we've now done a deal with LavaLife for some private poker datingtables. Perhaps we should think about creating our own online dating site".
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