Isabelle Mercier Interview
Poker Pin Ups chats exclusively with the lovely Isabelle Mercier about her experiences as a professional poker player and what it’s really like being a woman in poker!
Isabelle, you’ve had phenomenal success as a professional poker player, what advice would you give to other women thinking of taking up poker as a profession? isabelle mercier
I would definitely say that poker is a TOUGH WAY TO MAKE AN EASY LIVING!!! Seriously, I would really consider twice before choosing that path without having a serious and long-term sponsorship deal. Indeed, the level of the game goes up at an extraordinary speed, and I am just not sure how long a successful poker career can actually last without that sponsor to take care of tournament buy-ins, travels, hotels, etc. It seems that you can have a few good years, but very rare are the professionals still present on the international circuit after a decade of playing. The youngest generation is always there, year after year, and like in any other sport or discipline, they are the toughest ones to beat and they break records!!! isabelle mercier
Obviously you have done a lot of travelling in your poker career so far, where has been your favorite place to play and is there anywhere you haven’t played that you would like to?
My favorite place to play is without a doubt the Salle des Étoiles at the Sporting Club in Monte Carlo. First of all, I live right beside so I can make it to the tournament in 5 minutes walking. Second of all, Monaco is for me the “center of the world” so I would always choose that destination to play poker; the weather is unreal, the food is great, the people are super nice and the security is at the top! isabelle mercier
There are very few places I haven’t seen that would make it worth for me to travel to. Among them, Japan, India, and Dubai! The day they offer great poker tournaments, I’ll make sure to be there!!! isabelle mercier
Do you think it is harder for women to gain respect at the poker tables?
Yes, I think it is. But mostly, I think it’s harder for women to get that natural aggressiveness that comes easily to men. We have an amazing 6th sense, but we definitely have to work on our gambling skills!!! isabelle mercier
Do you prefer to play cash games or tournaments?
I like both. I like the competition I can find in tournaments, but I like the stability you can find in cash games. For someone wanting to turn pro without a sponsorship deal, I would definitely recommend playing full time cash games and not waste any money in tournament buy-ins.
What has been the highlight of your poker career so far?
I love doing TV so I think that one of the most memorable moments for me was doing the TV commentary for High Stakes Poker and for the WSOP for Orange Sport Channel in France. I really loved working on my own TV set, and even if the days started really early at about 9 in the morning, I realized that TV was something that made me really enthusiastic!
You have the nickname “No Mercy” due to your aggressive and merciless gameplay has this nickname and reputation been beneficial to your game?
The nickname has been a real blessing, I still thank Mike Sexton for giving me this nickname a few years back when I won the WPT Ladies Night. My own company is actually called “No Mercy Productions” and I feel I have been pretty lucky to be a woman with this kind of nickname in this men’s world.
And finally, who else do you admire in the world of poker and why?
Gus Hansen has been my mentor and I definitively still admire him, I actually think he’s one of the few who can defy time and stay at the top in this game!
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to Poker Pin Ups today.
Click here to read Isabelle Mercier’s full biography