A number of female poker pros have tried their hand at reality TV. Some of most well-known ones have been Annie Duke who was on Celebrity Apprentice, Maria Ho who appeared on the Amazing Race, Vanessa Rousso who participated in Big Brother and Jean-Robert Bellande who was on Survivor.
Anna Khait is the latest poker pro to join the list. She participated in the reality show Survivor which was filmed in 2015 and is currently being broadcasted in the U.S. Khait is still in the early stages of her career as a professional poker player, with total live earnings of around $11,000.
She plays in New Jersey which is one of the three states in U.S. that allows online poker but continues to live in New York.
Khait said that she discovered poker at eighteen when she played a home poker game. She enjoyed the strategic nature of the game and decided to learn more, ordering books and watching online videos of poker tournament final tables. Once she turned 21, she bought a car and went to New Jersey to play, winning $2,000 in the first week itself. She said that since then the game has helped to pay for her college and house rent.
Survivor: Kaoh Rong
Speaking on her becoming a professional poker player, she said that although she had always wanted to become full-time player, she thought she would never be able to do it.
Acknowledging that the poker is tough she said that the only way to survive was to keep evolving as a player.
Khait feels New Jersey is underestimated as a gambling destination but the news of PokerStars launching in the state has excited her.
In a statement, Khait said
People have been talking about PokerStars for a very long time. I thought there was a chance they would never come back [to the U.S.]. I told my parents that I was going to go to Costa Rica, but when I told them PokerStars was coming here they were like, ‘Thank god you are staying here.’ Obviously it’s only in New Jersey for now, but it’s a step in the right direction. I would really like it to be nationwide
Even though she is thrilled that she got a chance to get into her favorite reality show Survivor, Khait found that it resulted in her having to give up poker for a few months. She is now eager to get back to the game, play more live games and build up her cash reserves again. She is especially looking forward to the upcoming World Series of Poker which takes place at the Rio in Las Vegas.