When the first thing your poker instructor does is ask you to hold a carrot, then proceeds to slice it in half by throwing a playing card straight through it from several feet away, you know it’s not going to be an ordinary poker lesson.
Model and actress Jayde Nicole, who’s been learning from a different poker pro each month as part of the ALL IN Magazine Project, met with five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Chris “Jesus” Ferguson in late-November at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas. He started by doing his Veg-O-Matic impression, zipping a card inches from her head to slice the carrot. (“It was the scariest thing ever,” she commented.) But then Jesus and Jayde got down to the business of improving her Hold ’Em game, and the former Playboy Playmate of the Year found it to be an extremely productive lesson.
After training previously with Jamie Gold and David “The Maven” Chicotsky, two guys who subscribe strongly to loose-aggressive play, Jayde got a different view on the game from Ferguson and found herself in tune with his style.“I feel like Chris plays a lot more like me—although obviously, he’s way better at it,” Jayde told ALL IN. “But I like to be patient and wait for cards that I feel comfortable playing, and I prefer to be aggressive only in situations where I feel like it’s okay to be aggressive. So he’s a little more conservative, and he knows when to take risks at the right time and when to just fold and wait it out. He made me feel a lot more comfortable, knowing that not every poker pro plays crazy-aggressive.
“And that’s not to take away from what my other teachers taught me. They were great too, and I think hopefully in the end I’ll be a mixture of both styles, where I can play conservative at times and also play aggressive. I think it’s to my advantage to be able to play both ways and have people not know which style I’m going to use.”
There was one lesson from Ferguson that made a particularly profound impact on Jayde, and that was his advice on slow-playing a monster. In the past, when Jayde has flopped the nut flush or a full house, she’s had a tendency to lead out, an approach that can sometimes ruin your chances of getting paid off.
“What Chris advised was to check and give my opponents a street or two to improve their hands. I mean, I knew about that already, the idea of slow-playing a big hand, but he explained it to me in a logical way that really made it click for me. What I want is for them to make the best possible hand that isn’t better than my hand. So I’ve learned to wait, and to hopefully have a card come out that improves their hand, either making them bet or making it easier for them to call my bet later.”
Ferguson and Jayde are planning to reconvene for another lesson in the future at which time he’ll be watching her play and helping her disguise any physical tells she might have.
And perhaps when he does observe Jayde in action, it will be on her brand new personalized table created for her by Big Slik Poker Tables.
“I got to design it along with the design staff at Big Slik,” Jayde explained. “It has my initials in it, it’s all black and the felt is black on gray, it has all the lights underneath—it’s a full-blown professional poker table. So now poker nights will officially be at Jayde’s house.”
ALL IN asked how jealous her ex-boyfriend, fellow The Hills star Brody Jenner, is of her new table on a scale of 1 to 10. Jayde didn’t hesitate to label him a 10. “He’s very jealous that I got one and he didn’t. But he will get to play on it,” she said with a laugh.
Credit: All In Magazine