Amanda Musumeci may not be a household name yet, but give her some time. As one of the most successful women playing online poker in the United States before Black Friday, Amanda was slowly and steadily building both a bankroll and a reputation as a fierce tournament player.
After the collapse of online poker in April 2011, Amanda had a choice; move out of the US and continue playing online as an expat or stick around and move from the virtual felt to the live poker circuit. She chose the latter option and, starting with World Poker Tour’s Season XI broadcasts in 2013, you can follow Amanda’s progress as she travels the world as one of WPT’s new crop of Ones to Watch.
Since those shows are still a few months away, we stole some time with Amanda to speak with her about her plans to play on one of World Poker Tour’s most anticipated events, the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic in Johannesburg, South Africa, starting October 22.
WPT Blog: So, South Africa… have you ever been there before and is there anything in particular you’re excited about seeing or doing?
Musumeci: No, I haven’t, but I’m so looking forward to this trip. From the pictures I’ve seen, the area looks incredible! I can’t wait to take amazing pics, try new foods, and experiencing all the area has to offer.
WPT Blog: With so many amazing activities available to visitors through the casino partner (Emperor’s Palace Casino) and so much to see, are you planning on spending some extra time in South Africa?
Musmeci: Yes, I am. I’m going to Cape Town before my trip to Johannesburg for the WPT Events. I thought it would be great to get some R&R before I go play… get my mind in a relaxed mode. And, once I’m finished winning the WPT Main Event, I’m going on a three-day safari.
WPT Blog: So, what are you doing to prepare for your trip?
Musmeci: I’ve been doing a ton of research online to find out more info on the area… I’m looking for a nice pad for my Cape Town excursion. Other than that, just your standard stuff. Packing and prepping mentally to play well in the WPT events.
WPT Blog: What do you expect of the poker players in South Africa? How do you think the game will differ from what you’ve become accustomed to in the States and Europe?
Musumeci: I’m expecting at least a handful of pros to come out for the events, but I’m not really sure what the poker scene is like in South Africa. Since I haven’t heard much about poker there, I’d imagine there may be several soft spots. I’m hoping for a good turn out of mostly recreational players.
WPT Blog: Chris Moneymaker, Joe Cada, and Melanie Weisner have all committed to the tournament. Are there any other pros you wish were joining you?
Musumeci: The fewer pros who show up, the better equity I have, so… no.