Interview With Lynn Gilmartin, World Poker Tour Anchor: Gratitude, Passion & Dedication
Last Updated: January 25, 2024
We are now in the final stretch for the start of the WPT World Championship. Months turned into weeks, and now those weeks have become days, as players are already gathering at the Wynn for some warm-up action before the big event.
For a couple of months now, we’ve been talking to people who helped bring this spectacle to life, trying to show you some of the behind the scenes work and just how much effort goes into preparing an event like this.
This time around, with caught up with Lynn Gilmartin, a World Poker Tour anchor and a great poker player in her own right. Lynn has been a part of the poker world since 2009, and her passion for the game and the openness to new challenges have taken her all over the globe.
So, we were curious to hear her thoughts on the WPT World Championship, but she was kind enough to also share a few most memorable moments from her many adventures on and away from the green felt.
Q: Hi Lynn, first of all, happy belated birthday! You’re certainly a bit of a legend in poker circles as someone who’s been a part of the industry for years, but can you tell us a bit about yourself for those who maybe new to the game? What is your current role with the WPT, and how you got there?
Lynn: Aw thank you! I am in my 10th year as anchor of the World Poker Tour which is just a dream. In an extremely tiny nutshell, my path looked a little like this: I discovered poker in 2007 when I was fresh out of university and landed my first full-time job in marketing at a casino in Australia.
We started creating YouTube videos to promote our tournaments, which was quite a new concept back then, and it quickly became the highlight of my job.
I decided to pursue content creation (and poker) more, so I left to travel the world as a reporter for PokerNews, which you could say was a four-year preparation and audition for the role that I have now with WPT.
Q: As someone who’s been on both sides of the felt, you have a unique perspective of the game. What is one memory that you cherish as a player, and what is the moment you remember the most working in poker media?
Lynn: Working in poker media and television has been a huge privilege to get to stand alongside countless poker players, all across the planet, during some of the biggest moments in their poker careers and their lives as a whole.
From that side of the felt, my most memorable moment will always be witnessing Mike Sexton finally win his WPT title. The emotions were high!
As a player, that would have to be last December during the inaugural WPT World Championship where I had the opportunity to truly feel what a BIG deep run feels like. Getting to take my own seat in the World Poker Tour’s largest event in history was a huge highlight in itself, but to then progress to Day 4 and take 91st place out of almost 3,000 players was unbelievable.
The idea of having my name added to the Sexton Cup and looking at the clock to see a $4.1m prize well within reach… I was floating through it all in shock.
That experience has locked this tournament as one that I can never miss. So I will be playing next month for sure. Especially with its $40 million guaranteed prize pool… Amazing!
Preparing for a big month at @WynnPoker by jumping in my first $5/10 game last night. I’d never played higher than $2/5 before that. I was in for $1k, out for $2.5k. Plenty of mistakes but still left pretty happy with myself.
We had a super fun table. I even had the courage to… pic.twitter.com/T4N4rpApSg
— Lynn Gilmartin (@LynnGilmartin) December 5, 2023
Q: What would it mean for you to win such an event or finish in the top few spots? I know that you are involved with several personal projects, but would it also change your career path?
Lynn: Could it mean I’d finally go pro? Maybe! It’d be quite the confidence boost, that’s for sure.
Q: You’ve had an impressive career, and I’m sure there are many poker fans out there looking up to you, hoping that one day they might follow in your footsteps. What would be your message to those thinking about getting a job in poker media?
What are some of the best things about it, and what are the things that people looking from the outside may have wrong ideas about?
Lynn: Thank you for your kind words! I’m deeply, deeply grateful for every step of my career so far. I’m grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been brave enough to grasp, the hard work that I put in, and the countless people who help me along the way. They are all keys to achieving a dream in any field.
Gratitude. Passion. Dedication. More gratitude. And supporting those around you while being open to receiving support from others.
It doesn’t matter what your dream is, you can’t (and shouldn’t) try to do it all on your own. We need people to believe in us, so we have to make sure we’re always showing up in every way that we can to earn that trust and support.
Q: What are your thoughts about attracting more women to poker? We’ve been seeing more ladies events as of late – do you think this is a good way to attract more women and encourage them to join the mix? What else could we do?
Lynn: I became quite attached to the idea of a mother (me!) winning the biggest event in WPT history during the WPT World Championship last year.
After I bagged my chips each night, I would switch back to mum mode, walking the hallways of the Encore to help get my baby to sleep, then I’d wake up in the morning and head back down to continue chasing this huge dream. It was unreal. And it was possible.
Seeing a woman win the WPT World Championship would help create a huge wave for women in the game. But until that day comes, WPT will continue to support the growth of women in poker.
This year’s festival will hold the second annual WPT Ladies Championship with a $250,000 guarantee, raising the record for the largest guarantee for a ladies event in poker history. I’m really looking forward to playing in that one.
— Lynn Gilmartin (@LynnGilmartin) December 6, 2023
Q: Your love for poker, on and off the felt, is clear. But what are some of your other passions? What does Lynn Gilmartin do when she’s not playing cards or doing interviews?
Lynn: I work on as much film and TV that I can between World Poker Tour stops. But my greatest role of all is mother to my two-year-old son, Bodhi.
Q: And finally, what’s your message to those coming out for the WPT World Championship and those perhaps still weighing their options? Why is coming to the Wynn this December the right choice?
Lynn: There is just so much to do throughout the WPT World Championship festival, for every bankroll, on and off the felt. The entire festival was spectacular last year, and Wynn Las Vegas is extraordinary. I had never seen so many elated faces in a poker room before.
We had a $15m guarantee last year, and now a $40 million guarantee this year… FORTY million! That speaks for itself.
The FOMO was real for those who missed out last year, so I can’t imagine there are many that are still weighing up options. The World Poker Tour has created something really special for players. Something truly grand, on so many levels.