Women in Poker: Chellie Campbell by Patricia Chavira

Chellie Campbell

I had the most amazing time in the Big O tournament at Hollywood Park Casino this Saturday. I made the final table with two other women, Chellie Campbell and Lulu Flippin, who ended up in second and first, respectively. As we played down to four players, I chatted with both women, which inspired me to write this article.

As I have played more Omaha in the past year, I noticed fewer women seem to play this game than hold’em, so when we got down to two tables, it was great playing with two other women. We chatted with the dealer Leslie, and were having fun. We only had to lose one more player before the final table, and it just happened to be the hand Chellie was in.

She won the hand at showdown, and her male opponent wasn’t happy. He kept berating her, and I finally had to tell him to stop criticizing her. He was knocked out in the next hand.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Chellie after the tournament after Lulu told me how accomplished Chellie is in life and in poker.

Chellie started her career as an actress. While working at Walt Disney World in Florida, she noticed some of the men would bring their lunch and play poker in the barn where they rehearsed. Because she had never played poker before, she watched them once before she sat in the game. Naturally, she won all the money the first time she played; she was bitten by the poker bug.

When she moved back to Los Angeles, she played with friends in home games. They would go to Vegas every January and June to play poker. She honed her game by playing, reading books and watching old VHS tapes of the World Series of Poker.

When Hollywood Park Casino opened in 1994, Chellie played 7-Card Stud for two years before moving on to hold’em. She played that for six months before being introduced to Omaha by her friend Mitch.

When she sold her bookkeeping business in 1994 to teach financial stress reduction workshops, it gave her more freedom to play poker. Today you can find Chellie playing Omaha in L.A cardrooms. She is the redhead with the bright smile.

She has written numerous books including her latest “From Worry to Wealthy: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Success without the Stress.” Visit www.chellie.com for more information on this inspirational woman.

Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in poker. She writes a column called the “Poker Scene” for Gaming Today. Follow her on Twitter @pinkchippoker.


The New Hollywood Park Casino: Las Vegas Comes to Inglewood by Patricia Chavira


Card rooms all over Los Angeles have been stepping up their game the past year, and every time I went to see the latest opening–whether it was new $50-million hotel at the Bicycle Casino last December or the $90-million expansion of the Gardens Casino in April—I was impressed each time.

But I have to admit, when I walked into the new Hollywood Park Casino as part of a press preview last week, I actually said, “Wow.” I have played poker in card rooms and casinos in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for the past ten years, and Hollywood Park Casino has surpassed them all in luxury.

A Grand Entrance


From the moment I walked through the all-glass entrance into the sun-bathed lobby with water cascading down each wall to my left and my right, I immediately felt I had stepped into a high-end Las Vegas property.

The first thing you see is not the gaming floor but rather a variety of dining and entertainment options. The Raise Lounge lives up to its name as it raises the level of luxury you would usually find in an L.A. card room. With tvs and plush seating throughout, this new component of the casino is sure to draw in new customers.

Right next door is the Century Bar & Grill, a sports bar and restaurant where concertgoers waiting for a show at the Forum can eat and drink before they watch their favorite performer on stage. And they may just be tempted to come back to play their favorite table game.

Designed by San Diego-based JCJ Architecture, the new casino spans 110,000 square feet and includes 125 gaming tables, a 20,000 square-foot simulcast wagering facility with a private bar called the Turf Club and a luxurious high-limit room for Cal Games called the Golden Dragon.

But what is unique about this property is the artwork throughout the property from the signature piece at the entrance to the locally-commissioned photography in the Century Bar & Grill.

Sitting on 11 acres right next to the City of Champions Revitalization project, Hollywood Park Casino is poised to become the leader in California gaming when it opens to the public in mid-September.

With football fans coming from all over the nation to the future home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, the City of Angels finally has a modern, upscale casino that we are proud to show the world.

Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in poker. She writes a column called the “Poker Scene” for Gaming Today. Follow her on Twitter @pinkchippoker.


Playing Poker with a Little Help from My Friends by Patricia Chavira

Playing Poker With Friends

After the World Series of Poker concludes in mid-July, the next series I always look forward to is the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino which starts in late July. My husband and Gaming Today columnist Robert Turner wrote about its history last week, and it is still favorite on the poker after 20 years.

I was fortunate to play Event 3: $200,000 guarantee No-Limit Hold’em. For once, my husband railed me as I played late into the night on Day 1B on July 30. I made Day 2, but the problem was it was on Monday, August 1 at 1 p.m.

I have a job across town, and with L.A. traffic, was not able to get to the Bike until nearly 4 p.m. But I was happy to get a call from Robert as I was stuck in a traffic jam that I had made the money without even being there!

I had less than 10,000 chips when I finally sat down, so I decided to gamble on my third hand as I was going to be blinded out anyways and beat Ace-King with my Queen-Three when I called out for a three, and the poker gods obliged by putting a three on the flop.

The next hand I had King-Eight and went all in and made a full house but was beaten by a bigger full house. But I had a great time getting to that point. My table on Saturday was so much fun; I haven’t had that much fun at the poker table in a long, long time, which got me to thinking—what happened to the excitement of this game I love so much?

We can debate what happened to poker, but as I only have one hundred words left, I will say this. My brother, who works in a hospital, sparked my love of poker with his lively home games. He would have a mix of players who came to his house to play, and for a $20 buy-in, I made $200 and thought, this is easy, and just like that, I was bitten by the poker bug.

Of course, as anyone who has played for any length of time will tell you, that was simply beginners luck, but I look forward to a lifetime of playing poker with my friends. How about you?

Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in poker. She writes a column called the “Poker Scene” for Gaming Today. Follow her on Twitter @pinkchippoker.