OLIVE PRESS webmaster Kate Langshaw is thankfully used to the late nights of the media from her poker tournament days in Las Vegas.
Most of you readers won’t know me but I have worked at the Olive Press for six years skulking under the bonnet. I’m the one that keeps the website ticking along, delivering the news to your social accounts and email inboxes.
Grinding the nuts and bolts making sure everything online is running smoothly. Yes, it’s my fault for those lovely adverts you all love to click through so much!!
I have lived in Javea, on the Costa Blanca for eight years and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Well, how did I get here?!?
It’s certainly been quite a journey and a challenging one at that and I definitely have always battled through as what would generally be described as a ‘man’s world’.
I started university in England a few years later than everyone else in my early 20’s. A monotonous job at the time kicked me into action wanting to do more with my life and landed myself a place on a computer software engineering course. I only just about knew how to turn on my TV at this point and was way in over my head.
There weren’t many women on the course and at some points I was the only one in the class. It was definitely a challenge, more so that most of the class were fresh out of college with a lot of programming experience.
Working three part time jobs on the side I managed to excel through two courses and graduate with an honours degree.
From there I set up my own website design and development company, working from home and taking on new clients. Working for yourself takes great motivation. Not only just to get up in the morning but to continue a successful business you must always continue to learn and improve your skills. Provide your clients with a good service, reasonable costs and complete in a timely manner.
As what started as a weekend hobby led to 15 years of playing semi-professional poker alongside my web business.
I got sponsored to play tournaments all around the world, in Las Vegas, on Caribbean cruises, even underground games in the heart of Budapest (not sure how I got out of that one alive!). You really do learn to have your wits about you and you meet many characters along the way.
Being a woman in poker definitely had its advantages and disadvantages. For one you needed to be very thick skinned, ignore the foul mouthed, baboon like table behaviour and just focus on stockpiling the chips while they are swinging from the trees. A quick wink here and there would also stop your stack from slipping.
I would say as a general rule the biggest downside to a male poker player’s game is his ego. Once rattled then down fall your chips. However they tend to be more fearless than the female players, take more of a gamble at times and that is usually how you hit the big bucks! I always made a tidy wage but never quite reached the stars.
Throughout all this I also trained weekly at a Thai Boxing gym, bashing sweaty boys around the ring covered in Tiger oil is a great way to eliminate stress at the end of a hard week. I always thought it was important to be able to defend yourself if ever needed, and even build the confidence just to say NO.
So after a move to Spain, for no other reason than ‘why not?’, I have continued my web business and built a great new client base, and also created a property business online which has now been going two years.
I am now a single mother and my son was born here in Spain, it’s been quite a challenge juggling work and raising a child. It certainly changes your priorities and now my only focus is that I hope I am a positive role model and an inspiration to him.
- International Women’s Day: For one female runner, a prize jamon came to symbolise inequality in sport
- Woman at the helm: Introducing new digital editor at The Olive Press