Don’t look now, but it looks like Ashley Frank (aka PokerfaceAsh) might just be on a summer heater. The rising star was already making a bigger name for herself, and now it looks like she’s gunning for a new title. Frank’s recent finish in the WSOP $1,500 Monster Stack event was only the latest evidence.
Frank narrowly missed the championship trophy at the Lodge Ladies event where she finished fourth. She won a WSOP Circuit ring at the Ladies Event in Tulsa, OK. She secured a $300 Six-Max win at the Run Good Poker Series, setting a then career-high of $23,343.
If she’s not yet on fire, she’s starting to smolder.
Frank’s arrival at the annual WSOP in Las Vegas marked a turning point in her young poker journey. Navigating through a colossal field of 8,317 entries in the Monster Stack event, Frank zig-zagged past bad beats and doubled up in crucial spots, ultimately securing 16th place and banking $56,980 – her highest score to date.
“I got a little taste of what it takes to make a bracelet run,” Frank said. “Hopefully this deep run is the first of many. I’m so happy.”
All-American poker vlogger, YouTuber, and ambassador
Frank’s poker prowess has not gone unnoticed by her peers and fans. With her effervescent personality and entertaining posts on social media, she has garnered a significant following. Frank’s YouTube channel has amassed 35,000+ subscribers and 1.7 million views, while on Instagram, Frank captivates over 15,000 followers with her life in the day of a poker pro snapshots. She also recently signed on as an ambassador for the popular poker app, PokerBros.
What makes Frank’s rise even more remarkable is the fact that she turned professional less than a year ago and just began taking tournament poker seriously these past few months. Her discipline and competitive spirit–honed through her days as a former All-American college basketball star–have translated into success on the felt.
PokerOrg’s Craig Tapscott talked with Frank this morning to discuss her thoughts on her amazing Monster Stack deep run, her game’s growth, and her insights for women new to poker.
Craig Tapscott: It’s only been a few hours since you finished the Monster Stack event and your celebration dinner last night. How do you feel?
Ashley Frank: To be truthful, a little tired. Yet I’m feeling both extremely grateful and also feeling the sting of coming that close to so much money. But I feel like I played my absolute best and have no regrets whatsoever.
CT: What was the most thrilling part of your march to the final 18 with $1.6 million up top?
AF: I think the most exciting part was winning so many all-ins deep into day four. I couldn’t believe it!
CT: What has been your experience so far overall at the WSOP since you arrived?
AF: So far, it’s been pretty standard in the sense of firing a bunch of bullets and cashing in a few events before this deep run in the Monster.
CT: It also sounds like you’re feeling very confident about your game?
AF: I do. I feel like I’m playing the best I’ve ever played in my career. I’ve been in the lab studying and improving various aspects of my game. The results have been I tend to run deeper now more often. But what comes with that is less cashes, because now I care much less about squeaking into money.
CT: When you say working in the lab, how would you define that?
AF: I’ve definitely worked with the GTO programs and applications and used some solvers to review some spots. I’ve also been working with my one-on-one coach, Fausto Valdez.
CT: The Monster Stack event was a big event. You navigated through 8,300 players to bink sixteenth. What’s your advice to players participating in these huge fields?
AF: I think my best advice is to just focus who’s on the table you’re at. You’re only playing against the players at your table. You’re not playing the entire field. I think it’s important to just focus solely on what’s in front of you. If you can do that you just literally take it hand by hand and spot by spot and decision by decision. If you can do that, you will find yourself navigating through the field, and before you know it, you’ll be down to the final couple of tables.
CT: You came to my attention a few months back as I found your entertaining vlogs on YouTube and IG. What inspired you to create those platforms?
AF: I think when I got into poker, I felt like something was missing. I used to be a musician and I used to make music and create things. I was kind of missing that creative outlet.
CT: What players inspired you that were already out there blogging?
AF: My good friends, Jaman Burton and Andrew Neeme. They really tried hard to persuade me to start one. They said, “We need a female vlogger, and we could really use you in this space. I think you’d be great at it.” So, I ended up giving it a shot.
CT: It’s worked out in more ways than you can imagine, I’m sure. You’ve amassed a huge following in such a short time.
AF: It has been an amazing ride. I love sharing my journey.
Keeping her mental poker game sharp
CT: How do you keep your mental game sharp and on point?
AF: I’ve worked with a mindset coach, Lily Newhouse. She’s fantastic. I also work out quite regularly. I think that fitness and mental health have a big correlation. It helps me feel strong and fit. For myself, that equates to more confidence at the tables. Another thing I do is positive affirmations in the morning to start my day.
CT: You’re obviously a very competitive and disciplined individual. I wasn’t too surprised to see you were a college basketball All-American.
AF: I was pretty successful at basketball my whole life. And I really wanted to take it to the next level. But I got injured. Then I decided to stay around the sport as a head assistant coach at a college. But yeah, the short answer to your question is I’ve always been very competitive.
CT: I had read that basketball led you to poker. How so?
AF: I actually found out about poker in college while on the basketball team. We had game nights and bonded while playing poker. I literally got absolutely hooked and fell in love with the game.
CT: You’ve recently moved from Vegas to Texas. What are the most challenging things you’ve faced when sitting down to play in a tournament there?
AF: The biggest challenge I’ve faced in Texas is adjusting to the preflop action. A lot of times there isn’t an amount most players who won’t call to see a flop. You often find yourself in what we call “Texas Heads Up” which means five players to the flop. (laughs) So, tightening up and picking spots, or raising bigger preflop is an adjustment I’ve had to make.
CT: Talk a little bout the polarizing styles you run into from different players at the table.
AF: In women’s and men’s events I often find two most common play styles. The first, is the loose passive player. Someone who will call almost any raise preflop and fold if they don’t connect with the board. The easiest way to exploit these opponents is to assert aggression. You can open up your range and isolate these players. The other most common type of player I encounter is the loose-aggressive player. Against these types you generally don’t want to bluff too often. So, pick your spots carefully against these players and tighten up a bit. Seems simple but these adjustments are key to beating soft fields.
Playing poker as a woman in 2023
Craig Tapscott: Women entering the poker scene lately is growing so fast. I love to see it. But many women are trepidatious when they sit down to play at a casino. What’s the best way for women new to the game to approach playing live?
Ashley Frank: I think for the most part the poker community as a whole is very welcoming. But for a female who is new to the game sitting down at the tables for the first time can be terrifying. I remember my first time sitting down to play at a casino. I wasn’t intimidated by all the men I was surrounded by but rather making sure I was doing things correctly. I think it’s important to have a good grasp of knowing when it’s your turn, posting your blinds, etc. But, if you’re ever not sure, it’s always a great idea to ask the dealer and they will be more than happy to help you.
CT: What’s your goal with poker over the next few years?
AF: I will continue to intertwine my content creation with my daily travels and ups and downs. I see it kind of as going hand in hand for now. I feel like more of a content creator sometimes then a poker player. And sometimes I feel more like a poker player than a content creator. (laughs) I think having both of these creative and competitive outlets are good for me. I see myself continuing to do this for a very long time.
Follow Ashley Frank on YouTube @pokerfaceash, IG @pokerface_ash, and on Twitter @pokerface_ash_