A Woman to be Admired...
Nancy Todd Tyner
by Barbara O’Hartman
It was a pleasure to see Nancy’s name on one of the leaderboard lists in WSOP Event #3. I was reminded of the very controversial events of 2008 when she won the WPT Ladies event and was at the final table and later, heads up with Vanessa Selbst. While the discussions on the forums
acknowledged the bad behavior of Vanessa, there were plenty of nasty comments about the age and look of Nancy. She just did not fit the acceptable profile of the young guns that dominate the game today.
I remember being so shocked by Selbst’s rude actions and comments….. am assuming that she thought if she could get Nancy one on one, she could just run away with the title. It was not to be.
Nancy just ran over her, was aggressive, focused, tough and fearless. This really put Vanessa on tilt because that was her game plan and did not expect this from the “old lady”. The contrast in these two could not have been more pronounced……NTT was dressed to the nines, feminine, heavily made up and big hair. VS was in a tight tee shirt, short hair and announcing to the world that was not aware, her sexual orientation. Nancy the complete lady, Vanessa the complete ass. Knowing that Nancy was a political consultant and judging by her appearance, it was a good guess as to what her political leanings were…… more tilt!
About a year or so before this WPT event in 2008, Mike Sexton had written about Nancy in his column in one of the poker publications. He told about a woman that had been in one of his boot camp classes and that she was a very interesting person with an interesting background and had the potential to be a really good poker player.
After the WPT event aired, I went online to find out more info on the woman. What I found was really an inspiring story. It was mentioned that Nancy Todd Tyner was a political consultant and while searching, realized that her deep involvement with political campaigns was only a small part of her inspirational and heartbreaking story.
Nancy Todd Tyner is a warrior……..as though politics was not a tough enough business, her personal life is the story of a woman who has had her heart ripped out. She lost her oldest son, Hayden, in 2005 after a lengthy battle to save his life…….an odyssey that you must read in her own
words. She also has younger twins with challenging health issues that require constant attention. After you know her story, you should realize that being a good poker player is a piece of cake compared to her professional and personal life. It is funny the lack of respect that is given to the “mature” players, especially the women in the poker community……but the young, mostly male, players cannot realize how tough, smart, and determined some real life experiences can provide……… I hope none have to experience the extremes that Nancy has lived.