Mid-States Payroll Administrator Jennifer Jones has led anything but an ordinary life.
Jones, who joined the Mid-States team in April 2017, has spent time as a truck driver and professional poker player. She has recently started competing in pool tournaments, and to add to her interesting history, Jones’ grandmother was a professional wrestler from 1946 to 1955. She was known as the Blonde Bomber and can be found in the Professional Wrestler’s Hall of Fame in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. On Dec. 1, 1979, Jones’ grandma (now 88-years-old) walked Hulk Hogan down to the ring at a special wrestling event.
“She was always athletic,” Jones said of her grandma. “Not a typical, normal woman for her era. That’s probably where I get it from.”
Jones knew she wanted to be a truck driver at a young age, not a very typical career choice for a young woman, but she always felt like since her grandma succeeded at something that wasn’t very traditional, that she could do it to.
Her years of truck driving afforded her some cool experiences. While hauling music equipment for bands, she got to meet and attend concerts of those like Lonestar and Insane Clown Posse. Lonestar was her favorite. The guys were so nice, they even flew Jones family out to visit her when she got homesick.
On one occasion during her time as a truck driver, Jones had to deliver a load of poker chips to a casino in Las Vegas. She explained that when delivering casino chips, you don’t just pull up to a dock and drop a load, you basically have a security team with you the entire time. On this load, Jones had to back into a building and snake through the driveway to get to the location where the chips were to be dropped. It took her 30-minutes to do so. When she got out of the truck, she learned that the previous fastest time was 2.5-hours.
Impressed with her abilities, the casino suggested she participate in a semi-backing competition. The casino put her up in a hotel for the week and sponsored her. Jones took first place in the 2006 competition.
It was at truck stops that Jones learned how to play poker. After all, the drivers had to do something to pass the time when they were snowed in.
Jones loves for poker started after a night out with a friend at Ho-Chunk Casino. While Jones normally stuck to slots and table games, her friend wanted to play Texas Hold ‘Em, so they got in on a small game. Jones ended up winning.
After playing for a while, Ho-Chunk Casino contacted Jones and not only invited her to play in a tournament, but offered to pay her buy-in fee.
“I was so nervous,” she said. “… It was a lot faster of a speed.”
Despite her nerves, Jones took second place out of 100 players. In fact, she has always cashed in tournaments, meaning she has always placed fifth or higher. The largest pot she ever won was $125,000.
Even though she had done well playing poker for about four years, Jones gave it up about a year ago after a stinging second place finish in a massive 500-person tournament. She’s starting to get the itch to play again though.
And maybe that itch came, at least a little bit, from her latest hobby: shooting pool. In February, Jones started learning how to play pool from a professional pool player – her boyfriend. Within a couple months, she was competing in tournaments and placing first and second place right off the bat. Although the season breaks for the summer, she will return to playing in mid-September.
It might be time to place a bet on Jones again.