Injuries can come with major setbacks. But for Deborah Vanneste, an injury ended up changing her life. Vanneste was on leave from the Canadian Naval Reserves recovering from an injury and decided to give online poker a shot to pass the time.
“I deposited onto PokerStars to Celebrate New Year’s that year,” says Vanneste, who lives on Prince Edward Island, Canada. “In my first week playing online poker I won a seat to the Vanessa Rousso boot camp and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament.”
On that trip, Vanneste was introduced to poker legends like Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, and Bertrand “ Elky” Grospellier. She was hooked by the poker experience.
Meet the QueenBee
If her name doesn’t sound familiar, then “QueenBeePoker” might ring a bell. She’s a Twitch poker streamer on and has almost 7,000 followers.
Vanneste plays poker online weekly and started streaming poker after seeing Jaime Staples on Twitch.
“I thought there would be a good opportunity for streaming some low stakes at the same time representing women in poker,” she says.
Streaming brought some luck to her early on in the game. On just her second live stream, Vanneste won a PokerStars MicroMillions title live on Twitch.
The QueenBee currently has over $150,000 in online tournament cashes, including two titles in the recent MicroMillions.
Some of her notable online cashes include:
- $3.30 PokerStars MicroMillions (2014) – 1st, $12,685
- $8.80 PokerStars MicroMillions Pot Limit Omaha 6-Max (2015) – 1st, $3,517
- $210 GGPoker Bounty Hunter Special (2021) – 2nd, $2,138
- $82 partypoker Powerfest PKO (2020) – 5th, $2,323
Final Table of The Andy Invitational – am honored and in great company – good luck lads! <3 pic.twitter.com/mIjMjL1Lad
— QueenBeePkr (@QueenBeePE) July 30, 2021
Staying a busy bee
Vanneste currently considers poker a hobby, not a profession. Besides being a mom and a poker player, she has a day job and is pursuing some educational goals.
“I currently work full time with Veterans Affairs,” she says. “I am back at university at the moment, pursuing my bachelor’s of business and public administration degrees.”
The QueenBee feels like her stream stands out because she isn’t the typical Twitch streamer.
“I think representing women in poker sets me a bit apart, especially being mature,” she says. “Also the diversity of games I play, I love adding some mixed games and PLO into the lineup.”
Live poker goals
While she plays mostly online, Vanneste would like to play more in a live setting. She has achieved some success at brick and mortar casinos however.
In 2017, she was able to attend the Run It Up Reno IV, hosted by Jason Somerville. The QueenBee won a PokerStars satellite for only $27 and punched her ticket to the event.
At the series she secured some nice cashes and a win as well. She took the top spot in a $125 Triple Stud Six-Max event for $2,625. She also notched two more cashes.
“Getting to play with Jason Somerville was a dream,” she says. “Also bluffing him, showing the bluff, and going on to win felt pretty good too!”
Travel in Canada has been restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vanneste feels the positive side of this situation is that it’s created a mini online poker boom in the country. She still wants to play live and plans on traveling when it’s safe to do so.
“I want to incorporate a trip to Vegas once per year for the World Series of Poker as I have never been yet,” she says.
Vanneste wants that schedule to start soon. The Queen hopes to add some gold.