Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Karina relocated with her family to St. Petersburg when she was 9 months old. It was a lucky day when her father, a full colonel in the armed forces, was transferred to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. As a kid, she tagged along while her mother who played poker and the exquisite little girl became a favorite of casino bosses. She had star quality even then and dreamed of a life in show business especially after she was named Miss Photogenic in the Miss World Nevada pageant, but after high school graduation, Karina enrolled in college with a political science major.
She had to leave school to help out in her mother’s jewelry store and Chinese restaurant. It turned out to be a stroke of good luck. Visiting her old poker buddies, she discovered her own natural ability for the game and was soon in competitive play.
For the first year of her professional career, she played seven-card stud, but in 1997 with Texas Hold ‘em becoming a popular, publicized high stakes event, Karina wasted no time segueing her game. Her beauty was both an asset and a liability at first as she entered the male dominated poker scene. Before long she fine tuned her skills and buried the battle of the sexes as she started acing male opponents with her talent.
Her meteoric tournament career included wins in Arizona and Las Vegas, and final table appearances in major tournaments all over the world including, Late Night Poker – Cardiff, Wales, LA Poker Classic- Commerce, CA, Ultimate Poker Challenge, Las Vegas, NV. In 2003 and 2004, she finished fourth at the ladies World Series of Poker events. Karina Jett also conquered male-oriented cash games and is one of the top women players in the world.
It was a mutual friend who introduced Chip and Karina at a poker tournament in Mississippi. After a whirlwind five week romance, they married in true Las Vegas style at the Little White Chapel complete with an Elvis impersonator. The union of these two pros has become one of the most powerful alliances in the poker world. They made history at the London Open in 2005 when they became the only husband and wife team to ever reach the final table of a $10,000 championship event‚Äù with a 2 million dollar prize pool. The couple’s latest and proudest accomplishment is the birth of their daughter Athena.
Chip had no regrets that his wife went into labor and had to leave the Four Queens tournament when she was chip leader. They wouldn’t have missed that experience for the world. What makes this couple a phenomenon in their own right is the extraordinary bench mark successes they have achieved both individually and as partners. For Karina, the best is yet to come as Jett Poker, Inc. reaches new heights and is breaking all speed limits in poker’s entrepreneurial fast lane.