VEGASMAMA: Jennifer Bloch
Have you ever spent four hours with someone who's in-touch with the entirety of Webster’s Dictionary, immediately recalls the words in the conversation that at are just on the tip of your tongue and requires scientific data for things that don’t seem to add up in her honed & brilliant mind? Someone who can take you around the world recounting their travels that you literally feel in-flight, abuzz as if you drank 5 cups of high-octane-brain-fuel while riding a super jet at the speed of light? You can feel your own interior-synapse-fireworks-show all the while you’re comfy/cozy chillin’ with her on the sofa? And she's humble and self-deprecating and engaging and thrilling?
Yes. I know. You feel it? I did. Meet Jen Bloch.
Part vinyl-cutting, tech-loving craftswoman, part bad-ass, blood dripping actress from Penn Jillette's film Director's Cut, part singer songstress, certified Music Together® instructor and pregnant VEGASMAMA™ just trying to get prepared for her second daughter's June arrival; she's an Electrical Engineer by trade and (former) professional poker reporter by passion who pioneered the extremely rapid task of estimating organized poker scores in real time. Jen is a 4th generation Californian (Palo Alto) and hails from poker playing royalty. Howard Lederer, known as "The Professor" in the poker world and winner of two World Series of Poker bracelets, is married to Jen's Aunt Suzie. You might remember Annie Duke, sister of Jen's "Uncle Howard" & finalist on 2009's Celebrity Apprentice, who was also a World Series of Poker bracelet winner and a published author. Needless to say, VEGASMAMA™ Jen Bloch was exposed to competitive poker playing at an early age and took to it like dried grass to a fire.
This woman of Vegas Royalty is incredibly giving, talented & available to all those around her, and beyond. Are you a Room Mama who needs penguin or letter cut-outs for Teacher Appreciation Week? Call your girl Jen for said custom artwork because, of course, she's decorating her own daughter's classroom door and is happy to help you, too. Need a hand with producing an event? Jen is on her preschool's Night Under The Stars (NUTS) Fundraising Committee and Mitzvah Committee, co-produces events like Mother's Day Brunch and the hugely successful annual NUTS event and, as of this morning, has been officially elected by her mama-peers to be the preschool's PTO President! Mazel Tov to Jen Bloch! She shakes her energy around and sprinkles her knowledge, wisdom & magic to all those around her, and beyond.
Who do you think I've asked to design & custom-cut the lettering for the art show I'm producing next month at Summerlin Library? Yes, your girl Jen Bloch.
THE LOGIC THAT IS JEN BLOCH.
As we're sitting on her sofa, she tells me about her life after college. An Electrical Engineer living in (one of my favorite cities) Seattle, Jen worked for Boeing on a very specific, never-ending project. The POTUS at the time, George W. Bush, required wireless Internet access from his jet. Of course he's going to hire the best and the best was Jen's team. This was not just any Internet access, this is the strongest, toughest, most resistant portal not only for the president & his team but the crew & plane as well. God forbid too much power was drained from one electrical source for the other so the engineers would find the perfect electrical balance. The slightly insane, hair-raising part? These planes were flown by the very few, very wild & very well paid "experimental test pilots", these pilots executed stunts most don't think are possible. Bare-boned with not a lick of eccentric presidential gloss or leathers or mahogany or mini-fridges, these planes felt like an empty tin can slingshot into the sky; Jen & her team would wear five-point harnesses to keep them locked down and stored their drinks in a plastic cooler (also bolstered to the ground). Seattle sits at the northwest boundary of three satellites so the team could get thorough, national readings all while staying close to the city. Thrilling, death-defying and madcap are all words to describe this endeavor. And "43" had more than one jet, he had a fleet that required the same engineered Internet access. Soon after, on New Year's Day Dinner in 2004, Jen & Andy met in Las Vegas while she was visiting her Auntie Suzie Lederer (Poker-pro "Uncle" Howard's wife). And so it began...
Jen is half of the Dynamic Bloch Duo,
and I say this with 100% self-assuredness that anyone who knows the couple and reads this line will catch themselves nodding their heads in a satisfied moment of agreement. There is no Jen without Andy and no Andy without Jen, they travel as a pack and have a seamless way about their union. Perhaps it’s because they’ve been together since 2004? Perhaps it’s because they didn’t get married until 2013, giving them enough time to truly bond before hitching & procreating? Forget soul mate, let's say they’re one another’s pocket aces (or nuts for poker aficionados) and they’ve won the pot. The Blochs really did hit the jackpot with their sweet 3-year old ballerina Keziah (and are trying to keep her from appropriating all the upcoming newborn's swaddles!) and threw her the most incredible birthday bash last weekend. At their house. Jen & Andy did all of the planning. And their baby is less than a month away. #superparents
Andy Bloch has a World Series of Poker bracelet and was part of the infamous MIT Blackjack Team that Hollywood loves to portray as the kids who broke Vegas (I'll have to ask him which character from the movie 21 is based on him). Jen & Andy lived the high-life of high-stakes poker in the 2000’s, were introduced to celebrities because the poker players were the brainiac-maniacs the celebrities wanted to meet and multi-thousand-dollar-comped-dinners in casinos were de rigueur; they traveled the globe together with a deck of cards in one-hand and their love’s in the other, the wild times were favorable to Jen & Andy Bloch.
Online poker was outlawed in 2011 so everything ground to a halt but, before then, they settled in Las Vegas' Canyon Gate (accidentally disturbing their neighbors with live drumming wake-ups because what professional poker player abides by the clock?) and designed & built their dream home on a peak in The Ridges. Each room has a theme (hello artist Invader, Mediterranean sea & a walk in the trees) and, although they’re selling said dream home in lieu of more acreage and kid-friendly details, you’ll find a Care Bears 8-pack in the powder room as a reward to their 3-year old daughter’s potty training efforts. By the HOA code, you can only use indigenous plants on their property but that’s just fine by Jen Bloch standards because who needs the foreign palm trees when said palms bring the non-native scorpions?
Let me break down this red-headed super chick by honoring her logic, her prowess and her badassness.
What would Jen Bloch do?
- Don’t want to trash your dying 8-year, already-bloomed agave plant with a 30’ tall reed that’s pulling the plant from the soil? Give it to our local Las Vegas didgeridoo maker to make the Australian call of the wind instrument, he'll come to your home and saw it right off. Reuse Recyle Reclaim Relive
- She chose a rainbow theme for their 2013 wedding because how can one discriminate against any color?
- Jen lived in Amsterdam in 2009. One afternoon her and her poker buddy, Mandy B, were in a cafe enjoying all that Amsterdam had to offer. Masked men bum-rushed this cafe, they were waving guns in the air and made all the patrons get on the ground under their tables and wait. Jen was not crouching under a table. She told her friend, “we’re all going to get robbed. let them take our purses & money but put your passport & ID in your jacket, you need your passport & ID”. But, like I said, Jen Bloch was not going to get under the table. Of course the head assailant confronted her, confused why she wasn't getting under that table. She then starts speaking Dutch telling him “I don’t speak Dutch! I don’t speak Dutch!” but in true Jen fashion she is speaking Dutch. The masked gunman gets so flustered he calls off the whole operation, pulls out his masked amigos, and hurries into the night with cafe's register loot but evacuates before finishing the robbery; no purses, no cash, no passports, no nothing but a whole lot of wat is er net gebeurd? If I were in that cafe, I would have written Jen Bloch a thank you note for saving us endless headaches & trips to the U.S. Embassy.
- Jen and Andy lived in the West Village of Manhattan in 2010
- Jen & Andy funded a new Nursery School building in Walmer Township, South Africa
- Jen (Creason) was extremely active in the Downtown Las Vegas & The Las Vegas Arts District, First Fridays and singer/songwriter open mic nights
- To know The Bloch Family is to love them, "good people" as my mother would say
mama & papa partaking in "Doll in the Box" Kezi's favorite invented game.
Part 2 with Jen Bloch coming soon...
...she'll answer our VEGASMAMAS™ 11:11 questions, divulge pregnancy tips and we'll feature photos of her talented past as well as Keziah's 3rd birthday party!
My absolute gratitude to my friends Jen & Andy Bloch, sweet Keziah & in-utero-number-two for hosting me in their home and thanks to Jen for taking me on the wild, fascinating ride that is her life. I loved every second.