American professional poker player Cycalona “Clonie” Gowen was one of the first major sponsored poker players in the history of online poker. She is based in Dallas, Texas.
Clonie was born in Florida, and grew up in Kiowa, Oklahoma. Her first name was inspired by being born during a powerful storm in Oklahoma. When she was 15, the beautiful Gowen won Miss Teen McAlester, Oklahoma, and as a teenager moved to Corsicana, Texas, where she was a member of the varsity basketball team and placed seventh in state high jump.
Gowen was introduced to poker by her boyfriend’s father, and started playing while living in Dallas, when she would drive to the closest legal poker rooms in Shreveport, Louisiana on the weekends to play poker. She earned national recognition when she followed up her Top 10 finish at the World Poker Tour Costa Rica Classic with a win at the WPT Ladies’ Night event in 2003.
In addition to her prowess on the green felt, she has also served as a guest commentator for the Ultimate Poker Challenge, The Gaming Club World Poker Championship and the 888.com Women’s Poker UK Open. She is also an accomplished writer and was a regular columnist for All In magazine. She frequently hosts tournaments and charity events and has been a partner in a poker school. Her appearances on the NBC television program Poker After Dark, earned her a $120,000 first place prize during “Ladies Week” in Week 10 and again during Week 17. She is one of only two players, the other being Johnny Chan, to win three Poker After Dark titles.
Gowen was formerly a member of Team Full Tilt at Full Tilt Poker, an online poker site formerly based in Aruba. In November 2008 she filed suit in Nevada court against Tiltware LLC, the software company associated with Full Tilt, asserting breach of contract among other things. She sought out damages of $40 million, and eventually lost the case.
Clonie’s total live tournament winnings exceed are in the seven figures.