When PokerStars sent out a call for applications to players with Supernova status to join their elite Team PokerStars Online, it was almost a given that the response would be high. Some 500 players threw their hat in the ring for what would amount to a huge boost in their poker career. Spots on the team were limited and only three were given the honour of being official members.
Some poker fans may remember the name of “Katerina289” from the interesting side story of how she started playing poker. As the girlfriend of noted Team PokerStars Online member, Andre Coimbra, she was often mentioned in the latter’s blog when he successfully entered all 100 events of a MicroMillions series. Learning from the pro, Katerina Malasidou has become a strong player in her own right, crushing hyper-turbo SNGs on a regular basis. Her past results make the Greek phenom an obvious choice for inclusion on the team.
Everyone knows that No Limit Texas Holdem is the game to play, but Matthias Brandner, or “Mati312” as he is known online, took another route to poker success. Instead of joining these highly-populated games, Brandner worked hard to become an expert at Badugi and other lowball variations. His study paid off and the Austrian is recognised as a dominant force at the lowball games, even at high stakes. Brandner is also a true success story, climbing from play money games to micro-stake and then to the bigger games.
Yet another form of proof that athletes often make exceptionally good poker players, “LukaSteel” or Luka Kovac, made the transition from competitive skiing to poker and has built up a strong track record of winnings. Focusing on Limit Holdem as his game of choice, Kovac managed to fund his college education through poker and has only made a single deposit in his entire career. Coming from Slovenia, Kovac’s results will surely encourage more central and eastern Europeans to develop their skills and become the next wave of top level competition.
Chris Jonat, the manager of Team PokerStars Online, said that the selection process was quite difficult because of the high number of qualified applicants. In the end, Jonat and PokerStars went with players that offered a wider spectrum of country and game representation. With these three new members, Team PokerStars Online has just become much stronger and created a diverse team that is second to none in the online poker world.