Hello, I am Spyridoula Zerva from PokerLobbygr.com and I’m in Heteroclito Wine Bar in Athens with Katerina Malasidou. Thank you very much for accepting the invitation Thanks for the invitation. We caught the opportunity to meet you since you are in Greece. You came here with Andre Coimbra, who is also a member of Team PokerStars online as far as I know you have some good news to share with us. Yes, we do. I guess this is the best year so far. Everything in professional and in personal side is going pretty well. In 2013 you became the best female blogger in online poker and then, during the beginning of 2014 you joined Team PokerStars Online Could you tell us the story? How did you get involved with poker and how did you got to this level? My boyfriend has been playing professional poker for several years and he decided to teach me how to play. At that time I was working in an accounting department of a Portuguese company and I decided to leave my job in order to invest full time in poker. I play Sit & Go and particularly hyper turbo satellites. Hyper turbo has to do with how fast is the tournament. That means how fast the blinds increase. In my games the blind levels lengths of 3 minutes. The satellite Sit & Go’s offer tickets for bigger buy ins tournaments. I play six max tables and the two first players win a ticket. So it takes out the heads up part of the game because when there are 3 players and one of them lose the other two win the same prize and the game ends. As this is a different format of the game, have you noticed any leaks or strong points in your opponents? Which are the most common? Indeed, it is a quite different format format because the blinds increase very fast and you start with only 10 big blinds In fact it is a game in which most of the times you have to choose between an all in and a fold. You may think that it has to do with luck and most of the people who see this for the first time also think the same way, that everything is a coin flip but actually it’s not like that It needs a lot of strategy and for me that makes it very interesting. Even a small change in your game may have a big effect when you play hundred thousands sit n go’s. Yes, it is a totally different tournament because you don’t play many flops but at the same time is very interesting. In these tournaments variance is huge because all games end in just a few minutes. A month ago we read that you had a huge swing How do you deal with these swings? Well, It has to do with the game you choose. In hyper turbo’s, variance is huge and this is part of the game, so you have to learn how to manage those situations. The more you play the more experience you gain and you learn how to deal with it. How many tables you play at the same time and in which stakes? What is the buy in you choose? I normally play up to 12 tables and stakes between $18 and $74 mid stakes You already knew how it is to be a professional player before you become one. You are a member of team online only for a few months now but you know a lot of things because of Andre. We go to events together such us VIP Club Live Parties. In your blog, we saw some pictures and we thought that you were in poker’s Disneyland. There were poker related events everywhere. How was it? It was really great. If any of you has the chance to go I totally recommend it. It has a lot of fun every time. You can meet people that feels like you work with them every day because you see them in the online tables, but you’ve never seen then in person. It is very nice to meet with people that you already know but you didn’t have the chance to meet them before. There is also a lot of entertainment because obviously PokerStars knows how to organize parties, so yes, it’s perfect. As long as you improve in poker and you become a better player, that’s a good thing, instead of staying at the same level. I don’t want to set goals which are too difficult to accomplish. I mean, I want to become a better player every day, even a little bit. As long as I can achieve that I am satisfied. I have a difficult goal, which is to become a Super Nova elite in the future, that’s the highest VIP Status in PokerStars. When you started you were playing one table. Then you added a second table etc. Which goal do you want to achieve in order to move in higher stakes? You just want to play for example 12 tables and be comfortable in these stakes and then move up? There are no rules. You may earn more money when you play more tables or you may earn more money when you are playing less tables and you can be more focused … There are no limits. You have to find what is best for you. I started playing $1 tournaments at 1 table. Those were the smaller stakes I found. I was playing in those stakes and a while later I moved up to higher stakes. I added a second table and then a third one etc. In order to go from $1 to …$3.75, I think it has to do with bankroll management. Did you have a bankroll at the beginning that you wanted to risk? Yes I started with a fixed amount of money. So you had a limit… Yes of course, you need to have full control. Bankroll management is one of the most important parts of the game. In your games luck is really important because they don’t last long. In the past you were writing in your blog, I quote “I wish you crazy luck in the tables”. Yes, in most posts I wish good luck to everyone. Poker is a game of skill and strategy but there is always a luck factor. Many times the winner of the tournament is not the best player He is lucky and he wins the tournament. It is also a part of poker and it is a nice part Anybody can face, for example, the best player and win When you organize your daily schedule you have to be very careful. You mustn’t spend the whole day in front of the computer or spend the whole day watching tv and not play poker. Discipline is necessary in this part. Do you take time to improve your game and how you do that? Sometimes I replay some of my hands that I wasn’t sure about my choice. I take a close look at those hands when the session ends using ICM, or I discuss them with Andre, or maybe I am thinking a bit more. I think the most important is to discuss with others and take their place in order to think your side and others side. I mean your opponent’s side. It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with your friend’s decision. Only the fact that you try to analyze the hand can help you to improve your game and become a better player. You are a member in Team PokerStars Online and you play poker professionally. Your hobby have become your job. Is this fun or does it become a duty? I definitely made a living from my hobby. Poker is a game that I like it very much, I think it is really interesting and fun. When you play a lot of hours you think it is also a job but I think I combine these two really well. When I play live poker I think it’s more like a hobby. Online is more like a job for me and live poker is a way for having fun. What we need now is to watch Katerina in action.