How did you become a member of PokerStars Team Pro Online? If had to make a list of the all questions people ask me, that would definitely be among the top three.
I’ve been familiar with Team Online since its creation in 2010 because my husband, André Coimbra, was one of its first members. Back then I was taking my first baby steps in the game. I accompanied my husband in his various poker trips and felt quite starstruck whenever I was around big poker players. Soon, I quit my 9-to-5 job and decided to chase the dream: the life of a professional poker player. The seed was already there, but when the time came to meet the rest of my husband’s teammates my interest was sparked even more!
I mean there I was, a small/mid-stakes grinder having dinner with some of the greatest minds of poker! I was surprised at how easy-going they were. I liked each and every one of them, because apart from great poker players they also had great personalities. Conversations with them were never boring, regardless of whether the subject was poker or something else.
Fast forward to some years later to when I was making a living out of Poker. During Team Online week in 2013 I heard that PokerStars was searching for new members and was accepting applications from players. I filled in the online application – not because I really thought I would get in but because I thought “What have I got to lose?” I hit the “Submit” button and forgot all about it.
And I really mean I forgot all about it because a couple of months went by and I had no news. But then all of a sudden I got an e-mail from the Team Online manager saying that I was among the final candidates being considered, and that I had to answer some additional questions. I swear to you the mail was in very simple English but I had to re-read it a couple of times to fully understand it (I also asked my husband to read it and verify that I had understood well, for good measure). A couple of months later my joining PokerStars Team Pro Online was announced in public.
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It has been a great journey ever since. I’ve been to places, and met people, that I wouldn’t have had it not been for Team Pro Online. I’ve interacted with hundreds of players both on and off the online felt, shared my story and my poker experiences, and hopefully sparked some interest in them the same way that Team Online pros did with me when I was starting out. I truly enjoy being an ambassador for this wonderful game and for what I consider to be the best poker site.
Another thing that I’ve gained from being on the Team is friends.
Even though we live thousands of kilometers away from each other, we Team Pro Online members have almost daily interactions online. It can be because we’re working on some PokerStars project, or because we’re helping each other out with poker-related things, or maybe we’re simply having a chat. Either way, there’s a strong feeling of camaraderie.
When André and I got married last summer we invited the entire Team Online to our wedding and were fortunate to have some of them with us on our special day. Needless to say when we all get together in one of the Team Online meetings, a live tournament or anywhere else, it’s like a big party!
Katerina “katerina289” Malasidou is a member of Team PokerStars Pro Online