Lindsay Demelo lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Chronic illnesses have led to her being on a permanent medical leave, so she’s at home a lot of time out of necessity, but she doesn’t spend her time alone.

Along with her husband, she runs an AirBnB that has hosted nearly 100 families from countries all around the world. And when she’s not busy learning about other cultures and sharing stories of travel and life with her guests, she’s an active member of the Twitch and PokerStars School communities.

Spin of the Day freeroll winner Lindsay Demelo

“Being home a lot could easily become depressing but playing tourneys, watching various poker streamers, and being connected with some others in the poker community really helps in my quest to stay positive in life,” Demelo told the PokerStars Blog via email. “It brings fun, joy, excitement, and importantly something positive to look forward to. It helps distract from health issues and keeps me setting goals to be a better player and to keep as physically and mentally strong as possible.”

All that time at the PokerStars tables has made for some good results in the past, especially in her favorite tournaments, the micro-stakes Bounty Builders, where she’s made a few final final table appearances in the last month. There have also been deep runs at the local casino and in the PokerStars play money charity tournament. By far the largest field she’s conquered, though, came last month in a Spin of the Day freeroll.

Her friends from the community were railing her when she played and won the freeroll, defeating a field of 10,000 players. The fast structure, poker friends cheering her on, and PokerStars School strategy contributor Dave “TheLangolier” Roemer’s stream pulled up in another window made for a fun experience, she says. “It also helped to keep me from getting too nervous, which would have caused me to tighten up my game and not take spots that were necessary in the process of getting to the final table.”

Demelo says she thinks she played “fairly well” in the freeroll. Like any tournament winner she admits to some luck here and there, such as the hand at the final table where she flopped four of a kind, or being fortunate enough to pick up A♣K♦ against A♠Q♦ on the second hand of heads-up play.

Unlike a lot of winners, she also humbly admits to to making some mistakes along the way — at least partly because she used the freeroll as a chance to work on implementing some of the strategies she’s taken from streamers like TheLango and PokerStars School’s Pete “Carroters” Clarke, and to solidify other strategies she’s already been using on her own.

“Mostly I think that what I learned is the value of having a poker ‘tool belt’ of different strategies to use at different stages of the tourney,” she said.

Every tournament brings new chances to hone those tools more finely. And whatever the result, the community is always there to share in it.

Jason has covered poker since 2005. He lives in Washington state with his wife and two dogs.

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