2007 World Series: Like Peas in a Pod-- Shawn "sprstoner" Glines and Kevin "lucko21" O'Brien
by Craig Cunningham
As PokerStars players progress and move up levels, some of the best players have learned a great secret that gives them an edge in their progress. They find new friends to regularly confide in to pick apart their game.
PokerStars qualifiers Shawn "sprstoner" Glines and Kevin "lucko21" O'Brien talk online daily, working through hands, railing one another in tournaments, or sifting through data to find ways to improve. It is a common trait among players rapidly improving their game.
"We're both members of a private forum, as well as talk all the time," said Shawn. "We'll support each if we're deep in a tournament."
Shawn has lived in Nevada for seventeen years, moving from Carson City to Las Vegas in 1995. He has played more MTT's as the World Series of Poker approached. His core game is SNG's. "I play probably twenty to thirty a day.
At the PokerStars Supernova Party, Shawn and Kevin arrived fashionably late, just as the chocolate fountain was being scooped away. "This is why I love Stars," said Shawn. "They totally take care of their players. One time I'd been on this bad run, and I emailed customer service. I told them something like, 'I play a ton on your site, and I keep getting beat on your site, and I'm getting sick of it. Is there anything you can do about it?' I get this email back within a few minutes that says, 'Dear sprstoner, we've reviewed your previous play and know that you have had favorable results. We're sorry about the recent bad run, but you should come out of it soon.' I've tried to get customer service on real issues at other sites before, and it takes forever for anyone to even respond to me."
Kevin is more of a cash game player, although his aggressive style suits him well in tournaments. The computer programmer from New Jersey was excited about his starting table this year. "I've got a very juicy table," he said. "I've got maybe two or three players at the table, and one of them is already tilting. He raised pre-flop, a guy called, and an ace hit on the flop. He continuation bet the flop, the guy called him, then a blank hit the turn. He checked, and when the guy bet, he slammed the cards onto the table. It's the best table I've ever had at the World Series."
Shawn was still steaming a bit at the first break. "I raised it to 1k pre-flop, this guy calls. I hit a set of queens and make it 2.5k, and he calls again. He ends up catching his flush with 9c-7c on the river, and I stacked him. I've only showed down good hands, what does he put me on?"
Shawn and Kevin chatted a bit more, and the hand had disappeared from Shawn's mind. They headed back into the Amazon Room, ready to wreak havoc at their tables and talk about it later.
Shawn and Kevin have had a good few hours. Shawn is up to 40,275 as he brushed off his bad hand. Kevin's had the big surge, jumping up to 56k and the table chip lead shortly after the third level started. "I made the nuts on the turn, and I checked it on the river," he said. Kevin plays an ultra-aggressive game when he has chips, much in the manner of Jason "strassa2" Strasser.