All Star Week: Challengers sharpening their Skates

allstarweek_thn.jpgWith only two days and ten matches left in PokerStars All Star Week, the All Star Challengers are down 14-11 to Team PokerStars Pro. They will need a good showing today to have a shot at the title tomorrow.

On Saturday, the Challengers will be without one of their top players, psimalive. Derek "Skates" Anderson, aka psimalive, switched placs with team member VOLCANO360

"I will be recording music with my band this weekend," he said.

Don't take his dedication to music as a lack of dedication to the All Star Challengers. His record in All Star week is 2-1 and and he's keen to see his team pull out the win this weekend.

Skates, as most of his real life poker friends know him, got into All Star Week through the Supernova Elite qualifier.

"The Supernova Elite qualifier tournament was incredibly tough, and the daily selection tournaments were even tougher," he said. "I believe PokerStars did a great job picking a strong and diverse All-Star Team to take on the Pros."


Skates is an online heads up no-limit hold'em specialist. In other words, he is a ringer. He made easy work of Team Pro Alexander Kravchenko in the first round. When his next match came around, Skates met his nemesis.

"ElkY has a history of destroying me in heads-up matches," Skates said. "We've played upwards of 50 games against each other at the $550 +20 and $1100 + 30 HUSNG levels, and he has certainly gotten the best of me."

Afterward Skates couldn't decide if he'd made some bad decisions or ElkY had been smacked with the deck. Either way, the result was the same. ElkY won and Skates had to look forward to his next match with Humberto Brenes.

Before the touurnament, Skates said, "I am looking forward to taking down The Shark himself. I just gotta play my game and not let my match versus ElkY shake my confidence!"

The Challenger did just that. He finished off Brenes and scored the eleventh win for his team. It's the last victory his team has claimed. Now he and the rest of the Challengers have to get to work if they want to have any chance of taking over the lead.

Saturday brings some new Team PokerStars Pro faces to the table and one new game.

Victor Ramdin Vs VOLCANO360 (NLHE)
Steve Paul-Ambrose Vs Sumpas (NLHE)
Greg Raymer Vs Canuck (Limit O8)
Humberto Brenes Vs kAmIkAdZeEe (NLHE)
Joe Hachem Vs 666 INRI (NLHE)

You can catch any of these matches under EVENTS--SPECIAL in the PokerStars tournament lobby.

Good luck to both teams this weekend.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news