My journey from Counterstrike to poker

Thumbnail image for ps_news_thn.jpgby Charlotte van Brabander
Hi ladies!

I'm Charlotte 'Sjlot' van Brabander and I'm a female gamer. To be more exact, I play Counterstrike. One year ago I was a member of a female gaming team and we went to the World Championship of Gaming.

At this time, I don't have a team anymore. It's very hard to find good female players in Belgium to make a team with. Instead, I'm trying to promote female gaming in the Benelux by doing a lot of shootouts. A shootout is a setup where I challenge guys to play against me--and most of the time I beat them. Beating guys gives me an extremely happy feeling! I always wanted to show boys that girls can be as good as them in "their" male hobbies.
Lately I have found a new love, poker. It's also a very competitive game where I can play against guys (most of the time). Because you have to be 21 to play in casinos here in Belgium and I'm only 20, I have to travel to play live.

I qualified previously to play the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Ladies Luxury Poker Event in Monte Carlo where I went to Vanessa Rousso's bootcamp. It was my first live tournament and Monaco is the place where I fell in love with this new passion. I've also played the main event at the PokerStars UKIPT Dublin and some side-events at Killarney.

ukipt dublin_day 1_charlotte van brabander.jpg

I think poker is very interesting because everyone can play it. From old grand-dads to young girls like me. It's also a very mental game. You have to read people, which isn't that easy because everyone reacts differently when they have good cards or when they're bluffing. One thing I remember from Vanessa's lesson is that men cannot swallow when they are bluffing. It's funny but it's true. Try to pay attention to that and you'll see it can help you out in some situations where you have to make a hard decision.

Beside those live tourneys I love to play MTTs online. I play on PokerStars. I try to play the PokerStars Women's Poker League as much as possible. I think it's a good field for all you ladies because you have a lot of different girls who are playing it. It's crazy, but when you're playing that league you'll notice that girls aren't that tight at all. Contrary to that, they are even more aggressive than male poker players. I like that! We have to use our image as "tight-female players" at the table. You always have to mislead people in poker. When you are a tough aggressive female it is nice because boys will think you will be a wacko and a very aggressive player. Then you have to tighten up. The same in reverse.

Anyway, school started today. I'm studying criminology in combination with law at the University of Ghent. I can't wait for the weekend to begin because I'm heading off to London!! I'm going to play the Ladies Luxury Poker Event--London on Saturday . I'm preparing myself by reading some chapters in Power Hold'em Strategy by Daniel Negreanu.

See you at the tables girls! I'm gonna play some poker now, writing about it makes me wanna play!

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in PokerStars news