Bjorn 'Bjoerni89' Schneider joins Team PokerStars Online

teampokerstarsonlinelogo.PNGIf you were a small stakes sit & go player grinding the nine-man, $5 buy-ins, and I said in a couple of years you would be playing $5,000 heads-up matches, you'd think I'd been drinking, right? After all, that would mean either a heroic success rate or a long-lost relative had died and left you a bumper windfall.

But that's exactly what has happened to Bjorn 'Bjoerni89' Schneider, who signs today as the newest member of Team PokerStars Online. As far as I can tell he has not benefited from a family inheritance, but I do know he has shown remarkable skill at the PokerStars tables to rocket up the stake levels.

Schneider, from Gottingen in Germany, now plays almost exclusively $5,000 heads-up sit & go's, and is so prolific that he's on the verge of breaking PokerStars' all-time VPP (VIP Player Points) record set by fellow Team Online member Kevin 'WizardOfAhhs' Thurman. To smash that landmark, the 22-year-old will have to earn more than 3,055,385 VPPs before the end of 2011, and right now he has around 2,700,000 with just over a month to go.

All of which is quite outstanding for a player who started his PokerStars career just two years ago playing $5 nine-man SNGs. Over time he progressed to six-max SNGs and then, at the start of 2011, he began playing $100 heads-up SNGs. Over the past year he's moved up from $100 games to the $5,000 tourneys he now contests, and has even played Team PokerStars Pro Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom in a series of heads-up SNGs.

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Bjorn 'Bjoerni89' Schneider

Schneider is not just a sit & go specialist as he's also found some success in MTTs, including a fourth-place finish in the Sunday Warm-Up for more than $50,000.

And the worrying part for everyone else is that he's constantly looking to fix leaks in his game and add a major title to his name in 2012 .

You'd think all that time at the virtual felt would leave little room for anything else. But Schneider, like other great players such as ElkY, enjoys playing video games like World of Warcraft and Starcraft. Oh, and he's also studying history and philosophy.

Team PokerStars Online now has 26 members. Schneider's appointment follows that of Danish player Mickey 'mement_mori' Petersen, who joined the team in September.

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in PokerStars news