PokerStars 10th Anniversary review: Online wizards cast their spell
Recruitment specialists will tell you that any good vacancy will generate a mountain of applications. Decent jobs are hard to come by, after all. So it was no great surprise that when PokerStars invited players to apply to join the new Team PokerStars Online, the response was staggering.
Get this: two thousand PokerStars players took a shot.
Once the people back at PokerStars HQ had sifted through the sackfuls of applications, only 23 players secured a spot in Team PokerStars Online when it was launched in December, 2009. The group was made up of 20 men and three women, all playing across a range of game disciplines and stakes. Now you are likely to encounter a Team Online player at the PokerStars tables whatever limits you play.
Here was the original 2009 line-up:
1. Andres Alisievicz --- lobojiji
2. Jorge Arias --- JorgeArias
3. Boumaaza Bachir --- Chiren80
4. Anders Berg --- Donald
5. Alvaro Blanco --- VARICO
6. Thomas Boekhoff --- Boku87
7. Diego Brunelli --- vgreen22
8. André Coimbra --- acoimbra
9. Mathew Didlick --- chipstar1
10. Ta-Chih Geeng --- socutiesf
11. Andrew Goetsch --- Kid Nebraska
12. Martha Gonzalez --- marene
13. Keiran Harris --- K_Man2307
14. Steve Jacobs --- stevesbets
15. Randy Lew --- nanonoko
16. Karlo Lopez --- elmagopr
17. Alexey Makarov --- LuckyGump
18. Kristian Martin --- CharismA3
19. Grzegorz Mikielewicz --- DaWarsaw
20. Nichoel Peppe --- NicP
21. Grayson Physioc --- spacegravy
22. Sebastien Sabic --- Seb86
23. Amanda Thomas --- ROXY24
Over the following months and years, the Team would evolve. Some left, others joined. Right now, the group is more formidable than ever.
Take Kevin 'WizardOfAhhs' Thurman. This guy has done so well for himself that when he moved to Canada recently, this was to be his new home.
It's a pretty nice pad, eh? That said, it's still a little smaller than my house, so if Kevin needs somewhere to store some of his stuff, he can always ask. You can see more of Kevin's house here, and read an interview with the man himself here.
Thurman has made millions in PokerStars cash games, and was also famous for amassing three million VIP Player Points in one year - triple the amount required to reach Supernova Elite status!
While Shane 'shaniac' Schleger, a well-known pro, was another to join Team PokerStars Online more recently, signing up in February, 2011, many of those initial 23 names are still with us, and you'll have like heard of some of them.
Take Anders 'Donald' Berg. He joined PokerStars way back in the beginning, 2001, and has three WCOOP bracelets to his name. He's also well known for being PokerStars' first ever WSOP Main Event qualifier! Anyone familiar with our bigger online tournaments will certainly know all about Berg.
Another name that needs little introduction is Randy Lew, otherwise known as nanonoko on PokerStars. He's the multi-tabling king, and In November of 2009 surpassed the $1 million mark in cash game earnings - a feat rarely managed by a grinder who typically plays no bigger than $5/$10 games.
This video documentary says it all about the man and his multi-tabling habits...
For more information, read here for more about Team PokerStars Online.
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We are publishing these daily review articles throughout November as PokerStars gears up to celebrate its 10th Anniversary.