Lights, camera, poker
Between live tournaments, doing commentary for German TV, and coaching players, it's been a crazy year. But the highlight for me was becoming a father for the second time. My older daughter is 22 months old and my little one is six months old now. It's been a really beautiful experience but they certainly keep me busy. I may even have to miss some EPTs in the next few months because my family is very important to me. I will make time to play the PokerStars Snowfest in Austria, though, which is one of my favorite events, combining Poker and Skiing.
I've also been hosting my own poker talk show. It is produced for the web by a startup company in Berlin and I happened to study at the same small management university as some of the producers. The school is quite small and well-respected, so when you come out of there and become a poker player, you're a legend. I'm by far the only one from my university to become a poker player so naturally they came to me when they were looking for a host. The show is basically me talking to a guest for about twenty minutes. I've had a lot of top German pros on the show with me, including Dominic Nitsche, who is doing really well this year. I also had on Jan-Peter Jachtmann before he won the PLO World Championship at the WSOP as well as my good friend and fellow PokerStars.de Team Pro George Danzer who has had a 2nd and a 3rd place at the Series this year, ever so narrowly missing the bracelet. I've also hosted a number of German poker coaches, authors, and a specialist on tells and psychology. Aside from talking with guests, I offer advice to newer players on everything from strategy to traveling tips. I enjoy doing the show immensely. Basically I get paid and applauded to talk about poker with really interesting people and that's fine by me!
I think hosting the talk show has made me even more passionate about poker. Over the last few years I've really worked hard again on my game by discussing hands with other players and really dissecting coaching videos. Not only judging by my results, I've gotten a lot better and people have told me I've really grown as a player in the last year. It's always nice to hear, especially from people you respect.
I'm also excited to be doing EPT commentary this season for German television. I had done it before as a co-commentator, offering expert opinions on hands and answering questions, but now I'll be doing all of it and running the show on my own. I was also recently invited to participate in a show called "High Roller." It's a cash game for television just like "High Stakes Poker" but with all German players and slightly smaller stakes. I was really proud of how I played on the show, and it's airing now in Germany.
So my poker year has been great. Family life has been great. And my work as a poker expert has been great. I can only wonder what's next.