Camille Van Brabander's first tournament success

Thumbnail image for PS Women logo.jpgCamille Van Brabander writes here about playing at EPT Barcelona in her first live tournament. Camille is the sister of Friend of PokerStars Charlotte Van Brabander, and she hoped to follow in her sister's footsteps as Charlotte won a seat in her first live tourney, a Ladies Event satellite at EPT Monte Carlo in 2010.

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"Oh my god, what have I got myself into!" is what I thought when my sister convinced me to enter the satellite for the ladies event in Barcelona. I may look like a confident girl, but the truth is I blush when I order a Coca-Cola by myself. So for me, it was normal to be freaking out at the thought of playing my first real live event--especially as it was at event at the European Poker Tour!

During the day my sister teased me all the time, making comments like, "Hey, only three more hours." This really made me go nuts. But there was no way back. I already had the ticket and deep inside I wanted to play, just to see if I could win my seat into the EPT Ladies Event.

Winning a seat would mean I wouldn't have time to hang out at the beach or pool for another day, but I could play in the same event as Charlotte! I wouldn't have minded being at the pool of the beautiful Arts Hotel--but I was sunburned anyway.

So after dinner with my sister, we went to my table at the casino. I believe there were four tables to start with. Women from various ages were seated around me. My sister was near the table watching, while visibly enjoying her victory in getting me to sit down and taking tons of pictures with her iPhone.

Then it finally began. The dealer dealt the first hand and I was playing poker at an EPT! I don't know if it was beginner's luck, but with shaky hands I won the first few hands I played. I'm not talking about huge pots but they were enough to give me some confidence and they definitely helped me to get rid of my stress.

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The girls at the table, who at first looked very intimidating, turned out to be very friendly. This was turning out to be quite fun! When there were about 17 players left the tourney director told us 14 seats would be given for the ladies event. Then it really got exciting. I didn't have a huge stack and I didn't pick up decent hands anymore. Luckily for me the other low stacked girls played each other out before I had to get my chips in. When the bubble girl (a term my sister taught me) went out I was so happy! I love bubbles, so this made me love them even more!

Then next day I was to play the EPT ladies event. My sister was very sick that day which made me forget my usual stress because I had to take care of her. We played on tables close to each other, so it was fun as we could give each other looks during the game and root for each other. I didn't play as well as on my debut.

Of course the level of the other players was significantly better and I didn't really have a lot of luck with the cards and hands I played. After several hours I finished 23rd out of 64 players. This wasn't too bad, and after winning the satellite I was quite satisfied.

Charlotte overcame her sickness and got 8th place and was in the money. I was so proud of her and I hope I'll be able to join her during another EPT event someday. I had a great time and I love the game !

Camille Van Brabander
@PokerStars in PS Women