Female intuition works in favor of Natalie Hof, newest Friend of PokerStars
It can be said that Natalie Hof followed her instincts - her female intuition, if you will - from her first experiences with poker all the way to her current and newly-appointed status as Friend of PokerStars.
During her time attending university in Osnabruck, Germany, Natalie focused her studies on educational sciences and theology. At the same time, she learned poker from friends and listened to her intuition telling her that she was good at the game. When other friends took what she calls "normal jobs like waitressing" to pay their bills and university costs, Natalie stuck to poker, which served her just fine and presented a challenge that she truly embraced.
Fast-forward a few years, and she was offered the job of German presenter for the European Poker Tour. For two seasons, she has been the face of poker for fans and players in Germany, bringing them the stories from on and around the felt.
Meanwhile, though, she maintained (if new grew) her own passion for the game, spending as much time as possible at the tables. She learned from the group of German players with whom she had become friends, as well as her boyfriend, professional poker player Torsten Brinkmann. She not only stuck with the game but kept her university degree on the back burner while her intuition about poker stayed strong.
In September of 2013, Natalie was finalizing a deal behind the scenes to become the new Friend of PokerStars, which was announced on October 1. "I was pretty honored when they offered me this deal," she commented. "I remember playing cash games when I was still in university, dreaming of becoming a Team PokerStars member. And now it's real. So I feel great, like I did something right."
Natalie will still host some German poker shows, like "German Highroller," but you'll mostly find her playing MTTs, live or online. Live tournaments are her forte, but her role as Friend of PokerStars takes her online more than ever before. And with bounties on her head and the PokerStars red spade next to her name, she has become more of a target. "Everyone wants to play a hand against me. When I'm running good, it's the best thing that can happen! If not, I have to play tighter."
Besides the title and responsibilities of the job, Natalie has one major focus in her new role. She wants to bring more women to poker.
"I hope that I can be an inspiration to women and encourage them to take up the game," she told PokerStars Women. "We need more women, don't you think?"
She feels that women have exactly what it takes to be the better players at any given table. "Women have this special thing called female intuition," Natalie asserted. "It's simple. Bluffing is kind of lying. The best advice for the ladies is to start talking with your male opponent, and you will catch the bluff. Women have the female intuition and patience. And they can manipulate men."
The 27-year-old Innsbruck resident is ready and willing to show women how fun and entertaining poker can be. Watch for her at the tables online and at live events around Europe, and say hello to the newest Friend of PokerStars. Natalie is friendly, approachable, and embracing of her new role.
Meanwhile, off the felt, Natalie will soon be starting her Master's degree program in educational science. "Poker is fascinating with all of the math and psychological aspects, but educational science is what I want to do as work in my future," she admitted. But don't count her out of poker any time soon. "But for sure, I won't stop playing poker!"
As long as her intuition tells her to keep playing, that is exactly what she'll do.
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.