Natalie Hof: a pretty German face for EPT shows
Here we are again. The Grand Final of the European Poker Tour Season 9.
When you work on the tour, it feels like years are months and months are days. This is going to be my fourth season as the Belgian EPT presenter, and I can still remember my first day as an EPT hostess. When I started in this role on the tour, the Grand Final took place in Madrid. But here we are today, in one of the most beautiful and luxurious countries on the planet: Monaco. Land of the Laborghini Gallardo and the Bugatti Veyron. Land of the best tartare de beouf in the whole world at the Tip Top Restaurant in Monte Carlo. But this week, it is also the land of one of the most amazing poker tournaments in the world.
The EPT Grand Final attracts only the best poker players in the world, which makes this field one of the hardest to beat. Besides seeing some incredible poker this week, I will see my lovely colleague and friend Natalie Hof. We met for the first time during the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in Season 8. Many of you know her as the official EPT presenter for the German television broadcasts, but few know that she started playing poker in 2007 while she was studying educational sciences and theology in Osnabrück, Germany. Before presenting, Natalie used to only play poker. She formed a big circle of friends in poker because she played cash games in Groningen, Bremen, and Osnabrück.
In 2011, she participated in a casting show, "Das Pokerstars.de Ass" sponsored by PokerStars. Thanks to her poker abilities, she made runner up, and that was where Natalie's TV career started. Natalie is not only a beautiful and likeable woman, but she plays a lot of poker and knows every German player. She also hosted the WCOOP Radio shows for Germany in Edinburgh.
Since the PCA 2012, where we met for the first time, we have been inseparable. And I wanted to know a bit more about Natalie, who once wanted to educate children from foreign countries.
Gaëlle Garcia Diaz: How does it feel to share your passion with your boyfriend? (Torsten Brinkmann 2001 EPT Grand Final runner up)
Natalie Hof: I met him years ago in Casino Osnabrück before we started dating. In my opinion, it is very important to share something in a relationship. He is as much on the EPT tour as I am, so we have absolutely no problems with the fact that we both travel a lot. There is no doubt that we look in the same direction. Of course, he overloads me with advice to enhance my poker play. I have a lot of poker playing friends in the German poker community, and we are discussing hands all the time. I think that this is an amazing way to avoid mistakes in future hands.
Diaz: What is the best part of being the official EPT presenter for Germany? A poker room overloaded with testosterone?
Hof: (laughs) No, the best part of being the German EPT presenter is definitely travelling. In January, we travel to the Bahamas, then Monaco and Barcelona. I'm always abroad. It's amazing to see the world we live in and work with an incredible team at the same time. It's not only work; we are a big family. It feels like sharing time with close friends. I can't wait to see them all again.
Diaz: Do you have a best memory on the tour?
Hof: I don't have any specific one. Every EPT stop is awesome. I love hanging around with Gaëlle Garcia Diaz and the whole crew (smiles), no matter where we are.
Diaz: You told me once that you wanted to study again? Is that a wish you still want to realize?
Hof: Yes definitely. I finished my bachelor's degree in 2010, but I want to do my masters, and then, when I'll be tired of travelling, I will try to find a job that suits my studies. I think that it is very important to have something else in life other than just poker.
Diaz: Poker is a universe full of men...
Hof: Yes, poker is a male-dominated universe, but I don't care, actually. I always did male-dominated sports, like skateboarding or billiards. Maybe I'm born in the wrong gender (laughs). But still, it doesn't feel like I'm in enemy territory. Most of the German players I see in the tour are really good friends. Germany has become a poker nation. The community is huge and always on the top in tournaments worldwide. It's amazing. I actually can't explain why, but I think it's because they keep communicating together all the time. They help each other with strategy advice, they work hard, and they are extremely motivated. Isn't Germany famous for their hard working people?
Diaz: What is your ultimate favorite stop on the European Poker Tour? Let me guess, Berlin?
Hof: (laughs) Yeah! It is indeed Berlin. Everybody is there, and it's always fun. But to be completely honest, I do like Barcelona as well. I can't choose... Oh well, both. (smiles) I already did a deep run in the EPT Berlin Main Event this season. Hopefully, I will cash soon in my second favorite stop!
Diaz: Yes, you have pretty good results lately! Anything else you're proud of?
Hof: Well, my best poker result online is sixth in the Big $109 in March 2013. And offline, it's of course my 39th place in the EPT Berlin Main Event this year. It was my biggest cash, but I also made runner up in the Mini Eureka in Rozvadov this year for €12K.
Diaz: You bought already anything you dreamed of with your winnings?
Hof: No, but I keep dreaming of a pony! One day, my pony dream will come true. (looks with eyes full of love at Torsten)