PokerStars Women is excited about the recent announcement from PokerStars naming Katerina Malasidou as the second female member of Team Online. We immediately sent her some questions about what it's like to be named to such a prestigious panel on online players.
You'll find Katerina's answers below, along with her thoughts on finding herself in a position to inspire more women to play.
PokerStars Women (PSW): How have you been received by the poker community as a new member of Team Online?
Katerina: I have to admit that before the official announcement, I was a bit nervous about how the news would be received by the poker community. But as it turned out I had no reason to worry. I've been receiving a lot of congratulatory messages and a positive vibe overall!
PSW: You played your first Women's Sunday after the signing as a Team Pro bounty. How was that experience? Did you have to play a different strategy?
Katerina: Actually, I had completely forgotten about the Team Pro bounty when I hit the "Register" button at the Women's Sunday tournament. I was super excited to play another tournament with just girls! Fortunately, Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome tweeted "With a bounty on you... Whole different game!!!" to me before the tournament began, and that brought me up to speed. I only changed my strategy a bit, by not playing too many speculative hands and generally avoiding situations that could end up being messy. Because everyone was out to get me. Literally!
PSW: Tell me a little about your past experience playing women-only tournaments, both live and online. What were your experiences like?
Katerina: I'm an online grinder, so I have only played such tournaments online. I really enjoy them and find that the players are more chat-friendly. Last week, someone apologized to me after taking a good chunk of my chips. She played the hand well, and I didn't feel like she had anything to apologize for, but still, that's something that you wouldn't typically expect to happen in a regular tournament. Also, whenever I'm in a hand and I've had thoughts like, "Ah, this is a women's tournament," and underestimated my opponent, I've paid for it dearly. That was definitely a lesson. As for the live women-only tournaments, they sound like a lot of fun, so that's on my to-do list.
PSW: You've mentioned that you want to encourage more women to play the game. How do you plan to go about doing that?
Katerina: I would really like to see more women getting into poker. It's a skill game, not a sport that requires physical power, so there's no reason why women can't excel at it just like men do. So I want to share my poker journey with them and hopefully spark some interest for the game. Sometimes, I get comments from male players saying, "I showed this post you made to my girlfriend," or from female players who tell me that what I wrote inspired them. I hope to write more posts like that in the future and share my experiences at the tables in a way that women can relate to.
Katerina: They can expect to see poker through the eyes of a female mid-stakes online grinder/Team Online member/poker player's girlfriend. I mostly blog/tweet about poker related subjects, but you'll also find me sharing experiences from my travels and everyday life.
PSW: We've heard that your boyfriend, André 'acoimbra' Coimbra, first introduced you to poker. How do you improve your game by talking to Andre? Do you talk about strategy or hand histories?
Katerina: We've tried a bunch of different stuff. Coaching, going through my hand histories, going through his hand histories, working on spreadsheets together, or simply discussing about a hand that one of us wasn't sure how to play. We can both be opinionated, and since he's a more experienced player than I am, most of the times, he's right. But then there are some times where we'll have an argument, we'll pull up an ICM calculator, and I'll be right. Ah, precious moments of glory!
Katerina: That question still puzzles me. After all, it's not like anyone can predict the future. But unlike when I was in accounting, picturing myself playing poker five years from now puts a smile on my face. Poker offers a lot of advantages that I'd like to keep enjoying in the years to come.
PSW: What are your goals for the rest of this year? At what kinds of tables can players expect to see you, i.e. stakes, games, etc.?
Katerina: My main goal is to keep working on my game and improve so that I can move to higher stakes at some point. You will find me mostly at the hyper-turbo SNGs, mid-stakes tables (these days I play from $18-$74), and occasionally at an MTT like the Women's Sunday, the VIP Freerolls or the Sunday Million.
We will be following Katerina in the months to come and report back on her successes. Be sure to watch for her in upcoming Women's Sunday tournaments playing under the screen name 'Katerina289.'
For more on the new Team Online member, see Katerina's PokerStars Team Online bio page here. You can read about all three of the recent Team Online inductees here in this article. And for all the news on regarding women in poker, see our PokerStars Women home page.