Living the (Team Online) dream
PokerStars Team Online is something that has been quite familiar to me because I've been living with a member of the team for some years now. However, being part of Team Online myself is something that until recently was a dream. Fortunately for me, that dream was meant to come true this year. I've officially been a member of Team Online for a couple of months now, so I thought I'd tell you a bit about my experiences so far.
The first highlight was definitely the Team Online meeting at the Bahamas during the PCA. Too bad it's not open for everyone to watch because I'm pretty sure that if you have any questions regarding Team Online and what it's all about, they would be answered during that meeting. I was the newbie there, so I tried to and maintain a low profile and absorb everything that was going on. Hearing all the members talk about their past year and their goals or expectations for the new one was fascinating. There is such a big diversity of poker players, characters, cultures etc that I couldn't get enough of listening to their stories.
Shortly after that, I had my first photo shoot. I was quite nervous about it, but had the luck to be photographed by Neil Stoddart, a very experienced photographer who quickly put me at ease. Still, being at the spotlight (literally!) of a set is not something I had done before so that's something to remember.
After the public announcement that I joined the Team, I changed my online avatar and had a Red Spade next to my screen name. That little thing definitely draws attention! I did notice some people playing differently against me after I made the team. I didn't expect that to happen cause after all my poker skills didn't change from one day to the other but... it totally did!
But let's go back to the highlights... I played a sit-n-go with Ronaldo! There was a promotion for Portuguese players where the winners would get to play live against Ronaldo and other PokerStars sponsored players like João Nunes, André Coimbra and myself. After the game we got to hang out with Ronaldo and followed up with a nice dinner. Pretty awesome day!
About a week after that I had another live sit-n-go to play. That one was in Athens and I was playing against journalists! Quite an unconventional way to start an interview, but it was a great ice-breaker! After the sit-n-go was over we were taken to a different room was prepared for the interview and by the time that everyone got their notepads out, it felt like I was having a chat with friends. It couldn't have been any better for my first press conference.
Then, there was the filming of my Team Online video which consisted of two days of non-stop filming and a lot of staring from strangers. I guess if I saw someone strolling around the streets of Athens with a filming crew of three people and a huge camera pointed at their faces I'd probably stare too! The overall process was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it! I won't say more details about it though, cause I don't want to spoil the surprise. Can't wait to see the final video!
The only thing missing here (if you could say that something is actually missing), is a proper celebration. That's what we have the VIP Club Live parties for! And the VIP Club Live Party in Stockholm was extra special because of the first Team Online Battle between Luca Kovac, Alex Millar and me. Partying is great but it's even better when you throw in a bit of competition! We do after all play poker for a living, competition is by now second nature!
So many great stories to tell in such a short amount of time... I'm very excited to see what's up next and I will make sure to share my adventures with you!