Anticipation builds for Monte Carlo satellite winners

ept-thumb-promo.jpgOne of the world's greatest poker festivals in a location that epitomizes luxury and opulence is a lot to look forward to. But that hasn't stopped three PokerStars satellite winners who are doing just that as they anxiously anticipate the PokerStars Women Live event to be held in Monaco from April 29-May 2 as part of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final. The qualifiers will enjoy a PokerStars Women Live tournament package valued at €2,500 that includes the tournament buy-in, three night luxury hotel accommodations and €500 for expenses. They will also receive a goody bag with some first-rate PokerStars swag and an invitation to the always anticipated EPT party that culminates the festival. The women are different in their approaches and experience, but they can all agree on one thing--they are excited to be attending and anxious to get started.

One player, Callens Ann-Roos from Belgium, said she "went completely crazy" when she won and she was sure her neighbors heard her screaming when it happened. But she wasn't the only one going crazy. She said her husband, who is "her biggest fan" was watching the tournament with her and screamed even louder. After the screaming was over they called all their poker friends to tell them the news. Her husband, who is a poker player too, will be coming along with her.

Ann (screen name vddann), who is 38, says this is her second satellite to a PokerStars live event. She won a satellite last year to PokerStars.BE BPS Namen (part of the Belgian Poker Series). She credits her aggressive heads-up game with contributing to her win, but comments that at the beginning of the tournament she was calm and selective, playing only 10 to 15 percent of hands. When the blinds got higher however, she played up to 30 percent. Her image also contributed, she remarked. "The first impression for my opponents was my tight image, and in that way I could make some bluffs and steal some pots!"

Although she's most interested in playing the tournament, Ann says that she plans to do some sightseeing as well. But then she commented, "Maybe I'll try to pick up another side event too!" As for strategy, she says "I don't think I will play differently than in other tournaments. I will be myself and play my game."

Finally she wanted to make sure to add, "Thank you PokerStars for giving me the opportunity to play in the ladies event in Monte Carlo!"


Another player who can't wait to make her mark at the tournament is Ingrid (panda_kls), from Lithuania. She has been dreaming about it for a while now. "I am very excited about going to the Grand Final in Monte Carlo. I have had this dream since last year, and finally I have reached it through a satellite!" This is her first time to participate in a PokerStars Women Live event as a satellite player, but she did play in the women's event at EPT Vienna in 2010, where she says she gained some solid experience.

Ingrid, 29, is married and the mother of three small children. Her youngest, a son fourteen-months old, was sleeping next to her in bed with her and her husband while she played the tournament. "It was late at night when I won, and the minute I did, I screamed and jumped up off the bed and all around! I had to release all that energy and share my excitement!" She says her husband is planning to come with her to the tournament and they are looking forward to celebrating his birthday while they are there. "My husband will support me and I feel safe and secure when he is with me. I am very confident and my emotions are under control when he is by my side." Ingrid also plans to have fun with friends and maybe take part in some side events and cash games while she is there.

Looking back on her win she says "My secret in winning this satellite was my strong wish to take part in the ladies event. When I won the first satellite to get into the final I already knew that I was going to win it." She says that playing good cards and hanging tough against an aggressive player heads-up was also important. "Of course I believe that you need luck in poker, but even more I trust in knowledge." Ingrid will try to add to that knowledge by consulting some Lithuanian poker pros prior to the tournament. "They can give me some good advice on how to play this kind of tournament," she commented.
Beyond studying, her pre-game strategy is just to try to get some rest. We wish her the best with that, but from what she's told us so far, it seems she may be counting euros in her head at night, instead of sheep.

The final player we profiled for this article is Kami Chisholm, 37, a Canadian player who has lots of experience playing live events at the World Series of Poker and elsewhere. She has also had some top finishes. She won the 2010 PokerStars EPT Caribbean Adventure Event 26 - Limit Hold'em Six Handed and placed fifth in the 2010 Ladies Event at the WSOP. In addition, she won the Venetian's Deep Stack Extravaganza 2010 HORSE event. She has placed in the money in several other tournaments and is a very experienced live player. She says this trip will be a work trip for her, but remarks that it didn't prevent her from "doing a happy dance, calling her girlfriend, and posting on some message boards" when she won.

Kami (screen name drkamikaze1) says that the long trip from Canada will cut into any time she might have for sightseeing and the like, but she says "I'm pretty focused on the tournament anyway. I'll try to enjoy the pool a bit, but I will make sure to get plenty of rest so I'm ready for the event."

An aggressive approach was the key to her win, Kami says. "I played the event very aggressively and raised a lot of hands. But I patiently waited for very good spots to play the big pots."

We look forward to seeing these players along with many other new faces at the upcoming tournament in Monaco. There is still time to win your seat and to make your dreams come true by playing in this fantastic event. See the PokerStars Women Promotions page for all the details. We hope to see you there!

Rebekah Mercer
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour