Great News: Katja in terrible mood

Stand warned, Table 19. Katja Thater - Team PokerStars' latest signing - is in a very bad mood. No particular reason for it - she just woke up that way - but she's not unhappy about it. "It's odd because I slept very well but then I woke up just feeling 'errghhh' - which is actually the perfect mood for me to be in for a poker tournament because I'm a very aggressive player. One bad word from anyone at my table and I will kill them. I'll be all over them."

Even in a bad mood (and, to be honest, I'd never have known if she hadn't told me), Katja Thater still looks completely gorgeous. In her native Germany, Katja is very well-known, top-ranking female player. She turned pro five years ago - intially as a cash game player, knocking them dead in the $500 buyin, $10/$20 pot limit games in her home city of Hamburg.

Her partner Jan von Halle - also a professional player (he went out on Day 1c) - said: "We started going to bigger tournaments in places like Baden but only really to take part in the side action. Then around two years ago Katja started playing tournaments and did very well. In local events, she cashes at least 40% of the time. She came 2nd in a nmajor UK tournament and hit the bubble five times in a row in Tunica last year. She cashed twice at last year's WSOP - in a pot limit event and 7 card stud."

It is Jan who is responsible for Katja's involvement in poker in the first place. He was playing in a high stakes game back in 1999 and had to go the bathroom. He asked her if she'd step in for a bit. She threw in some chips, won the pot and became a player. Both avid equestrians, Jan and Katja first met ten years ago at their local riding stables. "Actually," said Jan, "the first time we ever saw each other we were both on a horse. Katja is an excellent horsewoman and we both ride at competitive level - me with show jumping and Katja with dressage. We still keep horses at the stables."

Katja started Day 2 with $24,550. If she stays grumpy, I expect that stack to grow considerably.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker