Today the Hamburger Morgenpost has posted a full page article about Katja. They planned to publish this for two week now but finally found the spot today. The article is available online also without any images and I have also scanned the page.
Katja is still ill and fatiqued from Barcelona and London (she has the flu by now for over a week). Who said poker is only fun? It is pretty damn hard for her these days.
There are still the daily events of the WCOOP running but no success for us so far, except Katja made the money in the first HORSE. Katja played almost all events so far and I played a few but on Monday in the Seven Card Stud event I got so many bad beats (>20) that I lost my interest. Well, at least until Tuesday when I went to the local Casino and played the €200+10 NLH tournament while Katja played the Omaha8 WCOOP event. I was out there pretty quick by not-so-bad-beats (I figure losing with AJ vs. A5 not longer a bad beat anymore) and finally throwed my remaining money in on a draw when I was getting nearly 7:1 for my money but no rescue.
Katja made the second day at the EPT London and was placed at the featured table. Sadly she was there only for like an hour before she busted out. Her raises got no respect and she had to fold on the flop three times when she missed everything and her opponent bets into her. Finally she lost in a SB steal vs. BB-has-something situation and was out.
Katja playing the featured TV-table at EPT London
Guys, I write about EPT and WCOOP for the german pokerstars blog every day so I am very tired about reporting what's happening there.
We're here in London now for the second stop of the EPT Season III. Katja is playing her "Day1" today. The event is sold out with 400 players. The premise here is very small and the fact that they took away a corner today (where yesterday have been 10 tables) to setup the final table does not really help.
Katja and Joe Hachem waiting for transport at Langham Hotel
Right now Katja is at about 15,000 Chips with about 150 players left (from 200 today) so pretty much ok. I post event images regulary at www.pokerstarsblog.de. Also the WCOOP on PokerStars is currently running and Katja played all events so far but no success yet, only a ton of bad beat (the O8 Limit event must have the worst, it took 4 rivers to take her down). Yesterday in the NLH with rebuys she played perfect poker (from what I know about the game) and after 4 hours with 25k in chips got it all-in against a player with the same amount of chips with AA on a Q-4-T flop for a 50k pot (chipleader at that time had 65k). On the flop she got check-raised all-in by her opponent holding AQo. Of course, the turn brought another Q and she lost the pot of the night so far. Not really funny as the winner was supposed to get over $200k and being in the top 10 with 800 left out of 2000 won't hurt you chances.
There are also no news on the cash game front as we did not play any except a handfull of hands at 30/60 to steam off (and drop off some $ that meant).
We're going back home on Monday and play "only" all the WCOOP events remaing before traveling to EPT Baden.
For all german readers, here is an article from "Tageschau" online about legality of online poker in germany (thanks B@ndit). I am not really feared by the article's content, more the opposite. Also, they are obvious talking about playing for real money only but the don't differentiate that in the text. Also from my knowledge it is still unclear where the game is really running - on the server of the poker provider or on the computer of the user. In the latter playing for real money is clearly illegal, in the former maybe not - the providers are running a perfect legal business in their jurisdication and as long as the law don't explictly rules this out it could be legal. Anyway, I expect a downfall soon from the german IRS. Regular poker players (and pro's of course) are clearly playing to make money, not (only) for fun. The might come after the winning. On the other side, nobody goes playing roulette or Lotto and says "I don't play to win" to that reasoning might not work either. We'll see.
Since sunday we're playing strictly at home, WCOOP at PokerStars has taken off. Wednesday will see us traveling to London for the EPT where we are going to stay until Monday morning. Every night where possible we (or at least Katja) is going to play the daily WCOPP event. Let's hope she has to pass some, most importantly the sunday night event as the would be sitting at the EPT final table then.
Michael Keiner got an endorsement contract from 888. The details I heard about are sounding great but I won't go into any of them until Michael decides to publish them himself. Being left to Phil Ivey on the featured TV-table (and having him all-in with a dominating hand at least once) in Barcelona and making the 23th place there won't hurt either - congratulations Michael!
How has the WCOOP been so far for us? Saturday night Katja played Razz, I skipped that one. While she was playing that masochists game I went to bed, "see some tv". It took about 10 minutes before I felt into deep sleep. Katja played like 4-5 hours (limit, many starting chips) before getting her money in with A3-2 and a 4 on 4th street. She bricked out thereafter by getting K-K-Q and lost to a T high hand. Sunday was the big big NLH with $530 buyin and 4.400 player. Katja got the money in with the best hand three times and with the worst one time - of course the won only the one single hand where the was beat preflop, all-in with 77 being short stacked getting called by AA and flopping a 7. In the other hands the hat the better aces (like AQ vs. A9, A9 vs. A8 etc.) but she lost all of them. So after passing about 2500 players and playing for 4 hours she was out there also. The PLO event yesterday was a different thing. No chance right away, total playtime like 70 minutes. Katja lost a big pot early with AA35 single suited, then flopping two pair aces vs. trip aces and finally busted by flopping aces full holding A-Q-5-3 in the BB and flopping A-A-3 but her opponent had A-K-x-x and the turn was a K...
Talking about playing at home, look at this:
Found this at ZDnet. Looks like playing at home might be some fun in the near future ;)
Katja is out, in 89th place out of 480 with 45 ITM. Medium-stacked she overplayed her AJ and ran into AA. Big discussions all evening - playing styles, changing gears, opponent types, accumulating chips and so on - the type of discussion that actually improves one's game. Katja came into the second day with an slight above average stack of 35k but could not get anything going the first two levels. After winning two very small pots the got more confident and there was one guy being very agressive. He just happens two have AA in two hands in just a few minutes and now he raised UTG just one more time. Katja shoved with her AJ, putting him on a semi-steal with something like KQ or KJ or a very small pair at the max. Unf, he had AA one more time and insta-called! Katja even picked a an remote chance on the turn for a gutshot straight but it was not to be and she was out, very disappointed by her own play.
Phil Ivey, just a lucky fish? Of course not but he got very lucky yesterday, that is for sure. Being all in by raising UTG+1 with K6o and getting called by AQ he survived, he survied QQ with A in the flop by turning a Q and late in the day he cracked AA with his set of sixes. His low of the day was 3,000 in chips (the day started with 500/1000 blinds). Now he is in 3rd chip position and serious force to win this EPT event.
You gotta like this look, don't you?
The EPT Barcelona field is incredible strong, a real who's who of the european poker elite. Phil Ivey and Mike the mouth Matusow made the long trip to Barcelona from the US (Mike out quickly on first day). Alone 60 players from Sweden! As someone said "it is very keltic here", lol.
Out next stop is WCOOP starting today at PokerStars. Next Wednesday we are going to London for the EPT there.
Sunday afternoon Katja and I left to Manchester, UK. Right the next morning we went ahead to Isle of Man to meet with some PokerStars people, including the owner. We had a day long meeting there. I was already impressed by the quality of management, employees and service PokerStars provide already but that trip only further strenghten this. They are driven, motivated and care about us, the players. I can tell you, the owner himself knews out of his head who became SuperNova after how many days of play, who is successfull (KarlMarx, you should be very proud ;) and what single players have mentioned or criticized. After the meeting we had dinner with some of those guys and it was lot's of fun and some nice discussions.
The next morning, after spending the night in the very beautyfull "Sefton" hotel we flew together with head of european marketing, Tamar, first to Dublin and then onwards to Barcelona.
Katja Thater and Tamar Y. in Dublin
We arrived an hour late, rushed into the Hilton Diagonal Mar, took a quick shower and went of again for the PokerStars welcome party in the Casino Barcelona, where the EPT is about to begin on Sep. 13th (today). Big news is not only that the event is sold out with 480 seats but that there are more than 100 people in the waiting list! Remember, this is a €5,000.00 buyin event this year. Unbelievable.
Geting into the casino we met lots of friends and players and were chatting for some hours. After the welcome party was a team dinner scheduled for the Team PokerStars players which attend this event (Luca, Issabel, Joe, Elky and the PokerStars staff.
The dinner should have been in a restaurant just across the street from the casino but right in the middle of the street it started raining so strong that everybody got soaking wet in just a second! We flew across the street into some kind of mall.
Heavy rain in Barcelona
Everybody got soaking wet
It was virtually impossible to go anywhere to we changed plans and took a late dinner right there in some italian restaurant. After a few minutes the fun was on! Joe Hachem started telling some jokes and asking some fun questions where he offered €50 or even €100 for the solution. No stop from here, it was sidebet time! How many letter does the full name of the waitress contains? How long is that couple married? How much will be the total restaurant bill? Everybody placed bets these important questions and it was funny to the point of embaressing (or how would YOU feel sitting there with your wife and a bunch of crazy foreigners is laughingly staring you down to decide how long you're married??). I won one bet, the restaurant bill bet (of course lol) which I estimated correctly right to the euro (the bet was who's closest). I estimated 340 and there have been 15 other bets, one being 337 and one being 341. It was big fun!
Katja explains to Luca why she check-raised him three times lately
Afterwards we got back into the casino (finding a not-to-wet minute) and hanging around there for an hour. We met even more players and Andreas Krause was fighting for his chance to get a seat in the EPT in the last satellite tournament (29 seats, 60 players left out of 260 or something). It was not to be, he busted out shortly before the final 29 in an ugly way (isn't it always?). We went back to the hotel where we spend just another hour in the lobby meeting luckbox Sebastian, Seri, Andrea (one of three german online qualifiers) and Henning. Some more laughs, fortunatly nobody had a deck of cards otherwise we would still be playing chinese poker I guess, and we went sleeping very late. Katja is going to play today so I let her sleep as long as possible.
Good news, I got 3rd out of 67 players in Casino Schenefelds 2-day deep stack tournament! Katja got 12th after not being able to play more than one single hand in 3 levels. In this hand she had aces in the big blind and I had open-raised on the button with 44.... She finally went all-in on the BB when the button (not me) raised her and she had A4s vs his QJo but the Q on the river closed the tournament for her. The eventual winner was Benjamin Kung from Berlin. Nice job!
Benjamin with girlfriend Jasmin
I got a little more lucky, the actual "suckout vs. suckout" count is only 3:2 against me. I won pocker nines vs kings to survive the tournament and I rivered an ace with AT vs. KK on the river vs. an all-in player.
The tourney was organized and ran fantastic by the casino stuff. Congratulations!
I am still tired (onyl 4 hours of sleep) and we travel to UK today (and to EPT Barcelona from there) si I am short here today. Some more info also on www.pokerstarsblog.de.
This weekend Katja and I are playing the deep stack tournament in Schenefeld. 67 players showed up! See the german PokerStarsBlog for some details and pictures. I will post more info once the event is over.
Other big news today is that US department of justice has arrested just another online gambling manager, this time Peter Dicks from ParadisePoker. See PokerNews for full story. Looks like US goverment gets really serious about fighting the online gambling "problem". If you ask about my estimates we will see a kind of SWAT-team raids of currently "active criminals" playing in online casinos. Imagine special forces breaking into your house because some department from "homeland security" is tracking your IP-connections and detecting your connected to some offshore gambling server... Sounds like "this is never going to happen" ? Well, dream on. My take: won't be your best dream!
WDR televison was in the house yesterday for many long hours, doing a tv show called "A day in the life of Katja Thater" which is a regular format. Yesterday they did the home story part, today they film in the Casino Schenefeld where the great €700+50 NLH 2-day freezeout tournament (the one with 7000 chips and 45 minute levels) will start today. The team was professional and experienced, Katja was great, fiming was smooth and without any problems. They even wanted to do us some cooking (which in fact we really do quite often and with lots of fun - yaya I eat too much, I know :). We did some real spicy thai food and after some glasses of red whine everybody including the film team was in good mood. After diner we showed the team the "Pokerschool by Tony G." video to show them that poker might not always be that big fun. We certainly hope it will be a entertaining show.
As if a full day of filming is not enough we went to the weekly €300+15 tournament in Spielbank Hamburg and played. 27 players showed up, 5 places ITM. Of course I lost the majority of my stack late in the tournament - when all the money went into the pot on the turn my opponent was dead to 6 outs but as usual the river brought one of those outs and I was crippled. I got 7th when I went all-in with a small stack with KJs and the BB found ATo which held up. Katja got busted by Tony (not G.) when she open-raised all-in on the button but Tony in the SB found AQ and called, having lots of chips.
Katja and Tony at the WSOP 2006 in Las Vegas
Back at home we worked for some time and then went to play some $30/60 on stars where we made up for the buyins earlier at least. Finally we went to bed after a long day at about 2:30 AM.
Addicted reader of my recent "publication" 50outs on Hold'em Sebastion "Miami" has made a first success applying the advanced strategies supplied there. He used some of my 100% working and self-tested "1001 begging phrases that really work" to raise himself some money for the upcoming EPT event in Barcelona :)!
Sebastian is writting a blog on his own these days, www.luckbox.de (yes you regular reader, my former domain) and is posting there (in german) about his recent SNG challange: make $20,000 in 10 days by playing 10 hours a day. Now after 3 days he is already more than halfway there with 10,5k!!! That tells a lot about him: he play's (very?) good, get's lucky more often than not and he's one lazy ass! If I would have had a $200+/hours expectation being only 22 years old I would have acted very differently... lol, I would still do.
Update: Seb just IM'd me "SOLD OUT! reservations for Baden and London pending!". I won't go into topics if staking for an +EV player is good or not (Erik Seidel once said: 'I did pretty well in tournaments so staking have cost me a few hundred thousands I guess') because one thing is sure for any poker player: it is way better to play staked than not play at all! I wish him the best of luck!