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Lex Veldhuis fulfilled the dream of many poker lovers. This young Dutch player learned a lot, grew up fast and is now a true professional. He is a member of the Team Pro PokerStars, and also a Supernova Elite, and has already achieved several accomplishments. In this exclusive interview, Lex tells us about his beginnings, his likes and dislikes, and naturally details many aspects of his poker life.

What can you tell us about the experience with StarCraft?

I just loved playing games when I was younger, especially games you played versus other people. Always played a lot of fighting games for instance too. Starcraft was just perfect. First game I played over the internet against people and the strategy is so deep and you have to be fast. Just an insane skill-ceiling. I loved playing it, even though I played it a little too much!

How did your poker career started? What influence did Bertrand have on it?

It started when some people from Starcraft were switching over to poker. Elky was one of those. He told me about this game you can make money in. Spending so much time on video games it sounded good that it can also be sort of a summer job, so that peeked my interest. Elky helped me get started so he was a huge influence.

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Both talented and beautiful, British Liv Boeree is without a doubt one of the most attractive characters in world poker. Very smart and experienced, she first gained success in 2010, for the EPT San Remo. Her broad accent is one of her trademarks already, as well as a penetrating look every time a big hand is being held. Her big green eyes pointing at her rivals is one of the keys of her ability to extract information.

Team Pro PokerStars member, model, TV host, and majored in astrophysics at the University of Manchester, let’s talk poker with Liv Boeree.

LIV 6Liv, how does it feel to be a Team Pro PokerStars? What has changed in your life since you became one?

It’s fantastic being on the team. It was always my goal to make it onto Team Pro since I started playing poker. The main difference between life before and after is the travelling I get to do, and the fun photoshoots and filming opportunities. For example, I just got to spend a week with some of my best team pro friends in Barcelona with no poker and no outside distractions as we were spending long days on set together. It was a great bonding experience and I have so much respect and love for them all!

 

How much to time do you spend playing poker a day? What is your favorite kind of table?

I don’t play every day. I mostly play MTTs on weekends or whenever there’s a good tournament series on such as WCOOP and SCOOP. I don’t tend to play many mixed games, just NLH.

 

Who do you think that are the best online poker players? What are your goals for the future?

It’s hard to say, but I do have a lot of respect for the cash game grinders. They are the highest level thinkers in the game in my opinion, and their understanding of the game and work ethic is something I aspire to.

 

Which advice would you give to those who are just starting playing poker and making deposits?

I would advise to deposit a very small amount and play very, very small stakes to start with until you’re entirely comfortable with the dynamics of the game, and have gotten some of the basic strategies down. Be aware of yourself and don’t over-estimate your abilities. You are not as good as you think you may be, even if you have some early success! nothing can compare to experience which always takes time

 LIV 4

How important for your game do you think Poker Tracking Software is?

I use tracking software HU display when playing, however I’m still a relative noob when it comes to knowing how to use it in post-game analysis. It’s something I really need to learn. However I do find the HU display pretty essential when grinding an MTT session.

 

We still remember that EPT San Remo back in 2010. What do you remember about that amazing victory and what did it mean to you?

Obviously the victory meant the world to me – it was definitely a huge turning point in my career and I still can’t believe it happened! I remember most of it although it was 3 years ago now so it’s not quite as fresh as it was. It’s important to remember our proudest moments and to remind ourselves of our achievements when we’re feeling down.

Our site is called Let’s talk poker. So we better get started.

We read an article you wrote about the importance of table position. How uncomfortable do you feel when you know you’ve got to play a big hand out of position? How different do you play when you’re in an upper position than your opponent and when you’re not?

My comfort level depends entirely on the opponent and other factors such as stack depth etc. If the opponent I’ve got to play is skilled and aggressive then obviously it’s going to be a difficult situation, as it’s going to be hard to control the pot size but also hard to extract value if you hit the board well. That said, there are some players who are so predictable I’d still feel comfortable playing them out of position.

 

How do you think your bluff edge has improved over the years?

Whilst I’m more aware of what spots are good to take and which aren’t, it’s generally a bit harder for me to bluff in mid-lower stakes as people are aware who I am now. Beforehand, I was just a random girl and so I’d always get credit. Nowadays I’ve found people tend to look me up more. However it just depends on the situation, of course.

 

You played against the best. In which tournament or table did you feel that the level was too high, and in spite of your professionalism and edge, you thought you were in trouble?

A couple of times I’ve been at really horrible tables where every single player was an absolute beast. One such table was on day 1 of PCA a few years ago where we got a really bad starting table and we worked out that there were over $25 million winnings at our table combined. I’ve also had a couple of times in High Rollers where the tables were super tough. You just have to adjust accordingly. I actually enjoy the challenge immensely.

 

Do you enjoy playing poker? Or has it become just a job for you? At what age would you like to retire?

Yes I enjoy playing poker still. Admittedly it doesn’t have as much of my focus as it used to as I am working on a number of different projects, but I still love the game, the industry and all the fun adventures that come with it. I don’t think I’ll ever officially “retire” – that’s the beauty of the game, you can still play whenever you want to.

 

Our site is based in Argentina. What do you know about our country and poker players?

Sadly I’ve never been to Argentina but I’d love to! The only person from there I really know is Nacho Barbero. He’s a great person and a good friend of mine, so he’s created a good impression of your country to me.

 

To end this interview, we know you like music, playing guitar, etc. What do you do when you’re not playing poker? Which are your hobbies?

My hobbies are pretty wide ranging, from mountain climbing to singing to horseriding. I love anything to do with outdoors and adventure. I still play guitar but not as much as I used to, I’m not really sure why but I guess my passion for it waned a bit and went into other things. I’m also getting into acting and am focussing a lot of energy into my TV career into hopefully making interesting science and adventure TV shows.

Liv_BoereeLIV 3

LIV 1

It is our desire to thank Liv Boeree for her willingness of participating in this interview and also thank for the collaboration of the Press Members of PokerStars.

LIV 2

 

<strong>By: <a href=”http://www.hablandodepoker.com/author/pato/”>Patricio Siksnys</a>

</strong>

He is a specialist in online poker and has won more than three million dollars in prizes. He has worked in improving his poker when he plays live poker. Everyone knows him as “USCphildo.” On November 5, he`ll fulfill the dream of almost all players in the world of poker: to play the final table of the Main Event WSOP. With nearly a million dollars in prizes garantized, he will start fromfourth place in chips account and is undoubtedly one of the great “candidates” to win the bracelet.

Here, we are presenting you an hablandodepoker exclusive interview with Phil Collins, another November Nine.

What means to you to be a November Nine?

Being in the November Nine is a great accomplishment for anyone, but as a professional player, this is the highlight of my career and the culmination of a lot of hard work.  There is still a lot of poker to be played though.
48 hours later that moment, Are you conscious about what you`ve achieved?

 

Everything has been happening so fast that it was hard to take it all in.  The past few days I’ve been able to relax more and take in the whole experience.  I love that the final table is in November as well, because this moment will last four months.

Could you sleep the night after the tournament?

I could barely sleep during the final few days of the Main Event and the night after my heart was still racing and I couldn’t sleep well at all.  I’ve finally gotten some good sleep the last couple nights.

Which was the most important hand that let you reach to the final table at the Main Event WSOP 2011?

I played a really big pot with AK against KK all in before the flop on Day 5 that would have left me crippled, but I rivered a straight and shortly afterwards went on to take the chip lead.

Do you think you can get the bracelet y enter in the History?

I think I have a great shot at winning the bracelet and making history.  I’ve been playing the best poker of my life, and if I play my best in November I think I can win.

Undoubtedly for those who followed the last stages of the days 6 and 7 of the Main Event was a surprise that Sam Holden, a very intelligent an curly English, with just 22 years became one of the November Nine. But he trusted in himself and still being short stack for several passages in the fight, played each hand and was able to fulfill his first dream: to pass into history and play the final table of the most important tournament in the poker world.

But his dream is just beginning, though left behind thousands of players who began this crossing. Now only eight players stand between him and the much coveted bracelet. In this exclusive interview for www.hablandodepoker.com, a site that tries to spread the poker through the word of the protagonists, we can know what a November Nine thinks. From what we perceive, he is the still not aware of how changed his life from now on.

To our loyal readers we present: Sam Holdem, a November Nine, 48 hours later of his achievement.

What means to you to be a November Nine?

It feels fantastic to be part of the November Nine. Being on the biggest stage in poker is something every poker player dreams of. The hiatus in the tournament has really made the final nine something special, and having 4 months to enjoy it is going to be a lot of. I feel incredibly fortunate to get passed so many fantastic players and therefore will definitely try to enjoy every second of being a ‘November Niner’.

 

48 hours later that moment, Are you conscious about what you`ve achieved?

It definitely hasn’t sunk I yet. I still keep thinking that it can’t be real. I’m sure once I am into the swing of these interviews and media attention it will all seem more real.

 

Could you sleep the night after the tournament?

A little, but it was very difficult! I think I have had about 5 hours sleep in the last 48 hours. I am definitely ready to sleep for a long time now though!

Which was the most important hand that let you reach to the final table at the Main Event WSOP 2011?

I was actually all in on day 2 with a pair and flush draw on the flop against a set. I made the flush on the turn wasn’t all in again until Day 6 I think so I guess that was a pretty important hand!

Vanessa Selbst has something that not everyone has: the admiration of his colleagues. She divides her time between his passions: playing poker and studying law at Yale.

She achieved great results in the Series WSOP and won several tournaments. Interested in politics and various sports. We present here a great poker player, born in New Jersey, on July 9, in 1984: Vanessa Selbst in www.hablandodepoker.com

You have a high prestige in the World of Poker. Many admires you. How did you achieve that?

To get to this level took a lot of years of playing experience, and a lot of hard work in studying the game.  When I first started playing, all I did 24 hours, seven days a week was play or think about poker.  Even now, I’m constantly talking to friends about strategy and thinking about my own game and how to improve it.  I think that’s the most important thing to get to the top level – to never be satisfied with your current achievements, and always continue to grow.

Was the bracelet in the Por Limit Omaha in the WSOP 2008 a turning point in your proffesional career?

This was definitely the first major win that I had, but honestly it was more of a nice accomplishment before I left poker to go back to law school.  NAPT Mohegan Sun 2010, two years later, was much more of a turning point, because it was then that I decided to pursue poker as a valid career option, rather than focusing on becoming a lawyer.

You´ve got NAPT Mohegan Sun twice, the last one you´ve got it some weeks before. How can you define your participation on this tournament?

I think I played well most of the tournament again and obviously got some tremendous luck to be able to take down the tournament twice.  You have to have luck to win any tournament, and Connecticut (where Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are) seems to agree with me, since I win so many tournaments there!

Vanessa Selbst

How do you distribute your time for Poker and the others activities?

Right now it’s difficult to balance, because I’m still in law school and have one semester left.  I try to divide my time into weeks at a time, because I find it difficult to study in the days or weeks when I’m playing poker.  So I’ll do a poker trip for a few weeks, and then go back to school for a few weeks to catch up on my classes and reading.  For instance, I’m going to be spending August barely playing any poker, since I will be writing a paper for school.  But that will all end in January when I finish, and then the balance will be made for more fun things, like tennis, golf, basketball, reading… normal things like that.

What means to you to be a PokerStars Team Pro?

Pokerstars is the best poker site in the world, hands down.  It’s been an amazing experience to work with them – they provide opportunities I would not have otherwise, and I have met so many great people through working there.  I am very proud to represent Pokerstars as a member of Team Pro.

Which are your goals in the World of Poker?

To win the WSOP Main Event – that’s everyone’s goal, right?

Seriously, my immediate goal once I have more time in January is to spend more time learning all the mixed games.  I know them OK, and will be playing mixed events this summer at the WSOP, but I have a whole lot of room for improvement.  I think that come this time next year, I’m going to be crushing mixed games… so everyone better watch out!

What do you know about Poker in Argentina? Do you know any player?

Nacho Barbero is a good friend of mine and he is an amazing player… and I know the other Pokerstars pros from Argentina as well.  You guys have some talent down there, and I can’t wait to get to an LAPT event to see for myself!

Finishing the interview, What tips can you give to an advanced amateur who wants to perfect his game about playing Heads Up?

Don’t just play your cards – in Heads Up, the most important thing to think about is your opponent’s cards.  That way you can decide when to bluff or value bet more effectively since you know what she is likely to have, and whether or not she is likely to call you down.

By Patocuac08

Translation: Tiagosik

Vanessa Selbst

http://www.pokergenio.com

Vanessa Selbst began playing poker when she was a young girl in Montclair, New Jersey, though playing sports like basketball and tennis took much of her spare time. It was until she attended college at Yale University, where she eventually graduated in 2005 with a degree in political science, that she started to take the game more seriously. She played home games with friends with players like poker pro Alex Jacob, and they introduced her to the online poker community, like the forums, that helped her hone her skills and learn more about strategy. After college, while turning into an avid poker player, she took several jobs, such as working for a non-profit organization and as a management consultant.

Alex Kravchenko

Alex Kravchenko

Exclusive interview with Alexander Kravchenko, a monster in the World of Poker
 
Alexander Kravchenko is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world. Complete where you look, he has been playing poker for 14 years, not just Texas Holdem, but also in other modalities. He had great results in his career, especially he won the WSOP bracelet in 2007, in the event # 9, Omaha Hi Low. We present you a short but interesting exclusive interview to a player of the first level, days before leaving to participate in the WSOP.

How did you start in the world of poker?
I was a professional gambler – mostly blackjack against casino.

Did the fourth place in the main event in the WSOP 2007 was an inflexion point in your proffesional carrer?
No. It was just a big, maybe even a huge score, but overall it didn’t changed my career at all.

What means to you to be a PokerStars Team Pro?
I think it’s very prestigious to be a Team Pro, also they are paying me some money for this advertising.

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Alex Kravchenko

Alex Kravchenko

Completing his education, he became an astute businessman and quickly found success, along with the ability to invest in various businesses in Russia. But it was during his leisure time that he took up blackjack and began to frequent gaming establishments. He did well at the game and moved on to Oasis, a form of poker that was similar to Caribbean Stud.
Alexander Kravchenko’s Profile

However, he couldn’t help but notice the trend in the late 1990′s that involved poker. Kravchenko realized the level of skill that was involved and the game and quickly set about studying it. He began to play primarily hold’em in casinos, and the money he made eclipsed that from his businesses, so the focus of his energies centered on poker tournaments going forward. By 1997, he was a recognized player in local establishments, and his tournament play began to show results in 1999.

The first tournament series Kravchenko played was the Moscow International in December of 1999, and he made final tables of three events, two of them hold’em and one of them seven-card stud. By 2001, he was traveling to more events, final tabling tournaments at the Open Championships of Russia in St. Petersburg, the Vienna Spring Festival, the Austrian Masters, the Autumn Tournament in Paris, the Winter Tournament Olympia in St. Petersburg, and the Helsinki Freezeout. He claimed victories at the Olympia and the Moscow Open that year as well.

From his native Germany, the young European poker prodigy who stunned Argentina and South America in the LAPT in Mar del Plata in 2009, spoke exclusively to www.hablandodepoker.com about his life two years after that great achievement that was the inflection point in his career.

 

Dear Dominik, thanks a lot for answer our interview. It´s very important and It´s an honor tu us to make you an interview.

No problem you are welcome.

 

What do you remember about your first place in Mar del Plata two years ago?

Everything actually. I will  never forget such a big life changing win.

 

Please tell us something about you reacnh the LAPT playing satellites

Well i had quite a good record playing step 6 before. i already qualified for dortmund multiple times. So one day i was looking at the step  6s and i saw that they were running satellites to the lapt grandfinal. It was right during my holidays so i decided to go after talking to my friend Max Heinzelmann who also won a package. I actually ended up winning 5 seats and i am pretty sure i had the best winrate anyone has ever had in step 6s. i won 5 seats out of 10 tries. Thats a good return even if you do not cash in the main event.

 

What memories do you have from Argentina? Have you vissited our country on others times? Are you thinking of coming again to Argentina?

I have been to Argentina twice and i have nothing but good memories. The people are very nice even though most of them do not speak english they still try really hard to help you and make you feel welcome. The last time i have been Argentina was for the grandfinal of LAPT season 3 and i will most likely come back for any grandfinal.

 

Are you studying Spanish? Why?

It actually is one of my goals to learn spanish in the next 2-3years. this is because i spent a lot of time in spanish speaking countries and most of the people do not speak english at all so getting around and can sometimes be come quite difficult and stressful.