by Rebekah Mercer
Martha Herrera found that playing online poker suited her busy lifestyle perfectly after being introduced to it at her husband's home game. Since then she has found great success playing online Sit & Gos and tournaments on PokerStars. In addition, Martha represented her home country of Mexico at the PokerStars World Cup in 2007 and at the Americas Cup in 2009.
Martha is one of PokerStars' most recognized online celebrities and says that playing online has changed her life in many ways--all for the good. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for PokerStars Women, so read on to find out what it's like to be a member of Team PokerStars Online and how it has changed her life.
How many hours of poker do you play per week?
I play from 20 to 60 hours at week, especially on the weekends; 10 to 20 hours a week are live play.
How many tables at one time is average for you?
Four tables is my average, the most I can play comfortably is ten.
What stakes/limit do you play primarily?
I play mostly one table $100 dollar buy-in Sit & Gos.
Do you ever wish you could play more live poker?
I've played live poker since 1999 once or twice at week, but I like to play online better than live.
Do you think your style is influenced by the fact that you're a woman?
I don't think my style is influenced that much by being a woman. Rather, I like to think that I keep adjusting it to combat my opponents' styles.
Is your gender a challenge or an opportunity for you as a woman?
I think being a woman is an opportunity in a sport dominated by men. It is much easier for a woman to get some attention/sponsorship because of the fact that there aren't as many of us around.
Like many poker players, you have had a few different careers. If you had to give up poker tomorrow, what kind of job would you pursue?
I have my own business, so if I had to give up poker (knock on wood!) I would concentrate on my business.
Taking into consideration the fact that amateurs can be so volatile and hard to read, please answer the following: If you had your choice to play heads-up against a rank amateur or a mid-level pro in a big tournament which would you choose?
I would rather play the amateur, expecting to be able to use his mistakes to my advantage.
What good things has poker brought to your life?
It has changed my life in a wonderful way. I have met wonderful people and have made very good friends in different parts of the world. Plus I love traveling, and poker has given me the opportunity to travel with my family around the world, for the most part for free, qualifying to play big tournaments in satellites online.
So there you have it. Traveling the world playing poker is not such a bad gig. Let's give it a shot! See you at the next Sit & Go--under the micro tab, that is.
* Martha Herrera is a member of Team PokerStars Online and plays under the name 'marene'. For more information, read her full bio at the PokerStars Women home page, under the tab Team PokerStars Pro