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Being a Team PokerStars Online Pro, by Nichoel Peppe

teampokerstarsonlinelogo.PNGby Nichoel Peppe (NicP)

I have been a "live" cash game player throughout my entire five+ years of playing poker. I have dabbled in online play periodically, but never once considered it as a means to making money. It was always just for fun and love of the game. The thing I love most about poker and is (in my humble opinion) the best part of my game is being able to read my opponents and knowing what they have.

Visual clues are huge for my game... I pay attention to everything. This is why online play always seemed to be a little bit out of my comfort zone. Online seems to be more about the statistics and math side of poker (which is a big part of the game but something I usually consider without really having to think about it). And with online gamers it is "positive ev" this and "nit" that and "c bet" this and lmfao... it's like another whole world out there, even for someone like myself who has played poker for many years.

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So to say that I was a "wee bit" nervous for my first month as part of Team PokerStars Online would be a drastic understatement (to say the least)! Numerous players posed the question: "If you are a live player, why are you now part of Team Online?" Every time someone asks me that I give the same reply: "I filled out the application in October and here I am!"

But when I truly think about it, it is quite a great question. Why me? I am pretty sure that my results at the 2009 WSOP Main Event played a big part in the decision. Especially since I sported the PokerStars logo in all its glory throughout my ESPN coverage. Also, I have not only played poker for a living for the last five years, but I have also hosted the 5-10 no limit hold'em game at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles for three of those five years. In actuality, being a part of Team Online and my hosting gig at the Bike were really quite similar... in both I am/was paid a salary to play at a specific establishment for a specific period of time.

So the question becomes: "How is it going?" All I really have to say to that is: "Aye-Ya." For all you live players out there, you know that expression well; it means things are not going so hot... very sad. The month started off innocent and normal enough, but ended with one of my worst weeks in poker. I couldn't get a hand to hold up to save my life. No matter what I did, it was wrong - no matter how far ahead I was when I went all in, I was always the one who ended up on the rail. It is weeks like this that make us wonder what the heck we are doing in this profession. And then tomorrow ... our hands hold up, we make all the right plays, we win all the money and the sun shines again! Here's to our tomorrows.

Until then, good luck at the tables. I'll see ya there!

To follow my day-to-day progress, catch me playing on PokerStars under the user name 'NicP'. You can also find me on Facebook by searching for 'Nichoel Peppe'.

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