PokerStars School: Tell us a little about yourself, what's your background, where do you come from, age, job etc...
bearclaws8989: My name is Jonathan bear, I was born in Winnipeg but I'm from a small community of about 5000 people called Hollow Water, I'm aboriginal (Ojibwa), I'm a truck driver, but I've held a lot of job titles over the years.
PokerStars School: How did you get into poker?
bearclaws8989: I started playing poker when I was 17 with older players so I learned a lot from my early days. I started watching poker on TV and I was fascinated with the game, I just imagined being at a final table playing for millions so I started playing more home games with friends and family just to have fun.
PokerStars School: Who is your poker hero, the player you admire the most and why?
bearclaws8989: My favourite player is JC Tran, his playing style and overall game is very impressive. I remember watching him play at the final table in the World Series I wanted him to win that one. He didn't, but he's still the best in my books.
PokerStars School: You won the Initiation League in February, tell us about this, was it easy or hard?
bearclaws8989: I wouldn't say it was easy there's a lot of tough players out there but I held the lead in the standings by being consistent, correct decision making, and taking what I learned from PokerStars School and applying it to the tables when I played.
PokerStars School: What do you like most about the new The League?
bearclaws8989: I like that the new league has smaller fields and $3000 to start but I didn't like that you could still enter tournaments super late if you wanted to.
PokerStars School: What was your best tournament result of the month?
bearclaws8989: My best performance was a 1st place finish but I made 5 final tables which really helped me become untouchable.
PokerStars School: Do you think that you have more chances to win T$ with the new system?
bearclaws8989: With the new system I feel like I have a chance every time. I just love the new league.
PokerStars School: What is your favourite format? Is it tournaments, sit & go's, cash games, or spin & go's?
bearclaws8989: My favourite format is tournaments without doubt. MTT's are the best, but I don't mind Spin and Go's either.
A 1st place finish on February 8th got 'bearclaws8989' month off to a great start.
PokerStars School: Do you follow a strategy when you play poker? Sort of like a checklist while you play?
bearclaws8989: I stick to a game plan but I have no checklist. If I'm playing against a tough opponent I change it up and adjust. You always have to adapt, and there are so many good players out there.
PokerStars School: In what way has the School helped you improve your poker game?
bearclaws8989: I owe my new poker career to PokerStars School. It helped me to become more confident by understanding the fundamentals and constant change in poker. I applied all that I've learned from the courses and I attended a few live training sessions as well.
PokerStars School: What tips or advice would you recommend to other players just starting off.
bearclaws8989: My advice to all new poker players is to never give up and always be willing to continuously learn. Play your own game but always take advice from Pros because it will help you in the long run also join The League. It's free and it awesome! I'm very grateful for everything PokerStars School has given me and I will continue my poker journey, hopefully, have success and maybe join the WPT one day when I have a healthier bankroll.
The key to success is hard work and commitment. I'll see you all on the leader-boards for years to come but I'm coming for both leagues next month my confidence is high and my skills are relevant. Thank you for interviewing me I enjoyed it.
Player 'bearclaws8989' has been credited with T$25 as a token of thanks for sharing his story. Would you like to share your story? See here for more details.