PokerStars School: Tell us a little about yourself, what's your background, where do you come from, age, etc...
HomSet: I'm Nicolas, originally from Montreal. I'm a 27-year-old graduate student studying mathematics at UBC in Vancouver.
PokerStars School: How did you first get into poker?
HomSet: I was first exposed to poker by playing five-card draw with friends and family when I was in elementary school. More recently I saw highlights of great plays by players like Ivey, Dwan and Negreanu on YouTube which made me interested in playing myself, so a year and a half ago I deposited on Stars and started playing the 0.01/0.02$ nlhe cash games.
There were a lot of familiar names from the poker forum in the top ten of the leader-board.
PokerStars School: Who is your poker hero, the player you admire the most and why?
HomSet: I wouldn't call him my hero, but the player I most like watching is Spraggy on Twitch. I find his streams have a good blend of entertainment and quality play.
PokerStars School: You won the Master League in January, tell us about this, was it easy or hard?
HomSet: I had high finishes in the first three League tournaments I played in January. This motivated me to play all of the remaining tournaments for the month as I felt there was a realistic shot for me to finish in the top 10 or top 5 of the League. Towards the end of the month, I ran particularly well and finished the last 8 tournaments with 4 final tables. This allowed me to achieve the top position on the leaderboard. The top 6 all finished within 50 points of me so it was close and the victory was not easy. I certainly won more than half of my all-in flips at crucial times so luck helped me as well.
PokerStars School: What do you like most about the new league?
HomSet: I enjoy the quicker structure and smaller field of the new league. The slower tournaments of the old league were a bit too long for me to play regularly.
PokerStars School: What were your best tournament result of the month?
HomSet: My best result in the League last month was a second place finish for 66 points on the leaderboard.
PokerStars School: Do you think that you have more chances to win tournament dollars with the new system?
HomSet: Yes definitely. If you look at the January leaderboard you can see that over half the people who played 12 tournaments or more ended up winning T$ at the end of the month. I think anyone who plays most of the tournaments and plays with a reasonable strategy can be a contender for a top 10 finish in the League.
PokerStars School: What is your favourite format? Is it tournaments, sit & go's, cash games, or spin & go's?
HomSet: My current game of choice is the nlhe ZOOM games. Anywhere from 0.02/0.05$ to 0.25/0.50$. I also occasionally play PLO cash games and low buy-in nlhe/PLO/mixed games tournaments.
HomSet made a remarkable six final table appearances during the month of January.
PokerStars School: Do you follow a strategy when you play poker? Sort of like a checklist while you play?
HomSet: When I play tournaments, my first consideration at the start of a hand is my stack size. If I'm below 10bb I mostly play shove or fold from any position except the SB or BB. Otherwise, I just look at who else is sitting at the table and my decisions will be influenced by how tight or loose they seem to me.
PokerStars School: In what way has the School helped you improve your poker game?
HomSet: PokerStars School was most useful to me in helping me the learn the rules and basic strategy for mixed games. To me, it seems to be a great resource for learning the fundamentals of mixed games as there is not much free content around like there is for nlhe or PLO.
PokerStars School: What tips or advice would you recommend to other players just starting off.
HomSet: My best advice to players would be to play an aggressive strategy in tournaments. Aggressive play will most often result in an early bust but it also provides the best opportunity for a deep run. It seems to be especially preferable over a passive strategy in the League because of the scoring system. Finishing in the middle of the field will only give you 4 or 5 more points than the person who busted first. So a player with a small number of final table finishes and many early busts will do better than a player with consistent good but not great finishes.
Player 'HomSet' 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.