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Living on an Island
Back in 1979, a British rock band by the name of Status Quo released a single title 'Living on an Island'. It was a bit hit for the band and became a top 20 hit single in the UK; making it to No. 16. The song was also featured on the bands' album Whatever You Want.

So what has this got to do with our latest Winners Wall story here at PokerStars School? Well, to begin with, we chat to school member 'Harold_House' who actually lives on an island, and we hear from him how you can achieve whatever you want in poker when you really try to study the game hard, review hands and soak up all the strategy information provided here at the school. Let's find out more...

PokerStars School: Tell us a little about yourself, where do you come from, etc?
My name is Harold and originally I'm from the USA, Kentucky to be precise. However currently, I have been living on Camiguin Island in the Philippines since 2015. I'm married with 3 daughters and a baby on the way, and I've been disabled since 2010.

PokerStars School: When did you get into poker?
I started playing home games in the 1980s and played some live games in the casinos every now and then. I was always losing a small amount but enjoying the social aspect of the game. I did have one big winning session where I turned $100 into $2900, I was on a major heater. Unfortunately, however, I had to quit around 2010 because of complications with liver failure. l lost almost all memory and wasn't really able to even go anywhere except to doctors. Then thankfully I received a liver transplant in 2011. I hadn't really even thought of poker since then until I saw an ad for a no deposit bonus in January. So I joined that site and lost what part of the bonus was released within a week. Then I heard of PokerStars School so I thought I'll give that a try. Playing cards helped me pass the time when I didn't feel like doing anything else, as long as I didn't lose much. So I joined the school and started studying the lessons and playing the School Pass tournaments. I was still losing but enjoying the games. Then during one of Pete Clarke's sessions, he explained how to study and get the most from the lessons and videos. So I followed his advice and got a pencil and paper and started pausing videos, writing down important things, and would re-read articles until I really understood what concepts they were teaching. I joined the cardschat forum and downloaded all the free info I could find. Then my game turned around. I started winning in the School Tournaments and doing well in the freerolls at PokerStars.

PokerStars School: Who is your poker hero, the player you admire the most and why?
My poker hero is Stu Ungar. He won the WSOP three times. He was a genius and had an eidetic memory. He once won a bet that he would know the last card after going through a 6 deck blackjack shoe. What impressed me with him was not only his IQ and memory but his reads and psychological understanding of opponents.

PokerStars School: You won the Initiation League in April, tell us about this, was it easy or hard?
Winning The League is not easy. There are lots of good opponents that are studying the same lessons and information as you are. What makes the difference is time spent and the way you go about studying.

PokerStars School: What do you like most about the new league format?
I don't know anything about the old league system, and never played it, but I have really enjoyed playing in the new league and I have learned so much. I went from a 'losing every session player' to the winner of the April League in only a couple months. I will continue to study all the lessons and articles at the school as I progress to the Masters League. I have the foundation and confidence now to do well.

PokerStars School: What was your best tournament result of the month?
My best result was 1st place on April 4th. I also had 2nd, 4th, and 10th place finishes in April. I finished the month 177 points ahead of the field.

PokerStars School: What is your favorite format? Is it tournaments, sit & go's, cash games, or spin & go's?
My favorite format so far is 90-360 player Sit & Go's. But I'm trying a lot of different types of formats since I won the T$100. I like the spin and gos but they have a lot of variances.

Harold topped a field of over 1,000 players to win the monthly leaderboard.

PokerStars School: Do you follow a strategy when you play poker?
I just try to play sound, sometimes tight, very aggressive poker. I want to stay between the definition of all the different styles of play to make myself more difficult to play against, but I'm seldom passive.

PokerStars School: In what way has the School helped you improve your poker game?
The most important way the school has improved my game is teaching me how to get the most out of whatever I'm studying. The school has so many organized detailed courses that it will help anyone that seriously goes through them.

PokerStars School: What tips or advice would you recommend to other players just starting off.
I would recommend to beginners to review their hands every day and seriously study the lessons here at PokerStars School before worrying about videos of pros playing high stakes games.  Micro and small stakes games should be played straightforwardly. The moves used in mid to high stakes games won't work on beginners that only play their 2 cards. Study by pausing to take notes and go back over parts of lessons to really get the concepts down. Then practice applying the concepts in the School Pass and The League games.
Congratulate Harold by leaving him a comment below.

Player 'Harold_House' 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.

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