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Our Inaugural Initiation League Winner
In this Winners Wall interview we catch up with player 'cpm_04_79' who was the overall winner of our first-ever Canadian Initiation League...

PokerStars School: Tell us a little about yourself, what's your background, where do you come from, age, job etc...
My name is Chris. I am 39 years old and from Couchiching First Nation, where I still live. Couchiching is a small community about 5 km west of Fort Frances, ON. I am working as a carpenter's apprentice at the moment. I am working on obtaining my certifications so I can venture out and create my own business.

PokerStars School: Who is your poker hero, the player you admire the most and why?
I don't watch too much poker, but if I had to choose someone it would be Daniel Negreanu. I like the way he works through hands to put his opponents on more specific hands.

The competiton was tough but Chris took top spot at the end of the month.

PokerStars School: You won the Initiation League in January, tell us about this, was it easy or hard?
In most leagues I have played in I found it easier to hold the lead than it was to chase down the leaders. In January, I had an early win so I was able to take fewer chances while I collected the points needed to stay ahead. Most leagues I have played in have been more about lasting in each event than it was to win many of them.

PokerStars School: What do you like most about the new league?
Since the tournaments now have fewer players, it is more likely to end up on the same table as the same people more often. I like this in league play. I can sit back and watch them all do their own things. Learn a little from them to help my own game and use some of their tendencies to help my actions against them.

PokerStars School: What were your best tournament results of the month?
After an early 1st place finish I was able to hold the spot for most of the month. I lost the first place for one tournament and reclaimed the spot in the next. A 9th place finish later in the month was enough to stay just out front the rest of the way.

PokerStars School: Do you think that you have more chances to win T$ with the new system?
Now that the fields have shrunk I find it far easier to stay high on the leader board. Although, in December and November I had a 4th place and I think 20th in the 13000 person fields too. The best system in a league I remember is when I played in the Stars league long ago. It had the plus-minus system. High or money finishes were positive points and anything less netted you some negative points. I thought these were much tougher because it required more consistency.

PokerStars School: What is your favourite format? Is it tournaments, sit & go's, cash games, or spin & go's?
I mostly play tournament play. I am often found around pl/nl Omaha tournaments. I usually look for the ones that have around 200 players at most by registrations end. If I am in a hold em tournament I try to stay with the ones that max out at around 1000 players.

A win on January 8th helped Chris to league success at the end of the month.

PokerStars School: Do you follow a strategy when you play poker? Sort of like a checklist while you play?
I don't follow any strategies too strictly. I like to watch and react to the play on the table. I'm not at every table to play everyone. If I'm patient enough I can usually get my chips in against the people I want to shoot against in the spots I want to shoot.

PokerStars School: In what way has the School helped you improve your poker game?
The league tournaments have been the biggest help. Over the past few months I have found a fairly good group of players I like to focus on. Partly because they are a good group of players but mostly because I have to know what they are doing when the time comes to face them down.

PokerStars School: What tips or advice would you recommend to other players just starting off.
Patience would be the first thing to come to mind. I see far too many people trying to win a 6-hour tournament within the first 15 minutes. Next I would say, not every big hand you hit is going to be a winner. Sometimes it is an amazing lay down that will get you deep into the money.  Don't get too attached to any hand.
Congratulate Chris by leaving him a comment below.

Player 'cpm_04_79' 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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