PokerStars School: Tell us a little about yourself?
4wheeled: My name is Paul and I've lived in the suburbs of Toronto for 61 years. In my "first life" I sold diesel engines, then, after a spinal cord injury in my 20's I've done various volunteer work including for others with SCI. I consider myself a professional Consumer.
PokerStars School: How did you get into poker?
4wheeled: I never played cards much growing up except learning euchre (Editors Fun Fact: this is the game responsible for introducing the joker into modern packs) in college. I got interested in poker when they started broadcasting it on TV after the baseball strike. I didn't start playing until PokerStars became more mainstream and I joined up about 10 years ago and started playing for free with the ability to win real cash in the many freeroll tournaments they had. Back then there were three levels of poker school and 10,000 people in a tournament.
I did the online courses and quizzes and also watched a Phil Helmuth DVD with the takeaway of only playing pairs to make it to the money bubble. I remember playing poker school and someone, don't remember who, commented that I was doing pretty good in the league, and I had no idea what that was. After learning what it was I worked my way up the levels. I was also able to get my bankroll up to $100 or so before learning that raising your stakes can make it go away pretty quick, and then I had to make a deposit.
It was a tough battle right up until the end of the month for '4wheeled'.
PokerStars School: Who is your poker hero, the player you admire the most and why?
4wheeled: I'll say Daniel Negreanu since he was the Canadian in the group that I originally watched. There isn't as much poker on TV these days but I have started watching some of the Live-stream training and quite enjoy Fintan, Spraggy and Nick and James and feel like I'm learning a lot from their commentaries.
PokerStars School: You won the Master League in June, tell us about this, was it easy or hard?
4wheeled: I wouldn't call it easy but I find that when I give the game my full attention and get some good cards, it's not as hard as when I'm guessing at what to do. I like to late register so I have fewer opportunities to do something dumb and then I just try to make the correct decisions based on
everything I've learned (remember) from courses etc. Getting good cards at the right time and then grind it out.
PokerStars School: What do you like most about the new league?
4wheeled: I like that the field is smaller and games don't take 4 hours, and since they are turbo format it goes pretty quick. With only a couple hundred people in the league, everyone is pretty serious about playing "properly" so there is less chance of getting beat by dumb play. Although I admit to being one of the dumb ones in the past, I take my win as proof that I'm not that dumb anymore.
PokerStars School: What was your best tournament result of the month?
4wheeled: Coming in first in the third game I played! I was quite happy since it was the first time I'd won any tournament dollars in the new league.
PokerStars School: Do you think that you have more chances to win T$ with the new system?
4wheeled: I would say no since only 10% get paid, but then I don't recall what the old league paid since it always seemed like an unattainable goal to me. I never played the league before to make money, but to practice with others I hoped were trying to get better too. But since winning T$ the last two months I'm definitely happy but think winnings could be spread out over 20%.
A win on June 7th helped Paul towards leaderboard success.
PokerStars School: What is your favorite format? Is it tournaments, sit & go's, cash games, or spin & go's?
4wheeled: I started by playing MTT's and still like them but am getting into smaller Sit & Go's because they don't take as long. I've also been trying spin & go's after watching Nick and James. When I feel like gambling I play the spin & go max, but I try not to because that's how I've watched my bankroll dwindle in the past.
PokerStars School: Do you follow a strategy when you play poker? Sort of like a checklist while you play?
4wheeled: I guess I probably should but not really. I talk to myself and go back and forth between saying "don't be crazy, fold" and "take a chance".
PokerStars School: In what way has the School helped you improve your poker game?
4wheeled: I don't think I'd be answering these questions if it weren't for the school. It's basically taught me the game. From basic rules to strategy. Everytime I have watched a video or read an article (and understood them) my play has improved. The hard part is remembering everything!
PokerStars School: What tips or advice would you recommend to other players just starting off.
4wheeled: Watch and read everything you can online, and stick with micro stakes even as you start winning because while it's nice to win bigger, it's nicer to lose small.