The 12th of February Mette-Louise Christiansen won the WPT National Vejle in Denmark. The 27-year old student from Sønderborg took home the first prize of 528,570 DKK ($98,801) when she beat Tina Christensen heads up. For the first time in poker history the final two players standing were women.
In the days following the event many media – if not all – claimed it was the first time a woman won an WPT Main Event. In fact this is not true. In 2011 the Russian poker player Natalia Nikitina took down the WPT National Paris at the Aviation Club for €243,830. The tough final table included Sam Trickett among others.
So we do have two women winning WPT National events, but still no woman winning a WPT International event. In 2008 Van Nguyen won the WPT Invitational, but as the title says it was not an open event, thus not counting as a “real” championship event. So all you ladies out there, you can still become the first female WPT-winner in history.
In a press release from the Danish gaming site Danske Spil the amazing Mette-Louise Christiansen shares her thoughts on what it takes to win a WPT. In her own words:
1. Stay focused
I think for many players the greatest challenge is to stay focused for many hours and sometimes days in larger tournaments. Therefore it’s important not to loose concentration as it can ruin your game and you lose focus from the things you have to do while you are playing.
You will never go through a tournament without losing a hand where you started out a big favorite. You’ll often experience that you are ahead, but nothing is definite before all five cards are dealt. It happened to me twice at WPT Vejle in some mayor pots where my aces ended up losing, and then it’s really important not to tilt. What works for me is to take a small break away from the table and gather focus and then forget about the hand you just lost.
2. Believe in it
Some will call it superstition, others luck, but whatever you call it, it’s always important to believe in yourself. In tournaments all players bluff – if not, it’s really hard to go far on just premium hands.
For my part it’s also important that I follow my intuition by reading my opponents and go with it when I make hero calls.
In addition I think that if you believe in yourself and have confidence in your game, you are more able to succeed. I have often tried to be in a tournament or sit at a cash game when I had an off day, and those times it’s easy to lose confidence in yourself, and it’s also those days you are losing. So always believe in yourself!
3. Your opponents are just as important as your cards
You might have many hands that look great as well as being card dead for hours. Remember always to pick your spots and exploit the players you are facing. Pretty quick you will get an impression as to who is playing tight or loose. And when blinds are starting to get up you have to think about who you can steal from and who will defend all the way with bad holdings.
If you consider those element you can go far, because you’ve made some good reads. In addition you always have to be aware of your position. If you want to make a bluff, it’s not always profitable to do it UTG (under the gun), but instead when several players have folded and there are fewer players in the pot. If you are low stacked you have to be willing to gamble it up and push with less than premium hands – especially it you are in the small blind and alone with the big blind to be able to steal blinds and antes.
Photo: Danske Spil