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Big in 2010: PokerStars Player Fatima Moreira

29 December 2010 by admin

This is the first in a series that will look back at who and what was big in the online gambling world in the year 2010.

Fatima Moreira De MeloPoker may be a game that is exciting to poker players, but it has always been rather dull as a spectator activity. For that reason, despite its increasing popularity and the respectable television ratings, there has always been the feeling that poker has plenty of room to grow. What the game needs is a star with crossover appeal.

fatimaSure, players like Phil Ivey are exciting to watch if you’re already into poker, but he’s not going to bring in new fans. What poker is looking for is not the next Jimmie Johnson, who has won five consecutive NASCAR championships. It is looking for the next Danica Patrick. What she lacks in wins she makes up for in charisma, charm, a great personality for endorsements and, of course, sex appeal. Fatima Moreira de Melo may be what the game of poker needs.

In 2009, the Dutch beauty announced her retirement from field hockey, a game she had dominated, including winning a gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics. A lover of the game of poker, on September of 2009 she joined the PokerStars team as a poker pro.

Shortly thereafter, she placed 12th at the 2009 Dutch Poker Open and 9th at the Lido International Dutch Open. She then started 2010 with more impressive showings in live poker tournaments – including placing in three events of the World Series of Poker – with winnings $126,544.

She has also had a strong presence online. On the PokerStars website, where she goes by the name FatimaDeMelo, she has made money at a number of tournaments, including winning the PokerStars Nightly Hundred Grand.

fatima-meloWhile I certainly wouldn’t mind having her winnings, they don’t compare with the likes of Phil Ivey or Doyle Brunson. That’s not the point, though. She’s not Jimmie Johnson; she’s Danica Patrick. Moreira is a player who draws everyone’s attention when she sits down at a poker table. She draws onlookers and cameras wherever she goes. She is a poker player that people who don’t even play poker want to meet. After all, it’s not often that poker players grace the cover of FHM magazine. Doyle certainly never will.

Some will resent that Moreira gets more attention than better players without the looks, but such is life. Poker isn’t an exciting game to watch, with the dark glasses and stoic poker faces. Charismatic and beautiful players like Moreira, who also have the talent to win any tournament, are just what the game of poker has been searching for. After making a splash in 2010, Moreira is looking ahead to a big 2012, where the plans to play in the PCA, EPT and WSOP.

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