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57-Year Old Retiree Maureen McCarthy Crushes PokerShares

Maureen McCarthy
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  • The story of Maureen McCarthy, a retiree from Canada now focusing on buying shares of poker players online.

A game of skill, or a game of luck? How about a bit of both? Poker has transitioned into a game that more people are playing because of the talents required to become a successful player. However, there is still a luck factor based on any sort of gambling.

Many players will look to reduce the amount of variance in the game and one of those ways is by selling action. With the number of tournaments being played on the regular, staking has become the norm in the poker community. Players will swap action with some opponents or sell some of their buy-ins to those who are looking for an investment. It can be a profitable investment if you put your eggs in the right basket. Finding the right player to invest in, now is that a game of skill, or a game of luck?

"When I first started on PokerShares, I was just punting; picking random players for one percent and not really sweating the results."

When Mike McDonald came up with the idea of an online staking site called PokerShares, it was geared directly towards the game of poker, it was his way of allowing the avid poker fan at home to get in the game.

Maureen McCarthy, a PokerShares member, was out to prove that it takes some effort to be a profitable shareholder in poker players. But why poker staking, some people may wonder about McCarthy's post-employment decision. Well, after she was introduced to Daily Fantasy Sports on Jason Sommerville's Twitch channel, she opted to translate that sort of gambling into a hobby she loved; poker. McCarthy, who goes by 'MoMac630' online, has made herself known to fellow players in the southern Ontario poker community with a constant smile on her face.

"Most of the people on twitch chat call me 'dude'. I'm a woman, 57 years old and I retired this year. I sold my house in Hamilton, ON, Canada in June, gave away all my belongings, and put what I could fit in my truck, loaded up the dog and moved to New Brunswick. I bought a lovely little house on a river and life is pretty darn good."

As a retired Canadian, McCarthy has found a love for this incredibly skilled game, but in her own sort of way.

McCarthy was one of the very first to make a PokerShares account, stemming from her roots with McDonald. She grew up just a short distance away from him and became a fan when he first burst onto the poker scene.

The love for poker had its origin well before that. Like many others, McCarthy was introduced to the No-Limit Hold'em game when Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event.

"I told him that my best reference for the ranking of poker hands was Yahtzee."

"I got into poker the same way a lot of people did; Chris Moneymaker, 2003. I didn't start playing myself until 2009. I had some mediocre success but I really wasn't that good. It was a lot of fun and I still love poker.

"My biggest thrill was that I played and cashed in the 2013 WSOP Seniors Tournament. I met Moneymaker that year and I told him that my best reference for the ranking of poker hands was Yahtzee. He looked horrified. I still play a bit but it's usually with a glass of wine."

When McCarthy heard about PokerShares, her first thought was that this would be a great way to enjoy the game she had come to love, without having to decipher all the poker strategies. "For a lot of years, I've been watching, reading, and following poker media and poker players. I love to celebrate the big wins and I love the back stories on a lot of the players. It was just an interest that I had for a lot of years."

57-Year Old Retiree Maureen McCarthy Crushes PokerShares 101
Maureen McCarthy with her dogs (left) and min-cashing in the 2013 WSOP Seniors Event (right).

Just like the game on the felt, McCarthy quickly realized that her new passion would require some time and effort. It wasn't all glitter and glamour when she first started out, and she was the first to admit it. "To be honest, when I first started on PokerShares, I was just punting; picking random players for one percent and not really sweating the results. Recently, retirement got boring and I still had to earn money, so I decided to get serious with a plan on PokerShares."

"I've bought pieces of friends in tournaments for the sweat in the past. There's always a little weirdness when they don't win.

With a bit of a studying and research, it wouldn't be long before McCarthy started to see her results change. "I had a decent sized bankroll at the start of the PokerStars Turbo Series and thought, let's see what I can do with this. My goal was to cash out $10,000 and have my first five-figure score. Like every good poker player, I record my bets and review my play, and I'm starting to see patterns and refine my play."

The first boost to McCarthy's bankroll came not long after Twitch sensation Lex Veldhuis teamed up with PokerShares to allow his viewers to buy a stake in his online tournaments. McCarthy bought ten percent of Veldhuis' action in the $530 Bounty Builder and was able to sweat the tournament via his Twitch stream. Veldhuis became one of the chip leaders deep in the tournament and McCarthy was left on the edge of her seat in front of her computer as she looked on. The retired Canadian would go on to earn over €1,200; her biggest cash at the time.

That number didn't stand up for long as McCarthy continued to reap the rewards of finding profitable stakes in players. She went on to pocket wins in excess of €30,000 in just the last couple of months, with her largest score of €14,000 coming just a couple of days ago. When asked about her largest score to date, McCarthy was clearly ecstatic about her recent success. "It's not just my biggest PokerShares cash, it's my biggest cash ever, including poker and DFS!"

McCarthy is starting to prove that with a little bit of hard work and research, there is money to be made in the poker staking business. And doing it online from the comfort of her own home, is even better, she admits. "I've bought pieces of friends in tournaments for the sweat in the past. There's always a little weirdness when they don't win. It can be a tad uncomfortable and I found myself reassuring them that I'm OK with it. Buying on PokerShares removes all of that."

For those that are looking to get involved in the game of poker, this could be the stepping stone to something great. Some of the greats including Daniel Negreanu and Lex Veldhuis have said that the best way to learn the game, is to watch the best. Twitch has become a great platform for the highly-skilled players to demonstrate their talents to a much broader audience. And what a better way to learn than to have a little sweat while doing so.

One more benefit to earning money through online staking, stated McCarthy, "When you play on PokerShares, you can go to the bathroom whenever you want."

This article has been written in cooperation with PokerShares.

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