Name: Stephen Spiteri
Location: Mellieha, Malta
Date of birth: 30 November 1980
Stephen started playing poker at a very young age and moved onto Texas Hold’em in 2005. He learnt the game from a friend who poured enough knowledge in order for him to start winning [cents] consistently at home games. Stephen eventually moved online and tried his luck there. This is where he started winning money and followed up by playing at higher limits and in bigger tournaments. Stephen is currently working on improving his game by reading educational books on Texas Hold’em and acquiring experience through live and online games.
Stephen is an avid fan of both online and live poker. He plays a lot of online sit and go’s and fares reasonably well. He has also played in MTT’s and came in the top 3 places several times.
Apart from his success rate in low entry sit’n’go’s, both live and online, Stephen also earned a respectable 3rd place during a live €100 Re-buy tournament at the Dragonara Casino, Malta, earning himself €800 for his efforts. He also won himself seats to the September and Halloween 2009 €220 Freeze-outs as well as the €330 Malta Chili Poker 2009 through the live satellites held at the Portomaso Casino.
Syle of play
Stephen starts off playing a tight game, while analyzing his opponents and gathering as much information as possible during the earlier stages of the tournament. He eventually loosens up after increasing his stack and eventually starts entering pots with play-worthy hands. Stephen also believes in adapting to his opponents styles and frequently changes his game to reflect this strategy.
He also gives importance to key indicators about his opponents, such as waiting for the big blind before participating in a pot, frequency of opponent’s raises, signs of continuation betting and changing gears. Whether in a hand or not, Stephen always keeps a close eye on his opponents, absorbing all valuable information with his astute demeanor.
Stephen confesses that the greatest influences in his current poker style are Poker books by authors such as Dan Harrington and Doyle Brunson. He also learnt a great deal from watching professional players on TV in tournaments such as the WSOP and the WPT. Stephen plays poker on a daily basis; it is this devotion that keeps him sharp and ready for a game, whenever it’s on.
This Maltese Poker Player is aware that“theory and practice are two completely different foundations”, and tries to make the most efficient combination possible by reading, learning and experimenting in both live and online fields. The two platforms have their obvious differences so he applies his new strategies and then analyses where they are more effective, during live or online play.
Stephen told us that he has a “soft spot for live poker and find[s] it more interesting because of player interaction, the amount of information available, and the fact that in local, land-based casinos you tend to start noticing patterns in your regular opponents”.
When asked about online poker he finds that “it’s easier to get distracted since I usually play from home, a factor that affects my game significantly. The massive player pools don’t help either, as one has no background information on his opponents since there are new opponents at every table”.
Stephen plays on many sites to gather experience against all sorts of players in the many games available in each poker room. He is a regular on Pokerstars, Poker Haven and Titan Poker.