Diamond Interview Series: EagleStar88

This week we did something special and did not interview a Diamond member. However, this member is just as important: give it up for our Super Moderator EagleStar88!

You can't get mad at EagleStar88. It's phyisically impossible. You probably noticed his posts in the forum - he is just too god damn kind. He is so kind and convincing that UK police regularly uses him in hostage negotiations, when the situation gets out of hand. He's got an ROH (return of hostages) of 100% so far.

He is also the guy who delivers the English Community Round-up each week for the past half a year. Unless you've just landed on this planet (in which case you're not welcomed here), you should know him pretty well. I figured that he doesn't get enough love for his hard work and the next logical step was to feature him in this week's interview, even if it might be only for Diamonds and thus it would be cheating.

If you would like to help me pick next week's interviewee, read the previous interview of if you simply want to add suggestions, then check this thread specially created for these interviews:

Go to the Diamond Interview Series feedback thread

This interview was conducted by vhallee


: Keith Bartholomew
Age: 37
Location: United Kingdom
Game types: SSS/BSS up to NL 50, SnG up to $55, MTT up to $11

PokerStrategy.com: Hello, EagleStar88, and welcome to the Diamond Interview Series. For those who have been living under a rock for the past months, let's start with a short intro from you.

EagleStar88: Well hello Vali and English community, it's an awesome honour to appear in your famous or is this infamous interview series.
My name is Keith Bartholomew, but all my friends call me "Bart". I'm errrr over 18, what? You really want to know my age? Ok well it's 3-7 off-suit... just like the hand, kind of sucks but occasionally gets lucky ;) and I live in Hampshire on the south coast of England.

PokerStrategy.com: When I think of 3-7 (suited, though) I can only imagine the 'rivering a flush to crack your aces' scenario. So tell us, my good man, by what kind of planet alignment did you come across poker?

EagleStar88: Ah well I actually started playing poker 20 years ago (I told you I was old!). We used to play in 6th form college at school for 1 and 2 pence coins. Ah those happy days staggering for the bus with pockets full of small coins. In those days it was mainly 5 card draw though. I started playing more seriously in the mid 1990's when I joined a couple of online poker platforms. I like the buzz you get from playing and the competitiveness of it all. I think Venus was in Jupiter at the time, but I have no idea what that means.

Playing poker for 20 years already

EagleStar88's teenage years
PokerStrategy.com: 20 years ago? Yeah, a lot of our members were just busy growing teeth at that time. And then you found your way to PokerStrategy.com. How did that happen?

EagleStar88: Well I was searching the internet for strategy articles and I came across a strategy website and signed up to it. Sadly the "strategy" website had very little actual strategy material and no ongoing promotions, so a little disillusioned I searched again and found PokerStrategy.com.
From day one I was really impressed with how much money was reinvested back to players in the form of constantly updated strategy material, free live coaching sessions etc. and the community were really welcoming and fun to be around too.
Some affiliates seem to just want to sign you up and that’s it, with PokerStrategy, it's different, it's all about the community spirit and providing members with added value, I like that.

PokerStrategy.com: Our community rocks, damn right. I actually remember that thread in which you introduced yourself "The Eagle has landed (with a bump!)". By the way, what's the story behind your username? Are you trying to cheat on your age again?

EagleStar88: I wish I could. No, the nickname is actually the name of the first company I worked for Eagle Star Insurance (now taken over by a Swiss insurance giant). I just liked the name and it brings back happy memories of the friends I used to work with there, so it makes me smile and smiling is good for the EV. I think EagleStar was probably taken so I just put a couple of 8's behind it, 8 being my favourite (and lucky) number.

PokerStrategy.com: Taken over by a SWISS company you say? I think we all know who's responsible for this. The special thing about you is that you are more than a member: you became one of the most famous people in our community. What made you take this step from member to Moderator and then Super Moderator? Is it because of me?

EagleStar88: Well yeah, you got it, I'm actually secretly in love with you (in a non gay way) and just wanted to spend as much time as possible in the company of your greatness. Can you now quit shining that light in my eyes and take off these handcuffs?
I just love the community and all the superb members we have here. I was kind of spending more and more time in the forums and helping members out answering questions etc and just thought that I could possibly help your good self and the nice Mr SoyCD a little by taking on some of the forum related responsibilities. Whilst both SoyCD and yourself do a tremendous job and are really loved by all the members, you can't be everywhere at once, so I was happy to step up to the mark and help out.
Moderating can be tough sometimes, but it's also good to give a little back to the community and there are funny moments too. A big shout out to all of the moderators who do such a great job in keeping members safe from spam and help answering their questions etc.

The man behind the Community Round-up

Bart: smiling after another
succesful hostage negotiation
PokerStrategy.com: Sorry about the handcuffs, I got a little carried away. But yeah, our moderators are pretty awesome (well, maybe except Susan, we all know who that is). But we'll have something special planned for them, right Bart? Don't answer to that yet. So now that you are busy taking care of members, replying to user questions and closing threads in which they flame me, how much poker do you still play? What's an average poker day like to you?

EagleStar88: Well I must admit I don't get to play quite as much as I used to, because of the moderating and real life stuff sometimes gets in the way too of course.
I tend to catch up on the forum early on in the day and don't usually start to play poker until late afternoon or early evening. I try to allocate myself a set time in which to concentrate on my game, usually 1 to 2 hours, but it's pretty flexible and I'll play longer if I'm owning the tables.
I probably play a little more at the weekends to be honest, there always seems to be a lot more traffic and you get more recreational players coming out to play then.

PokerStrategy.com: 1 to 2 hours? That's how much 44.08% of our members also play, according to the latest community vote. Actually I don't know where I was going with it, I thought I'd put this out there... But anyway, you are also famous because of a specific product: the community round-up, which, for 20% of our members, is considered the best community-related content. How did that thing start? Where is it heading to? Why is it so awesome?

EagleStar88: Well I also work with and love statistics, so I don't think you can ever over use percentages, but of course 37.91% of the community probably don't agree, 24.62% couldn't care less and 8.36% probably forgot the question :o)
Ah, the English Community Round-up, bless it. It was actually your idea in the first place and then we both decided to go with this project. There is a lot of great, interesting and comical stuff that gets posted in the forum pages, but members might miss some of it because of the sheer volume of posts. As I'm stalking the forum boards so often, I was perhaps the obvious choice to gather up some of the best bits and summarise it in one easy-to-read news item.
It's evolved quite a bit already since the first edition more than 6 months ago, thanks to the excellent feedback and suggestions from members, but at heart I'm a perfectionist and I still think we can improve on it further. I think the great thing about it is that it is the members’ own news item and they can help to feed articles of interest to me to share to the wider community and indeed suggest any changes they want to see. I'm just the guy that writes it up; the content comes from the members.

You must enjoy your poker to play well

PokerStrategy.com: That's true, it's for members, by members. And since we're at the 'members' category: which posters are your favourite and why? And what about the blog section? Which are the most interesting blogs in your opinion?

EagleStar88: Well there are so many great posters that I couldn't possibly name them all and I wouldn't want to leave anyone out, but I would just like to highlight a couple of people that are perhaps overlooked quite a bit of the time.
TheBrood is always keeping us laughing by posting new stuff in the "Fun and Off-topic" forum board. His caption contests are legendary and he's a credit to the community. Similarly Waiboy , because his humour is second to none and much loved by all the community and he always encourages people in their blogs. Lastly to everyone that helps to welcome new members in the Introduction board, thank you, it's really appreciated.
Regarding blogs, I like 2 styles of blogs best, firstly those that really set out the goals, steps towards those goals and achievements/setbacks, because that’s what really helps to develop your poker game. Secondly, I like blogs that bring originality and show us people’s creative side. We are lucky in that we have so many great blogs out there at the moment.

PokerStrategy.com: TheBrood’s threads are quite nice, yeah. And you gotta love that Waiboy guy... Your Steps to WSOP blog is also a great read. And since you are here for quite a while and have seen many new members transforming into successful poker players or frustrated flamers, what are your advices for the new waves of players starting out?

EagleStar88: Ah yes, nice blog eh? By the way, at the moment I'm also looking at doing a new challenge shortly, but still deciding on format.
Well firstly, don't rush into anything. I know that you will be keen to starting playing poker straight away with your free $50 starting capital, but don't just head straight for the $10 tournaments. Always play within a sensible BRM (Bankroll Management), make a little time regularly to recap on the strategy guides and don't be afraid to ask questions. To quote the famous line "every great journey starts with a single step". Start out small, learn from your mistakes on the micro levels and adapt your game as your experience grows. And lastly and most importantly, have fun! You must enjoy your poker to play well and if you play well, you'll enjoy your poker more and more :)

PokerStrategy.com: True words right there. I think that's about all and I will let you get back to working on the newest Community Round-up. Before we end this, is there anything else you would like to say? If so, feel free to do so now and try to include me there as well.

There was a guy called Vali with a beard;
Whose awesome interviews were always cheered;
The super wit and charm;
Originating from his writing arm;
Were always highly revered.

Just wanted to say thank you for the opportunity of being interviewed, my best regards and good wishes go out to all community members and see you all in the forums soon. Cheers, Bart.

PokerStrategy.com: That… that was beautiful…

Go to the Diamond Interview Series feedback thread

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Comments (12)

newest first
  • SoyCD


    One of, if not even the nicest guy you can find on our forums!

    This interview was really long overdue and I'm glad it happened as part of our VIP series ;)

    Wouldn't know what to do without you Bart!

  • Dendra


    this Was a diamond interview in a way :)
  • FrozenRope


    Great interview, thanks for all your hard work.
  • Waiboy


    You were right vhallee, those handcuffs and bright lights do provide quality results. :P

    Top interview, top bloke and not a moment too soon. :)
  • deVall3y


    I knew you first thing from the "where eagles dare" blog. was pretty cool read. now I realize that you probably heard the song originally in your teen years :P cool seeing an adult on the internet
  • kingdippy2008


    Does everyone know who susan is? I at least think susan is awsome :( ^^

    Nice interview, cool it was part of the Diamond series ;)
  • TheBrood


    Is Susan hot? Got webcam?

    I feel all warm and fuzzy inside when Eagle mentions me...(*gives fat envelope*)

    First I thought you were in your 20's, then I thought you were like 60, and now you're 37 =)

    btw, I always think of The Simpsons when you sign your posts =S

    Excellent job, Bart!
  • EagleStar88


    Thx everyone for the lovely comments. Love you all (long time), Bart x
  • Kruppe


    [ ] sustainable ROH, imo
  • vhallee


    yeah well #9, i'd like to see you do any better in those situations.
  • AugustusCaesar


    THE BEST Interview so far .. Please please post some 5 card draw playing stories .. It is sooo tough to make a hand there :-D
  • RobbieV


    Nice one Bart ;)