Girls with nuts
THE BAHAMAS – a place where sharks swam in the water but also… walked on the land

Sometimes, being a poker player can be really tough: all those trips, suitcases, planes, connecting flights… Oh who am I kidding! Being a poker player… amazing… especially when poor little us have to spend at least two weeks in the Bahamas in the middle of January when Croatia is “blessed” with 0 degrees Celsius (if we’re lucky)! :)

It took a while to start writing this piece, ‘cos it’s really hard to find the right words to describe the beauty of the Bahamas, all the pleasures offered there, adventures and, of course, the perfect atmosphere at PCA Bahamas, where all my poker idols rubbed their shoulders with little ol’ me…  Phil Iveya, Vanessa Rousso, Daniele Negreanu were all there, just to name a few…

I played three events, $1600 NL Holdem, $1600 LADIES NL Holdem, in which out of 96 women I was the chip leader for most of the tournament, but after a couple of unlucky hands and a couple of beaten kings I unfortunately ended up (at a still good) 17th place. I played another side event, which I managed to win, so I turned $200 into $8000! I won one out of three played, well that’s not so bad, right? :)

I didn’t just play poker; I also attended a perfect seminar, known as ¨EAT PLAY LOVE¨, created by Beth Gains, where we got some great advice on how to be an even better poker players. The seminar is really something else, you can hear some important things there which aren’t mentioned anywhere else, like what to eat before a tournament, exercises you should do to be fit for poker. The best thing about it is you can just start practicing what she preaches immediately, the key word here being IMMEDIATELY ‘cos the seminar is held just before the tournament. Also, I have to say Beth Gains is one awesome, ultra nice and energetic person and I’m so happy I got a chance to meet her! At ¨EAT PLAY LOVE¨ seminar, Beth chose me, out of all these people, to help her demonstrate some of the exercises and then she awarded me with a BOOT CAMP with Vanesse Rousso! Woohooooooo!!!! I was thrilled! The day after, I was sitting in Vanessa’s class absorbing every word. She’s such an intelligent young woman, who not only made 3 million dollars playing in tournaments but was also able to turn poker into a real business. She made a big impression on me and I’ve really learned a lot from her! 

Played poker, WON THE TOURNAMENT :), went to the seminars, been to a poker camp, met some great people… but also witnessed the beauties of the Bahamas… which better speak for themselves, in pictures… 
The Bahamas…..the experience of a lifetime…..I hope this time next year… I’m at the same place!

Lots of love to my dear poker players,


EPT Prague… Oh, how I love poker! :)
Hi everyone! By everyone I mean everybody who’s reading this and especially my dear poker friends! Well, it’s about time Hana wrote something! :) I’ll admit, I won’t be as regular as my diligent friend and a vicious poker player Cooks, but when I do write it will be from the bottom of my heart - and the one on the cards… :)

Location: Prague

I really love this place. It’s a beautiful town with amazing food and the best beer (which I normally don’t drink, but when it Czech…), full of attractions, romance and in this case, it’s a town where EPT is held; the biggest and the most prestigious PokerStars poker tournament. The first thing I did was head straight to the Czech pub and order Czech ‘knedlicke’, man I love those! And whaddya know - Branimir Brunovic and Dragan Galic, two of our best poker players who are very high on the famous the Hendon Mob list, walked in! Brunovic and I raised our Pilsen beer in toast, while Galic, in a very sport fashion, raised his Orangina! :) These two poker sly dogs gave me some good advice, so we continued with our poker stories where words like raise, reraise, donk, fish and the rest of the poker lingo prevailed, all things unknown to a “common” man. The boys went on to play the main event, I wished them luck, and as for me… oh c’mon, I am a poker player but I’m also a woman! I went straight to the stores! I spotted a pair of whooping 6-inch glitter pumps… ah, perfect for the New Year’s Eve… After my credit card was swiped, the world seemed like a better place.

But let’s go back to that male part of Hana. EPT Ladies Event was finally here, the tournament I had anxiously been waiting for and which I really badly wanted… hm… to win. :) I wasn’t nervous, because I feel comfortable playing live. It was an amazing experience, because great female players came from all around the world: France, Russia, the UK, Germany… Liv Boeree was among them, which was a great honor for me, because this young woman won the EPT Main Event in San Remo, and $1,698,300 with it! oh, think of all the shoes you could buy with that money… mhm… So, you still think poker is a game for the big boys only? Oh yeah, girls kick ass! :)

The tournament started, I put on my poker face and into the battle I went! Liv was on my left, and next to her was this really aggressive French girl. I was playing tough from the very beginning, so the girls didn’t believe me every time I raised, which helped me kick out the first contestant (the French girl), and the flop contained an ace and two rags. I had raised before that and she just called. I raised on the flop, she didn’t believe me so she re-raised me with her A-9 and I got her with my A-K. It was easier to continue as a chip leader. I had an interesting hand against Liv, I was in the small blind and Liv was in the big blind, I called from the small blind, she, of course, raised, I called with 9-5. Flop showed 9, 3, 4. Hana: raise, Liv: call. Turn card J, I checked, Liv checked. It was obvious she didn’t have J, because if she had it, she wouldn’t have checked; river card was K, I checked, and Liv placed a HUGE bet… after careful consideration I CALLED, with only a 9 in my hand. Liv tapped on the table and just said: ‘Nice’; she then mucked her hand, after which I showed my hand, revealing I had called on a 9 only. She tapped again, and repeated ‘nice’ twice. :)

There were other great things, of course, with the hand of a very dear friend of mine Baja, 6-4 , huh, I played with that as if I were holding AA! Baja, you know I believe in that hand almost as much as you do… :) The tournament went well, although it was pretty exhausting, because the girls are mostly… uptight… which isn’t always that bad. Bit by bit, the final table came. The best nine players in the battle royal. I quickly kicked out two girls, and then I lost a flip A-Q against 7-7. But I managed to get back into game quickly, and I was soon in a HU with Anastasiia ‘SpringSmile’ Syva - winner of the EPT Tallinn Ladies Event. Little by little, my chips were piling up, so when she said ‘all in’, I decided, of course, to call with A-5, and in the end I won the FIRST PLACE IN EPT Ladies tournament!

The feeling was priceless! In moments like those, you don’t even think about the money prize, just the flattering title. I posted that I had won on Facebook and all my Croatian poker players congratulated, which meant the world to me. I wanted to celebrate right away! Cooks was screaming into the phone, mom as usually said: you’re just like your dad, you little hot shot! My POKERICA TEAM were there for me, as always, they’ve been my support forever and I love them soooo much!

I paused for a second and said to myself: “You’ve made it, girl! EPT ladies mission accomplished!” and I went on to celebrate this wonderful day with some great people!

My poker team will, of course, get its own party as soon as I come back to Croatia!


My dear peeps, I can’t even begin to tell you how I love poker and everything it has done to my life… it’s really indescribable!!!




Lots and lots of love, and HAPPY HAPPY CHRISTMAS


CTC - day 2, 3 and 4

CTC Day 2 was reserved for the Team Cup. With 24 teams of 3 players each, it was definitely most anticipated, most exciting and most popular tournament of this event. Besides Girls with nuts (Matea, Zeljka and I), three other ladies played at this event, but in mixed teams (Mare, Snjezana and Aleksandra).

The first day of the tournament was not lacking in noise and a variety of spectacles, and of course the inevitable ‘daj riburiburibu’ anthem that was heard every few minutes from different tables. To clarify - the guys from Pokerica have found the best cup so far, never seen in this region and beyond (except possibly for some interesting fishing competition at the surrounding gravels), so bedsides eternal fame and a pleasant amount of cash, the fantastic fish was a heck of a motivation to the teams.

The girls played very well, and I must admit that I am very pleased Hana’s and my choice of players for this event. Matea (Chips) has, unfortunately, busted the first of the three of us, with pocket 6’s (which apparently followed our team that day). With blinds at 100/200, and a stack of 2600 (the start was 5000), UTG limped, UTG +1 raised to 550, and Matea at MP1 shoved all in. She received a call from UTG +1. He had A8s and her 6’s won. Two levels later, at the blinds 200/400 she shoved all in from UTG +1 - again with pocket 6’s and this time did not survive - UTG +2 called her with AKo… Matea earned 4 points for the team - well done :)

Zeljka (Keka) earned a great 6 points for GWN (see, six again!), and as her key hand of the evening she mentioned, of course, 66 vs. AQs - this time sixes were damn dangerous for her opponent Great Just - he did not survive at the 88KKx board…

At quite an interesting table (Versic / Puskadija / Kapusta / Mitrovic / Longin / Vukovic / Ovcina / Pavicic / Cookie), I stacked up rather quickly, so I played quite well and stress free the rest of the tournament (which can not be said for Puska, after I had him caught with his fingers in a cookie jar on couple of occasions :). Hand by hand, I ended up HU with Longin, which eventually finished with my victory (AQ vs A8) and ensured us another 12 points, woohooo!

We finished the first day of team cup with a total of 22 points, ranked among the top ten teams. Although it seemed excellent at first point, it was not that simple… To ensure performance at the final table, it was necessary to gather at least 22 more points the other day, when we played 6max. Matea lost a good piece of her stack at the very beginning (classic coin flip situation), and busted shortly afterwards, which meant that Keka and I should’ve won at least two second places. Unfortunately, we didn’t succeed, and so our race for the silver fish finished around midnight that day. The winners of Team event are the TNT - The Nuts Team - Djursan, Dr Roy and Rimac - congratulations guys, take good care of the fishie! :)

On Saturday, when Eur 200 +20 freezeout was played, we took an evening off, and joined the girls at the Ladies only event on Sunday (powered by Aurora poker - tnx guys!). After bullying the first table I busted out at the second, trips vs. flush… The girl that knocked me out won the tounament - congrats Zeljka! (yes, the third Zeljka mentioned in this story… Just the other day I realized that amongst a very few girls that are playing live around here, three of us have the same name… That has to be a sign ;).

There were three tables of girls playing, which is an obvious sign that we really haven’t played together for a long time and it’s about time to organize something - well girls, I hereby solemnly promise that from January we’ll hang out again at least once a week! :) Details to be announced soon…

More info on CTC can be found at, together with the full list and names of the teams & players and the complete photo gallery.

Hana will be back soon from her little journey - she played in Vienna and is currently in Prague for the EPT - she promised a detailed report from the European tables as soon as she returns :) Fingers crossed Hany! :)




CTC - day1

Last night Cezar Team Challenge started with 100+10Eur Warm up freezeout event. Amongst 66 players, many of them were regulars from Casino Cezar, but this event also attracted some interesting names - local legends - to drag themselves downtown instead of grinding online. Almost every member of Team Pokerica came to warm up their braincells for today’s Team event.

Being fashionably late and therefor nervous (for being late), I sat down at the table with quite good players, some of the most respected members of Croatian poker community. Dalibor Ivankic - Baja, Hrvoje Mitrovic - Mitrica (Team Pokerica), Boris Kuzimanovic (Bora Tajter) - just to mention few. I must admit, I played the worst play in long time, which (of course) led to my busting just before the break… After the break 55 players remained in the game, but unfortunately some of our Team members didn’t make it. Martin Sibl busted just a few hands before me, and Borko Brunovic - DisD was short stacked so in a few minutes he also joined us outside…

Denis ‘Djenana’ Kelemen from Aurora Poker showed why he was twice selected to be a captain to PCA Team Croatia - with literally ‘a chip and a chair he managed not just to survive but to win this event!!! Way to go Captain! :) At some point, after a series of missed flops and lost pots, his stack was barely enough for a single BB! He turned his 1500 chips into an impressive pile of almost 60K, which finally led him to HU with Mario. Denis had a huge chip advantage over Mario, and when Mario found AT, he showed all in and got called by Denis who had pocket 5’s - this coin flip was the last hand of the tournament, and Denis ran home to try and get some sleep before today’s Team Event.

Live updates from CTC are available at - our guys, Filip Sibl and Hrvoje Domac, are doing a great job covering this one, so be sure to log in and follow what’s going on, in case you won’t be playing with us live tonight! :)



The meanest team in town

Ladies and Gentleman, Girls with Nuts proudly present… well… Girls with Nuts :D Ta-daaaaaaam! :)

On December 8th we’ll play the Team event at Cezar Team Challenge in Zagreb (organized by Pokerica), so let me present to you our jolly little crowd :) Unfortunately, Hana will not be in Croatia at that point, so she won’t be able to play with us, but we carefully selected two more girls who’ll (I’m sure) make us proud and show them guys what’s poker ;)

team Girls with nuts for CTC are:

Matea Topic - Chips - is a young designer from Zagreb, and has been playing for a few years now. Just a few days ago, she won a tournament in Hrvatska Lutrija - congrats dear!

Zeljka Peric - Keka - has recently received her masters degree in journalism and even though she had tons of books to read and study for her finals, she’s managed to find time and make it to final tables many times…

Cookie - well, that would be me :)

Rumor says that there are also some side bets - apparently some guys think we’re ez-money… We’ll see about that :P

A lot of local and also teams from Slovenia and Serbia have announced their participation at this event, and I’m sure it will be really fun (according to the past team events which are still a hot topic in poker chit-chats), so join us there!



Time for New Year’s resolutions

Yup. It’s that time of the year. As you might have noticed, we already started making plans for the upcoming year, and as the end of 2010 is approaching, more and more ‘to do’ things come to my mind. As I’m trying to make a little review in my head, I can’t help thinking that this year was a heck of a bumpy ride.

It started nicely, we got together with the Pokerica guys, founded Ladies Team, played poker a lot, traveled, made a lot of progress, drew a lot of attention to this amazing game and - of course - encouraged quite a few girls to become more active and really improve their game. Not everything was that shiny and glittery - seems like all of us had some major private issues which, at some point, led to both of us taking some time off from poker. I truly believe that you cannot play if you’re under stress or if your mind is occupied by other stuff. Well, you can, but don’t expect any spectacular results :S So, sometimes it’s better to just leave it aside, take some cooling-off time. One of my poker-coach-drinking-buddies (and, needless to say, a great friend) Vojo Petrov once said that a ‘Life-tilt’ often brings you to final tables (has to do something with that saying about not having luck in love and in cards at te same time I guess :). Tried it and it does not work, so don’t go there unless you’re eager in busting your bankroll before you can say ‘cookie’ :)

So, after that break, we both (Hana and I) started playing a bit more intensively these days (has a thing or two to do with these resolutions :). While Hana is traveling our neighboring countries playing live (and having a great coach by her side, I must say ;), I’m a bit more focused on online playing - mainly satellites to live events. This weekend I played Woman Poker Player freeroll sat to PCA (Ladies Event, obviously :), but I must admit that, due to several hours of play before that, I wasn’t very focused so i busted at level 5 I think. Congrats to the winner Jane Goldberg! Before that tournament, I played the qualifier for Team Croatia (also for PCA) - last year our greeeeeeat team with captain Denis ‘Djenana’ Kelemen won silver, making Croatia the second best nation - wuueeheeeeey! :D

Team Croatia - PCA 2010

Denis will be the captain to the team this year too, if they pass the qualifications on Dec. 5th - which I’m sure they will, because his last year’s team mate, Denis Obadic - Ziher, managed to qualify again!


Way to go guys! But WAIT! There’s MORE! :D To my great satisfaction, a GIRL managed to qualify for the team - sweet darling Mariana Ljubicic from Zadar!!! :D A millllllllion kisses and congrats to her! :D Mariana has been playing with us at some online leagues on Unibet which we organized - she played very well then too and helped girls to achieve glorious victory in the ‘GIrls vs. Boys battle’. Apparently, her boyfriend (who dragged her into the game) has been doing dishes and laundry ever since. Wonder what his next tasks will be after PCA. :D Anyway, you go girl! We’re very proud!

Another satellite I played last weekend was PCA Fantasy Final - I won a ticket few days ago, entered a tournament, played rather good aaaand… busted something like 2000ish (out of 20 000 people). Being in top 10% is nice but not good enough - only one seat was awarded with full package, so - I’ll try again this weekend (won a ticket again right after that :).

To get back to those resolutions and plans - those who read the article on Pokerica might have noticed that we mentioned some upcoming changes in the Team. Since we’re one member short, we’ll be looking for not one but TWO new team members for Pokerica Ladies Team - to finally make quads :D To make it a fair selection, we’re still trying to find a good system and evaluation method, and we’ll inform you about it on time. I don’t know all the details yet, BUT - girls, join us in Casino Cezar in Zagreb on December 12 at 30+3Eur Ladies only Event @Cezar Team Challenge, because there (too) we’ll be keeping a close eye on you and your play to see if you got what it takes… ;). More details on this event are already posted on Pokerica site, forum and Facebook page, but you can always contact us if you have any questions… :)


Ok, time to catch some of that beauty sleep… Off I go ;)



Winter is here…

…time to travel south :)

As many of you know, both of us tried to qualify for PokerStars Dream Job - it was a contest offering a $42K sponsorship for a year to players from this region. One of the ways to get there, besides playing regular qualification tournaments on PS, was to post a video of yourself to PS Facebook fan page. So we made a vid - more like a short presentation of our little team - got many ‘likes’, got a ticket to a Grand Finale Freeroll this monday and… busted :S Only one seat was paid, it wasn’t even a big field (somewhere around 170 players), but - as much as I don’t like to speak of the game as ‘luck’ -  there wasn’t any :( Actually, I can’t remember the last time I was so card dead (not to mention I was playing the other regular tour at the same time and got ITM, so it wasn’t my play obv)… Anyway, I had to push at some point, and pocket 3s seemed just right (yeah, that and one pair of tens were the only two playable hands I got). I ran on to Hana’s pocket rockets and busted. Ok, at least it was her and not somebody else… :) She managed to play for a few more levels, but the table was awful - Hana found pocket Queens on MP, did a 3-bet, got called by the original raiser (UTG+2), and had to push on a Axx board - the guy had A3o and she busted too… What to say, he called her 3bet with that… But that’s poker I guess.

Team Croatia for PCA is about to be formed in few hours - besides captain Denis ‘Djenana’ Kelemen, three more players will be representing Croatia this January at the Bahamas. I played the qualifier the other day, but didn’t make it (only 1 seat paid) - so good luck to whoever is playing today! :)

Since it started snowing in Zagreb, I’m pretty much determined in going somewhere warm soon, so last night I played PCA satellite and won a ticket to today’s PCA Fantasy Final, which is just about to start - 20K people fighting for one seat… oh well - I’m an optimist (and a good player) :P Hopefully my next entry here will be about me packing my swimsuit… :D



Finally :)

Ok, so the blog is finally here :)

Let’s introduce ourselves (for the ones who haven’t met us yet)…

Almost a year ago now, Hana and I first met. I have read about her and heard of her success at one of bigger NLHE Tournaments here in Zagreb - at the end of 2009, she ranked 3rd and won a very nice prize, beating the large field made exclusively out of men (as it usually is the situation here in Croatia). A few weeks later, she came out second at a charity tournament, winning a ticket to that year’s biggest event held in Zagreb, Pokerica Main Event. Pretty impressive, I thought, especially having in mind that at the time she was, besides me, the only girl in this town playing live poker. It took approximately seven and a half minutes for us to meet and realize that we have… well, at least two things in common - being girls who LOVE to play poker :)

Some weeks before that happened, I spoke to a good friend and a colleague, Martin Sibl, also a great player and co-founder of, and we discussed forming a first Croatian Ladies Team, but the problem was obvious - who’d be in it? :) By that time, in all my ‘visits’ to local casinos, besides the dealers I haven’t met any girls- regular players. I’ve been playing live and online, winning numerous low buy-in tournaments, even won an online regional league - and still - haven’t met a woman player who’d share that idea and passion for poker. But, at that charity tournament the answer was imposed by itself - Cookie and Hana! I spoke to her and she was thrilled, also very excited to finally meet another girl player. So, on January 3rd 2010, still a bit punch drunk from all the holiday fiestas, the two of us sat together with guys from Pokerica (Martin and Filip Sibl, and Borko and Branimir Brunovic - Unibet’s Poker Ambassador) - and set a cornerstone to something that very quickly became even more than we could imagine - the dream came true and Pokerica Ladies Team was formed… Another team member whom I’ve invited was Sonja Kovac, a young actress from Bjelovar. Besides her passion for acting, she also played poker.

In the next few months the three of us really made a boom - played a lot, won a lot, ranked really really good at local poker leagues, leaving behind all the guys who were and still are outnumbering us. What we liked the most is the fact that we managed to encourage and attract more girls into this game - we organized a series of Ladies Events, and many of ‘our’ girls became very good players - it’s really a pleasure and great satisfaction to see them grow - from rookies to serious players in no time - way to go girls! :)

Ladies Only Event in Zagreb

This effort was also recognized internationally - we were nominated for the Poker Maven Awards, organized by the Woman Poker Player Magazine, in the ‘Most Appealing Poker Marketing Campaign to Women Award’ - side by side with Vanessa Rousso and Australian Poker League, and I also had an opportunity to be a special guest at Women’s Poker Hour with Jen Shahade and Amy Zupko on Vixen Radio, supported by PokerStars :)

Besides Ladies events, we helped organize and promote many other tournaments here in region, in collaboration with the (male members of) Pokerica Team, but also with other organizations and pokersites - Unibet was the first to recognize the potential and influence our team had on this market, so they even helped us by sponsoring Hana and I to play at Unibet Open in Golden Sands in Bulgaria this June :) All three of us played at the big event held in Split in August - Croatian Series of Poker. Hana and I played the 1000+100Eur main event, and also I played the 300+30Eur Mixed PLO/PLHE event - my personal fav ;) Sonja played and won 150Eur Ladies event, and unfortunately it was the last event she played as the member of our team - after this summer, she decided to take a little break from playing and spend some more of her time studying and acting. We wish her best of luck!

Enjoying Golden Sands

Right now, after a short pause we took at the end of the summer, we’re preparing some new and attractive stuff for girls but also guys, but you’ll be informed about it all here on our blog or at our facebook group - look us up and join - Pokerica Ladies Team.

This blog will be written sometimes in english, sometimes in croatian, so if you’d need a translation and you’re too lazy to copy/paste it to google translate - feel free to ask us for it ;)



Girlies :)

Hana and Marko hosting a TV show

Cooks in action

Hana at UO

Pokerica at Golden Sands

Cookie at CSOP

Hana in action