At thirty years old, Dutch field hockey superstar Fatima Moreira de Melo reached the zenith of her sport last summer, leading the Dutch field hockey team to gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
After a successful career that included 2 more Olympic medals and a World Cup championship over nine hundred ninety-one international career matches, she decided that it was time to hang her stick. Like a lot of former sport stars, Moreira de Melo was left craving the thrill of competition and a year later, she found it in poker.
The newest member of the Team PokerStars SportStar stated on September 5th, 2009 that she thinks that there are a lot of similarities between field hockey and poker. Moreira de Melo has actually been playing the game of poker for 4 years at home games with close friends.
So when PokerStars invited her to join the newly formed Team PokerStars SportsStars with tennis icon Boris Becker, Swedish hockey star Mats Sundin, French rugby player Sebastien Chabal and Finnish powerboat racer Sami Selio, it seems a perfect solution for her craving.
Moreira de Melo said that poker has the same spot in her life that hockey had occupied in the past and she wants to do well in her new endeavor. She also received some training from long-time friend and Dutch Team PokerStars Pro member Lex Veldhuis, who reached the final table of the $40K anniversary poker event at the 2009 World Series of Poker.
Moreira de Melo also spends a considerable amount of time discussing poker strategy with her boyfriend Raemon Sluiter, a former tennis pro who shares her love of poker. She said that she feels comfortable in the competitiveness in the game of poker since she missed it when she stop playing field hockey. She added that she hopes to do well in the game so that she can encourage other female poker enthusiasts in her country.