Katja Thater first stepped into the poker realm in 1999 when she unexpectedly had to sit in on a high-stakes limit poker game for her husband. She'd never played before, but managed to work out the correct moves to take down a pot before her poker pro husband returned to the table.
From that point on, Thater was hooked on poker and turned professional as a cash-game player in 2000. She told PokerListings.com it was in the games back in Hamburg where she played against old Persian men that she learned how to handle the play of poker's "old rocks."
Her first excursions into the tournament world were with her husband Jan, but it wasn't to take part in the actual tournaments. They would hit the events for the good side action.
When she did start foraying into the tournaments themselves, Katja Thater showed she not only has a natural talent for poker but also for tournament poker games.
She did well in a few European events and came to the World Series of Poker in 2006 where she cashed twice. But it was 2007 that turned out to be Miss Slick's biggest year on the tournament circuit so far.
Katja Thater: A natural talent for poker tournaments
In March 2007, she took on the European Poker Tour's main event in Poland where she made the final table. That cash helped propel her into the 2007 WSOP, where she final tabled the Ladies Event, won a bracelet in a championship event and cashed in a third event as well.
Thater doesn't normally like to play in ladies only events, but she told PokerListings.com that PokerStars.com, which sponsors her, put her into the event and she was more than willing to take it on.
With 1,286 women participating, it was a tough field to contend with including two-time Ladies Event winner Susie Isaacs, reigning ladies champ Mary Jones Meyer, and others who made it to the second day of play. But Thater battled her way to the final table where she ended up in fifth place.
The cash came in handy as she continued on in her tournament trek and took a seat in the $5,000 Seven-Card Razz Championship event. Each day of the tournament, Thater told herself and her husband she was going to win this event. True to her word, she did just that.
She was the first woman to win an open WSOP event for the 2007 series, and only the second woman to win the World Razz Championship. Linda Johnson was the first woman to win the event in 1997.
Katja Thater told PokerListings.com after her win, "What's important is that I'm satisfied with my play, and that my husband is satisfied with me. Really, absolutely - when he said to me, 'Okay Baby, you played pretty damn good today,' then I believed him. That's important to me. Not this bracelet."
So what's next for the German phenom? Judging by her reaction to her WSOP win, she'll continue to improve her skills and dominate in the tournament circuit as well as the cash games - and she won't be satisfied until her game is perfect.