Two years: that's how long it took Alexane Najchaus to go from being a complete poker neophyte to a member of the best team in Europe, at only 26 years old. But this Expresso format specialist, discovered at the WPO Madrid, already has all the assets to take up this challenge successfully: with a degree in psychology and the advice of her brother, this Red Diamond intends to become the new face of Expresso for Team W. Without forgetting to succeed in her first steps on the big live tournaments of the circuit..
They say that the poker world is one big family. For Alexane Najchaus, it's mostly a family affair. It was via her older brother Virgile, two years her senior, that the French woman discovered poker almost by chance in 2020. A world that was completely unknown to her at the time. "My brother was already a pro player, and was having a ball in Mexico, in Playa del Carmen, playing high-stakes Expressos on Winamax," the young woman recalls. At the urging of her brother, LaSirenita decided to dive headfirst into the deep end. "He asked me if I was interested in grinding the Expresso. I had never played cards in my life! He had only taken me to a casino once, but I didn't even know what a straight was. But I trusted him. He gave me €100, and on 1st September 2020, I started my first tables on Winamax. I started like that, freewheeling. I never stopped."
Yet Alexane was destined for a more conventional professional career: "I got my first Masters in clinical psychology in 2018," she details, "and I'm in the process of getting a second one on the psychiatry of war at King's College London. I've always loved studying. And I was already on the job before I discovered poker."
Except that her first few games gave rise to a consuming passion: "I started playing volume right away, that was the goal," she confirms. “I was playing on four to six tables from the first week! I love playing so much... It quickly became my pleasure routine. And I find that poker offers a very unique freedom: economic, geographical... It's incredible." After learning on the job and benefiting from her brother's wise coaching, Alexane began to make a name for herself at the Expresso tables under the pseudonym LaSirenita, an alias she did not choose at random: "Basically, I really like symbols. And I noticed that poker was a rather aquatic world: sharks, fishes, whales... It was lacking a little bit of little mermaids so I chose this nickname, adding a Spanish touch for Mexico."
For the past two years, Alexane has been climbing the ladder four by four on her favourite format: "I started at the bottom of the ladder, on the 25 cent tables," recalls the future permanent resident of London. “I became a winning player almost immediately, I never had to top up my account. At the beginning I was a bit of a penniless student, and I made my first cash-out of €2,500 after not even two months: that was huge for me! Today, I play on the €10 and €25 tables. But I've been working hard on the theory, and in September I'm going to move up to the €100/250 tables." The buy-in of her next games will therefore represent her total bankroll just two years earlier...
And to earn a living at the tables, Alexane confides that she plays almost every day, exclusively on Winamax: "I try to have a routine: I get up early in the morning, I do a bit of sport, and I start playing straight away, because the tables are nice in the morning. My normal rhythm is 5 to 8 hours a day. That's between 1,000 and 3,000 games a day, depending on the limits I play at. I think I've always played at least a hundred games a day since I started."
A high rate of play that has allowed him to taste the big Expresso jackpots: "I don't know if I've run good, but I've hit a lot of multipliers: x100s, x50s, which is normal, and once a x1000. Until the day I got the €100,000 table. It was 2nd April 2021, I still remember it. A total surprise. It was one of my first morning tables, I had just woken up... and I won it! I was in shock, I called my brother in the middle of the night in Mexico!”
Her brother: this is indeed the central character of Alexane's early career, she who considers him her role model. "Virgil is one of the best Expresso players I know and his career path is pretty crazy. It's true, he's one of my main inspirations. I'm in contact with him 24 hours a day and we often just talk about poker. When I first came to Mexico, he made me part of the community right away. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have climbed the ladder so high. Not everyone is lucky enough to be coached by a top reg from the start!" Thanks to her meteoric rise, Alexane already has the highest VIP status on Winamax: like her brother, she is now a Red Diamond, a status she achieved at the start of 2022. A patch that we saw on her arm during the last WPO Madrid, where the general public discovered this young woman who was then playing her first live tournament. For a few months now, Alexane has decided to diversify, taking up MTTs for which she is now being coached: "I like tournaments as much as Expressos, which each have their own specificities," says the grinder. “I'm happy to split my time between the two, especially doing online MTT sessions in the evening. But I try to keep a balance and not mix the two in one session, because that makes you do absurd misscliks. I really want to excel in both formats, in terms of level."
Alexane can also rely on her background as a psychologist for her playing career: "From the beginning, I felt that psychology biases like projection allowed me to anticipate certain reactions from players, especially in Madrid. I have the impression that it paid off, even if today I think that even an average player is interested in psychology. But in the end, it's mainly an advantage over myself: some pros have mental difficulties, but I got over them relatively easily, because I have this background that allows me to analyse myself. Psychology has helped me enormously with the mindset of poker players."
But Alexane also has other strings to her bow: during her studies, she also dabbled in modelling for a while, although she admits she never wanted to make it a full-time job. “It was a bit of a coincidence, and I already knew that I wouldn't like it," she says. I was living in Italy when I was 'scouted'. I took it as a challenge, to get off the beaten track.” Nevertheless, she took advantage of the opportunity to learn to feel at ease under the spotlight: "I wasn't necessarily serene in front of a lens or a camera, but now I don't have any problems!”
Alexane will therefore not be intimidated for her debut on the live circuit, and perhaps a possible televised table... Even if she does not set any results objectives for her first year with Team W, which will above all allow her to discover the most beautiful live tournaments on the planet, starting with the WPO Bratislava: "I think that in terms of atmosphere, there is nothing better than the Wina tournaments, which give off a super cool energy. And I'm pretty galvanised when there are a lot of people around me. I was able to talk to some super approachable team members, like Adrián Mateos who was at my table and I was able to exchange a few words in Spanish with him."
A star that she will now be playing closely with, two years after her first games on Winamax. All she has to do now is find out about the other members of Team W. "I already knew Loic Debregeas," says the grinder. “He's a very good friend of my brother's, we were in the same KING5 team two years in a row! I was really happy for him when he won the Top Shark Academy. I've always had my eye on the team. I even remember starting to watch the Inside the Mind of a Pro videos before I started playing poker!" Alexane will also get to meet one of her idols: "In terms of level of play, they are all exceptional, but in terms of personality, I've always loved watching Davidi Kitai. He has a particular presence at the table, and seems to be a very good entertainer. I didn't dare approach him at the WPO to take a picture..." From now on, she will be photographed with the Genius during his campaigns around the world!
When she's not scouring the live tournament circuit, you can find Alexane Najchaus on Winamax, under the username "LaSirenita".
LaSirenita, new Team W shark
|08/2022||Expresso Nitro €10,000 - €10||Winner (€8,000)|
|04/2022||Freeroll VIP Red Diamond||2nd (€3,118)|
|03/2022||Expresso Nitro €10,000 - €10||Winner (€8,000)|
|11/2021||Expresso Nitro €10,000 - €10||Winner (€8,000)|
|04/2021||Expresso Nitro €100,000 - €10||Winner (€80,000)|