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2009 WSOP Best Bets: Soren Kongsgaard
Soren Kongsgaard has already been on the roller-coaster ride of his life in the poker world, and he's yet to enter a single WSOP event.
One of the top online players in the world, Kongsgaard plays under the alias "Kongsgaard1." He now finds himself the latest member of that ever-growing band of players who are the Full Tilt pros.
Although he's signed with Full Tilt and is now legally old enough to play in the U.S., Soren told PokerListings he isn't planning on moving house just yet, despite a real eagerness to play in the WSOP.
"I have not really decided what my schedule will look like. If I feel I'm performing well in live poker I think I will take a few trips to Las Vegas to play the big tournaments. If not, I will concentrate [on] online poker, but no matter what I end up doing, I will obviously be playing most of the EPTs and WSOP events."
EPTs are certainly not a bad place for Kongsgaard to start, as just under two years ago, he finished third in the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo behind Gavin Griffin and Marc Karam, picking up over €600,000 for his finish.
Since then he's notched a series of impressive results. He picked up victories at one of the side events at EPT Barcelona, and won the Danish Poker Championships in Copenhagen. Most recently he finished a creditable 12th in the WSOPE.
Despite those successes, his focus is on the WSOP. "Since I finished third in Monte Carlo two years ago I've thought about Las Vegas all the time. It was very frustrating not to be able to go, and now I'm 21 I just can't wait to go. I'm going to play from the start to the end of WSOP and I'm really eager for it to start."
Many players are quite happy playing from their laptop at home, winning at lucrative cash games, rather than tackling the traditional frustrations of tournament poker.
What drives Kongsgaard's enthusiasm and makes him want to take shots at the mammoth fields that the $1,500 NL events always attract?
"No-Limit Hold'em is my strongest game so that's what I will concentrate on. I think one of my strengths is playing against weaker opponents and I am really looking forward to trying out the huge fields in the $1,500 events. I think these tourneys might be a bit like the big online tournaments and I can't wait to test myself in these," Kongsgaard said.
"The main event is of course also something special. The biggest tournament of the year is something special, and hopefully I can defend Peter [Eastgate]'s bracelet and keep it in the country."
This last remark is rather telling, as 2008 was a great year for the Danes. Not only did Peter Eastgate win the Main Event, but Jesper Hougaard took bracelets at both the WSOP and WSOPE, a feat that will take some matching.
On top of that, Theo Jorgensen managed to win the £5,000 PLO at the WSOPE. That yielded a total of four bracelets for the year, more than any other European country.
With WSOP 2009 on the horizon, Soren Kongsgaard is no doubt hoping to be the latest Dane to add to the country's impressive poker record.
Editor's note: Keep an eye out for more 2009 WSOP Best Bets as we track down the best young players the poker world has to offer!