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2012 WSOP Best Bets: Denmark
Every year we like to think our vast global poker expertise allows us to predict precisely which players are set to light the WSOP on fire.
Every year, of course, we miss wildy. Who can predict donkaments, really? But that doesn’t stop us from trying.
In keeping with our annual tradition, we asked our international editors to fill us in on players they think are on the cusp of WSOP glory.
By Thomas Hviid
The 2012 World Series of Poker is underway and for the next month and a half the best poker players in the world will convene in Las Vegas.
Every year more Danish players travel to Vegas to partake of the millions of dollars available and after a couple of lean WSOP years we can be very optimistic about the Danish contingent this year.
Danish players have had an excellent start to 2012 with three victories on the EPT and WPT and we can count on seasoned WSOP veterans Simon Ravnsbæk, Frederik Brink Jensen, Peter Eastgate, Lars Bønding and Theo Jorgensen at the tables.
There are also a few young guns that may lack WSOP experience but have the proven skills to go far.
Keep a close eye on these four young Danes when the cards are dealt this year:
Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen
Earlier this year we singled out Petersen as one of the players who would break through at the live felt in 2012.
Perhaps he read the article as a month after we published it he won his first major live tournament at EPT Copenhagen.
It wasn’t a great surprise, as he had won several major tournaments online, but he had few live results at that point.
Last year he participated in the WSOP for the first time with his best result a 15th-place finish in the $ 1,500 No Limit Hold'em for $ 27,000. He also had two other cashes.
Petersen's clearly shown the potential is there for very big things and most opponents now know they must keep a close eye on him.
He hasn’t had much luck after his EPT win but perhaps he’s been saving it for Las Vegas.
Petersen says he expects to play about 20 tournaments ,including plenty of non-Hold'em events, and he's a threat to go deep in any of them.
When it comes to sparring partners to have when you travel to Las Vegas to play the WSOP, you could do a lot worse than Peter Eastgate.
The 24-year-old Raffay is a member of the Betfair camp this year along with Eastgate and the support of a previous WSOP champion can maybe give him the last nudge he needs to get over the top.
Raffay made a few nice cashes online over the winter and he also had a few solid results last year in Las Vegas including a fifth-place finish in a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event for $149,392.
Apart from his Danish Championsip title in 2006, which he won as a 18-year-old, last year's WSOP cash was actually his biggest win live so far.
You can expect to see Stefan Raffay play – and go deep - in most Hold'em events.
Morten Lihn Christensen
Aarhus native Morten Lihn Christensen has primarily made his presence felt online with big wins under the alias "skipper-dawn."
In 2012 he made his breakthrough in live poker with a bang when he won WPT Vienna for €313,390.
It’s an outstanding result for a player who previously had only a 31st-place at EPT Deauville as his best live finish and who’s yet to play in very many major live tournaments.
There’s no reason to think he won’t be able to build on his Vienna success in Las Vegas.
A lucky Sam Trickett was all that stopped him in last week’s WPT season finale and we hope it’s given him a taste for more action.
It’s not yet certain he’ll play in the WSOP outside the Main Event, but we hope he tries his luck.
Maybe a Dannebrog shirt will put Thor Drexel over the top at this year's WSOP.
Playing a decisive heads-up duel this week with Kristian Kofoed for the Danish title, the winner will get a WSOP package and the right to play in the red-and-white Dannebrog jersey in Las Vegas.
If it's Drexel, we're sure he'll make the most of it.
Drexel has been around the Danish poker scene for a few years but has yet to make a really big score in a live poker tournament.
His best live result is a final table at a WSOPE event in London in 2009 fr a few thousand pounds so there's plenty of room to improve it in Vegas.
He’s an incredibly talented cash-game player and a true tournament killer online, so we hope his Danish national success will give him a little tailwind and the courage to try out the WSOP this year.
We'll be watching for the red-and-white jersey.