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Brummelhuis: “If I Win, Poker Will Go Crazy in Holland”
Michiel Brummelhuis is the first player from Holland to make the WSOP Main Event final table and he says he'll be bringing hundreds of Dutchies with him to Las Vegas in November.
Brummelhuis, who recently signed with 888poker, currently sits seventh in chips and told PokerListings.com that he'll be representing the tight-knit Dutch poker community at the final table.
Already guaranteed over $733k, the Dutch pro has a shot at $8 million and the title of world champion. It couldn't have come at a better time for Brummelhuis, as he's expecting his first child in September.
Brummelhuis speaks to PokerListings.com about the experience of making poker's biggest final table, and what we can expect from the Dutch rail come November.
Follow the action in November with PokerListings.com's WSOP 2013 Main Event live coverage.
Get more info with our WSOP 2013 November Nine Michiel Brummelhuis bio.
PokerListings.com: It's been a few weeks since you made the final table. What's it been like?
Michiel Brummelhuis: From the moment I made the final table it's been really hectic. The first four or five days especially were crazy because the phone just didn't stop ringing, and I was really tired as well because obviously I went out for a few drinks after the final table was set.
Then I came home and a lot of my friends were waiting for me at the airport and we had a nice party over here. There was also a lot of media attention from the big newspapers and some television came to my house. I still have a few more newspaper interviews to do.
PL: The deepest run by a Dutch player in the Main Event was in 2004 when Marcel Luske bubbled the final table. Did that have an effect on Dutch poker? Could your performance do the same?
Marcel's almost-final table definitely had an impact but in 2004 there really weren't many players in Holland. That was when I started to play poker but most of the Dutch players didn't really start until like 2007.
So it's hard to say exactly what effect Luske had back then.
But it's pretty safe to say that if I win this tournament, poker will go crazy in Holland. The week before I go to Vegas for the final table in November I'm going to be on a few important television shows in Holland.
This final table will be a big thing for Dutch poker and one big impact we've already seen is that Holland's biggest tournament series, the Master Classics, has changed their dates because it conflicted with the Main Event final table and so many Dutch players will be gone.
They moved it a week because of my final table which is amazing because I'll be able to come back and play it too.
PL: You're going to have a platform to speak to a big non-poker audience in Holland. What do you want to communicate to them about poker?
First of all I don't know if I'm the person who's going to go around telling everyone they have to play poker. I know how hard it can be because I've been playing for nine or ten years.
It's tough to make a living playing poker so I don't know exactly what I will say.
I think I'll just tell about my experience and how much work you have to put in to get to a level where it's possible to do something like this.
I spent a lot of time working on my cash-game skills before this Main Event and I think it helped me a lot. This is one of the only tournaments that plays so deep it's basically like a cash game.
PL: Speaking of the pressure of playing poker professionally, you have your first kid on the way later this summer. How have your goals and mindset changed since getting that news?
Yeah, I think even until late in 2012 I wasn't that serious about making money, and my bankroll management really wasn't that good.
But in January I found out that my girlfriend was pregnant and everything changed for me. I knew I had to focus and make sure I could make enough money and keep learning.
I've watched a lot of videos and become an expert at Hold'em Manager. One year ago I was playing with 10 or 15 stats and now I use at least 60.
PL: Making this final table must have taken some of that weight off your shoulders, knowing that your earnings from poker will be really strong.
I definitely had some stress because in Holland the tax situation isn't so good so now I know I can leave all that behind me.
It also shows some of the non-poker people in my life that poker is more than just a game. It's a profession and it's something you have to work hard at in order to succeed. Making this final table is a real accomplishment.
PL: How did you get into poker and when did you realize you could make this a profession?
The first time I heard of poker was in 2003 or 2004 when some friends from my studies told me you can make money in the casino playing Limit Hold'em.
They said all you had to do was read a book and you could make €200 in a night playing poker. That was a lot of money at the time when I was in my early 20s.
At about the same time internet poker became popular and this was back when people still went to internet cafes to get online.
So I started playing online at a cafe on Pacific Poker, what is now 888poker, and I immediately started playing $5/$10 Limit Hold'em and the first time I logged in I got pocket aces three times in a row and won all three pots.
That was my first experience with poker and I was hooked right there.
A few years later I was involved in an internet business that took up a lot of my time but I really enjoyed parts of it. Being part of a team that's working towards one goal was so different than poker where your only real goal is to make money.
I was also playing poker at the same time but I couldn't do two things at once and when that business ended in 2012 I was able to only focus on poker and that started to go much better.
PL: As the first Dutch player to make the final table, and potentially become world champion, do you feel like you're playing for your country at all?
You know, I think it's more for the Dutch poker community than the country.
So many of my friends from the community are coming with me to the final table. We're already expecting one or two hundred people to come.
It's a really tight community and there are so many good people it's going to be such a great experience for everyone to share.
Obviously it's an honor to be the first Dutch player to make the final table but it's not like soccer or something that's really big in Holland so it doesn't feel exactly the same.
PL: The final table of the Main Event is a really intense experience. How do you plan to prepare and how do you think you'll react to the crowds and cameras and everything?
For the last few days of the Main Event there were a lot of crowds and cameras and I was on a lot of the feature tables. A lot of players kind of blew up.
Great players like the German Anton Morgenstern, who I've played with at other tables, made some mistakes because of the stress. I don't think I have that problem. I've made a few other televised final tables and I've always just had fun playing.
I mean, I've played a lot of tournaments and it's gone well but this is the one everyone wants to make, and I'm there.
To go through that many people you have to get some luck but I'm still very proud of how I played to get here. I'm also very proud that so many of my friends want to follow me to Vegas so that feels great.