Jan was 18 years old when he first started playing professional soccer. His skills improved by leaps and bounds, to the point where he was recruited to play on a major team in the Danish Premier League. By the age of 30, Sorensen was a veteran of many soccer matches and began to think about what he would do in his post-pro athlete life. But before Sorensen could make a decision, he was dealt soccer's worst blow, the equivalent of a 'bad beat;' Sorensen blew out his knee in an on-the-field injury. He would never play soccer again.
Fortunately, Sorensen picked up some skills at a different game during his soccer career. 'We used to play poker all the time when we were traveling,' Sorensen said moments after winning the $5,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud championship event at the 2005 World Series of Poker. 'We played on trains and in airports while we waited around killing time.'
Shortly after his injury-forced retirement, Sorensen made a trip to Las Vegas. The World Series of Poker just so happened to be going on that same month and Sorensen played some poker and became more interested in the game. Little did he know at the time that a decade later he himself would be playing at a final table competing for a WSOP gold bracelet. With ESPN television cameras recording the event for a later broadcast, Sorensen shed the underdog role, topped a tough field of 192 players, and scored a different kind of goooooooooooooal -- $293,275 in cash.
Chip count and seating at the start of the final table were as follows:
- John Phan, Los Angeles, CA; $198,000
- Gerard Rechnitzer, Beverly Hills, CA; $71,000
- Keith Sexton, Dayton, OH; $135,000
- Joe Awada, Las Vegas, NV; $126,500
- Steven S. Deano, Las Vegas, NV; $58,500
- Chip Jett, Las Vegas, NV; $206,000
- Jan Sorensen, Odense, Denmark; $140,000
- Tom McCormick, Fargo, ND; $25,000
- Jan Sorensen, Odense, Denmark, $293,275
- Keith Sexton, Dayton, OH, $162,430
- Chip Jett, Las Vegas, NV, $99,265
- John Phan, Los Angeles, CA, $72,190
- Joe Awada, Las Vegas, NV, $58,655
- Steven S. Deano, Las Vegas, NV, $45,120
- Gerard Rechnitzer, Beverly Hills, CA, $36,095
- Tom McCormick, Fargo, ND, $27,070
The information contained in this report is based on the 2005 World Series of Poker Rio All-Suites Casino-Resort Official Report.