Lederer makes 25th final in WSOPE PLO

Howard Lederer
£5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha final table marks Howard Lederer's 25th at the WSOP.

Howard Lederer made the final nine at the World Series of Poker Europe's £5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event Thursday, the poker legend's 25th WSOP final table and his second in London so far this year.

After finishing ninth in the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha event just two days ago, Lederer will come into Friday's playdown fourth in chips - and almost as excited as the first time he made a World Series final at the Main Event in 1987.

"It's still very exciting," said the two-time bracelet winner. "They can't take the bracelet away from you and any time you get to a final table and don't win a bracelet that's an opportunity gone.

"Obviously I've squandered 22 of them so far."

Winner of the €1,000 PLO event at the Finnish Open Championships in 2008, Jani Vilmunen holds the chip lead at a final table filled with experienced Omaha veterans.

Joining him are the UK's Jeff Kimber, the 2009 WSOP $2,500 PLO runner-up, Hendon Mobster Ross Boatman, who finished fourth in the same event, American Dan Hindin, who made fourth in the 2009 WSOP $5,000 PLO event, and Robert Williamson III, a PLO bracelet winner in 2002.

Rounding out the final nine are Welsh Full Tilt Pro Roberto Romanello, 2009 Finnish Open Championships main event runner-up Ville Haavisto, and the 10th-place finisher in the 2009 Helsinki Freezout main event, Finn Aarno Kivelio.

Lederer, who barely missed a final table appearance in the 2009 WSOP $10k PLO World Championship, finishing 12th, said he enjoys the challenge this particular poker variant offers.

"I like to have control," he explained. "I'd like to be able to control the table a little bit when it lets me. But Omaha is a gambling game and you are going to have to get it in sometimes with pretty even equity."

Eager for a chance at his third WSOP win, a tempered Lederer admitted he really wants this one.

"I want to win it as badly as I can, or as anyone would, but you have to balance that," he said. "If you want it too much then you can't really play poker.

"I mean, poker is about balance. You have to be willing to lose your chips, but you have to want to win them really badly too. You have to try really hard, but not let the moment or the importance of whatever pot you're playing get the best of you or else you're just going to freeze up."

Well known as a student of Zen philosophy, Lederer said he applies its teachings at the poker table even when there's a World Series of Poker bracelet on the line.

"You can't look at the goal and you can't be too obsessed with the past either," he said. "You just have to bring all your experience to the moment and try and make the best decision you can every street. It's a one street at a time kind of thing."

PokerListings will have comprehensive coverage of the final from London's Casino at the Empire beginning at 2 p.m. BST Friday on our Live Tournaments page.

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick

Latest Blogs »