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Marcel Luske, the true gentleman
Among the average poker players dressed in baggy jeans and old sweatshirts, one man differs from the rest; the tall, blonde gentleman from the Netherlands in his designer suits and his sunglasses worn upside down. When you go up to talk to him, his personality is just as you would have guessed; he is kind, polite and charming.
How come you started playing poker?
I was working with my brothers at a marketplace in Amsterdam, in the summers we were outside but in the winters it was cold and you had to be inside and that's when we started playing cards. We played some poker, and then I started playing at clubs and later at casinos.
Do you play online poker?
Yes a little bit, I have been offered to work with different online pokerrooms, but I don't want to start working with one until I know it's a good site for the players. I want to look into their business and what they actually are doing for their players before I decide.
What is your favorite poker variety?
I was a Five-Card Stud player from the beginning, but I play a lot of Omaha High too and also sometimes Omaha Hi-Lo and Hold'em.
How many WSOP tournaments will you play this year?
I have played nine tournaments so far this year and I cashed in three of them. I am playing the Main Event too.
Do you play cash games or just tournaments?
I play mostly tournaments. At home in Amsterdam I play a lot of cash games but not many when I am out travelling.
What do you do besides play poker?
I think I have enough knowledge now to be a help to new and less experienced poker players. I am doing a DVD to 'teach' people how to play tournaments, and I think if you follow the strategies there and just have average luck you should be able to finish in the money.
What's the deal with the upside down sunglasses?
I wear sunglasses mostly to protect my eyes. Usually there are bright lights in the casinos, if you play for long hours you can hurt your eyes, and if you turn your glasses upside down they will shut the light out even more. Also, you don't have to lift your head up to see the flop properly. Sometimes when you need to check if there really is a heart out there and not a spade and you lift your head a little to see under the shades, you give away information. I don't want to give my opponents that kind of information.
How do you look at playing poker professionally, and at yourself as a famous poker player?
I try to keep my feet on the ground at all times and show people respect regardless of who they are. I think players should treat each other and the casino staff (such as dealers) with more respect than they usually do. I also think you shouldn't take it so seriously, people are playing like it's their last penny and can't even smile at the table. I think you should have fun at the table, that's one of the most imortant things. You can get upset by a badbeat, but you have to remember that it's the guy that outdraws you that will help you to learn to be a better poker player.
Some time ago, a guy contacted me who was dying and said it was his last wish to speak to me, I called him up and talked to him. That makes you think about how insignificant it is to win a tournament. As long as you are healthy and have people around you that you care about and that care about you. People who go into a fire to save another person are true heros. That's an accomplishment. Winning a poker tournament is nothing compared to that.