An Exclusive Interview with Poker Professional Mikael Westerlund

Mikael Westerlund
Mikael Westerlund at the 2005 World Series of Poker being interviewed by

Mikael Westerlund is a fairly new player on the international poker scene with an incredible tournament record. He had an amazing streak this last year in big events such as the European Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour, making 8 final tables in 8 straight tournaments and winning 4 of them! His biggest win was finishing third at the 2005 WPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas.

For how long have you been playing poker?

I have been playing for about 23 years in general and Hold'em for about 10 years.

How have your results been in this year's WSOP?

I have only played two events so far and didn't cash in either of them. I was focused on the Main Event instead.

You have had a very good run in poker tournaments lately. Can you tell me a bit about that?

Yes. I made 8 consecutive final tables in 8 tournaments, with two of them being EPT and WPT events, and I won 4 of them.

You are a 100% poker professional now. Which games do you prefer to play in side games and tournaments?

I like No-Limit Hold'em in both side games and tournaments. Mainly I like to play $25-$50 No-Limit Hold'em for cash games. But I am not nearly as good a cash game player as I am a tournament player. I consider myself an average cash game player but one of the very best in tournaments.

What are your strengths and weaknesses in poker ?

My main strength is that I am very good at picking up on bluffs. I consider poker to be 90% psychology and I think that I am the best at that. I learnt a lot about that stuff when I was working as a salesman. But picking up bluffs can also be a weakness in the sense that I sometimes get too curious and call when I shouldn't.

Going into the Main Event tomorrow, what would you consider a success?

I'd be happy if I made it to the final table. Actually, when Greg Raymer was in Sweden he said that he'd pick me as one of the biggest threats to win the Main Event, hopefully that will hold true.

What does the future look like for you?

I am going to continue to travel around the world and play in poker tournaments, mostly EPT and WPT events.

Would you like to add anything else?

Yes, let's do a bigger interview the day before I start playing at the final table.

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