Erik Friberg: 'Swedes Are The Best'

Erik Friberg
Erik Friberg wins a pot after going all-in

William Thorsson out of the tournament. Friberg and Thorsson don't like each other very much.

You're in second place after Day 6. How was your day?

It didn't go well in the beginning, and I lost 2/3 of my stack. Then I moved all-in when I made bottom two pair on the turn, and a guy with pocket aces called. If I hadn't won that pot I would have been eliminated, but I doubled up instead, and things went really well from there on.

What are your thoughts for Day 7?

My goal is to get up to $10,000,000 in chips and reach the final table. But I don't have some special strategy. I'm just going to go out there and play my own game. I'm really excited to play. If I'm nervous? Not at all. I'm never nervous when it comes to poker.

Have you played many big live tournaments before this one?

No, I mainly play cash games. But I think I'm a good tournament player, and I have won one big live tournament in Sweden. I mostly play online, but I have been playing some live poker here in Vegas as well. But sadly, it hasn't gone very well for me.

Have you played any other WSOP tournaments this year?

Yes, I was in the $5,000 event, but I played really badly and got knocked out after a couple of hours.

William Thorsson

You will have another Swede, William Thorsson, at your table. Is he a friend of yours?

No, actually we have never really liked each other. We have played a lot of really hard games against each other online, and it would be really nice to win his stack. There will be a lot of prestige involved.

Are Swedish poker players good in general?

I have believed for a long time that there very well could be a Swedish world champion this year. There are many talented and skilled Swedish players with the potential to win an event like this. For example, the high-limit games on the Internet are owned by Swedish players these days. There are only a few Americans that are nearly of the same class.

Why are Swedish players so good?

We think a lot about poker and play smart.

Erik Friberg

When did you start playing poker?

Around 2000-2001 I started playing with some friend in high school, but I soon became too good for them, and they didn't want to play with me anymore. Then I started checking out Paradise Poker which was the biggest poker site at the time.

How long have you played poker professionally?

I left my university studies in 2004 to play poker full time. It didn't go that well at first, but then I won a couple of online tournaments with 2,000 players in them. That gave me some money, and I started traveling around Europe playing poker. In the fall of 2004, I started to play No-Limit Hold'em cash games online on a serious level, and I became good at that pretty fast. It was really easy to win back then.

Have you ever had a real job?

No, I haven't, and I actually miss that a little bit. I guess I have never learned to appreciate the real value of money.

What are your strengths as a poker player?

Actually, my best game is heads-up. And to be a good heads-up player you need good reading skills, and you also have to be able set traps and put other people on tilt. It's like a boxing match and a lot about psychology, and I guess I'm pretty good at that. And my abilities to put people on hands, detect bluffs, and make strong calls will be useful in the rest of the Main Event.

What will you do if you become world champion?

I don't know. Maybe I'll retire. At least I won't play poker every day like I do now.

Day 6 of the Main Event was very short. What do you think about that?

That's really nice. I haven't slept more than four or five hours per night in the last few weeks, so finally I will get a chance to relax a little bit. Being in this position in the Main Event is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, so tonight I'm just going to take it easy and go to bed early. Tomorrow I will wake up rested, and go out there and play the best poker of my life.

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