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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad De Wolfe?
One of the many talented European players to bust out onto the WSOP scene is the affable Roland "The Sheep" De Wolfe. Hailing from London, England, De Wolfe is enjoying all the action at this year's World Series in Las Vegas. Living up to his moniker, Roland is definitely De Wolfe in sheep's clothing - he's an irresistible charmer when it comes to conversation, but at the poker table, he's a deadly predator. De Wolfe has already cashed in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event finishing in 16th place, and he's looking to do a lot more cashing before heading back home to the U.K.
You're from London, England - how long have you been in town?
I've been here since the middle of June.
Do you have a place here, or do you just come down for tournaments?
I just stay at the Bellagio, always. Although I'm considering moving from there because the service is getting bad.
Do you like Las Vegas?
Yes, I love it here. There's always lots of action going on, it's fun. And always nice weather, better than London.
Are you planning on relocating to North America, or will you stay in London?
I'm committed to playing European events for Full Tilt Poker for the next year at least, so I'll be staying over there. But I come over here to play in the major tournaments like the World Poker Tour and the World Series.
How long have you been playing poker?
About three years now.
How did you get into poker?
I started working for a magazine about gambling, and I learned poker through that. I was traveling and following and watching it, and then I started playing and learning it and getting better.
How is the poker over in Europe? Is it gaining as much popularity as it is in North America?
It's getting really big with Scandinavians, the British and the French, so many people are playing it. It's getting really, really big, really popular. Card rooms are opening up in London every week. There are so many now. Everything is getting big in poker - publishing, TV. There's loads of shows. It's good. Money is coming into it. I'm really pleased with how it's going.
How do you feel you're playing here at the World Series so far?
I'm doing okay. I came 16th in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha. I'm through to the next round in the No-Limit Hold'em Shootout today.
Are you going to be entering the Main Event?
Yes, of course. It's one of the best events in terms of value that you can get. It should be good.
Who do you see at the final table of the Main Event?
There'll probably be maybe one well-known guy, one pro, one guy you might've heard of and then seven guys you've never heard of. It's really tough because the field is so big. Probably a lot of young players, I don't see many people over 40 playing eight days straight.
How do you feel about the way poker has expanded with so many players in each of the tournaments?
I think it's fantastic. The game has more money in it, there's more TV coverage, it's great. Instead of playing against top professionals you're playing against everyone. It's better for those who want to make money.
What's your best game?
For tournaments it's No-Limit Hold'em and for cash it's Pot-Limit Omaha or No-Limit Hold'em.
What do you prefer, cash games or tournaments?
Tournaments are very frustrating when they go badly, but when you do well, it's like the best feeling. I probably prefer tournaments but I like cash just as well.
Do you have any superstitions when it comes to your poker playing?
I'm not really superstitious, but in Chinese poker I always look at the cards in the same order if it's going well. If cash games are going badly, I might ask to change the deck, but that's it really.
What are your hopes for this year's World Series?
I'd like to win a bracelet, but just to make a final table would be nice and to play good and make good decisions. And give myself the best opportunities possible to do well.
What are your plans after the World Series is finished?
I might go and play the World Poker Tour event of the Bike or stay at the Bellagio and play the cash games for a week or two. Just recuperate and get fit in the gym, and then head off to Europe for the European Poker Tour season.
Thanks, Roland and all the best to you at the tables.