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Bluff-Tastic! Words with Mads Wissing Andersen
Toward the end of the night here on Day 2 of the PokerStars.com EPT San Remo there were fewer familiar faces left in the mix than we're used to, especially being the North American journalists that we are. What there wasn't a lack of, though, was talent.
As the field was cut down a few players came to our attention by both the size of their stacks and the caliber of their play. One of the most entertaining hands of the evening came from Denmark's Mads Wissing Andersen. It was a few spots off the bubble and he pulled off a huge bluff against Sweden's William Thorson.
On one of the breaks we caught up with Andersen to talk about that hand and a few other things.
Hello Mads. We haven't seen you before this event so give us an idea of your background in poker and how you ended up on the EPT. We heard you're mainly an online tournament player.
Yes. I'm originally from Denmark but I live in Spain now. I moved there almost two years ago to play online and to do something different, something interesting. So I play mostly online poker but I travel four or five times a year to play live, to the Main Event in Vegas and the Grand Final in Monte Carlo and a few other EPTs.
How has it been going since you decided to move to Spain?
2007 was my best year ever. I won two big tournaments on PartyPoker. I won the $300k twice. I also won a side event in Copenhagen for about $100,000 and it was a good year for cash games also.
Give us an idea how you got into the game and how you were able to get to the point of playing professionally.
I've really been playing poker for ages. It started with Five-Card Draw when I was back in high school and even then I was playing some pretty juicy games with restaurant and business owners and stuff like that, when I was just 16 or 17.
Then my cousin won the Danish Championship in No-Limit Hold'em and I had never played that game before so he got me started playing online. So I learned a lot from him and one of his friends and read some books and studied the game and built my game from there, always No-Limit Hold'em.
Having played so much online, how do you enjoy playing live?
Actually, I get pretty bored playing online. Especially after a long day, 12 or 14 hours, you look back at your day and wonder what you've really accomplished. Maybe you won, maybe you lost, it can start to seem meaningless. So getting out and traveling to tournaments a few times a year is lovely.
We were in Copenhagen not long ago for the EPT - everyone there was great. Poker really seems to have taken off. It's not exactly new there so what's it like right now? Is it getting bigger or dying down?
I remember a year or two ago it was crazy. Everyone was playing. People would bring cards and chips to work, playing for small stakes, and it was everywhere. The biggest thing for poker in Denmark was Gus Hansen winning his EPT title a few years ago. It's definitely still huge though.
We wanted to ask you specifically about the hand we watched you play earlier against Gus Hansen. Take us through the action on that hand and the thought process that allowed you to make that bluff.
Yeah, I called with 7♣ 6♣ from the cut-off or the button after William had raised it. The French guy called as well and the flop came 8-4-A with two spades. So they both check to me and I'm there with 7-6 [and] a gut-shot, nothing else, so I throw my first barrel in, $15,000 into a pot of $22,000. They both called.
When William called I was pretty sure he couldn't have a set. He would raise there with aces, eights or fours. So I put him on a weak ace or maybe a flush draw because he was getting good odds after the big blind called.
What about Eric Koskas, the Frenchman in the big blind? He was playing pretty crazy.
He is a great player but he was playing a lot of hands so it was pretty much impossible to put him on a hand. But then the turn brought a blank and they checked to me again so I [threw] another barrel. The French guy folded and I was happy about that because I was pretty sure William had a weak ace or a flush draw and no matter what card came on the river, except a spade, I would be able to bluff him off the hand. So another blank hit the river and I shoved like $120,000 and it was a pretty big bluff. He told me he folded A-Q.
That hand came right before the bubble and you had a lot of chips at that point. How did the fact that you could have busted right there out of the money enter into your thinking?
Well, I was definitely thinking about it. The thing about the money structure here is when you finish in 72nd you get hardly more than the buy-in. I was also thinking that William might have thought I was thinking about the money so I'd be less likely to make a huge bluff there. But I made a read and played the hand according to it.
Thanks Mads and good luck tomorrow.
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That hand alone should prove to all the skeptics that poker is indeed a game of skill. While Andersen has made it through the day, he isn't exactly well-stacked with $120,000 to his name. For a more in-depth look at the hand head over to the Strategy Snapshot put together this evening by our resident strategy guru Daniel Skolovy.