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By The Hammer of Thorsson! William Thorsson at the PCA
The 24-year-old Thorsson now makes his living playing in some of the biggest cash games online and some of the world's biggest live tournaments, earning over $1.5 million in total tournament winnings, including $907,128 for his 13th-place finish in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event.
PokerListings.com caught up with the popular young pro at the end of Day 3 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on the European Poker tour.
So how did your day go, William?
I started pretty good, but I was very tired, so I tried to play solid in the beginning and not lose any chips because I knew I was going to be so mad at myself tomorrow if I did. So I started with like $311,000 and went up to $400,000, but then I dropped down. I played bad in one hand - I called down with just a pair - but after that I got back up to $400,000.
Then the chip leader was at my table and in one hand he raised and I re-raised with pocket aces and he went all-in straight away, so I went from $400,000 to $800,000 in that hand. He had ace-king off-suit. So I won that hand and after that I was just up or down a hundred. I didn't play any really big pots at all; tried to stay focused and take some small pots here and there.
How was your table draw overall? You mentioned you had the chip leader (Shipitholla Balla Peter "Apathy" Jetten) and I also noticed you had Eric "Rizen" Lynch at your table as well.
Yeah, Eric Lynch wasn't at my table in the beginning but he was moved. There was the other guy, the chip leader with $1.2 million after he busted a couple guys at my table, and he played pretty tough. He was raising with a lot of hands, calling a lot of hands and raising all the time, so I didn't like to have him holding position on me, because he was re-raising me a lot.
There was also another guy who liked to re-raise with shit hands, but they both got busted and then it got a lot better. My table was okay; I mean, it's late in a big tournament. You have to face some tough opponents.
What do you think of the caliber of play in this event?
I think there are both good and bad players in this tournament, everything from pretty bad players to really good players. A lot of new faces, also, like Internet players who are just coming out. Some of them play very strange but some are also really good players that are still unrated. I guess in four or five years we're going to see some of them being the best in the world.
It's tough when you don't know the guy. You have to go by his look and how he's acting, but I think overall there's pretty good value in this tournament. There are a lot of Internet qualifiers. I like it here - it's good fun here, good partying.
Have you had time to enjoy the resort at all?
Not really. I've been here two times before so I've kind of seen everything. But I still like it, it's good. You can relax in your room and there's a nice pool area. Everything's pretty nice here and the weather has been nice as well.
Where are you going to go from here?
After here I have some guy asking me to play in a televised cash game up in Atlantic City, but I don't know if I have time. Another guy is asking me to go to the Aussie Millions, but I think that's a bit too far (laughs). I hate travelling that much.
So I might just go home and relax. I'm going on vacation with my girlfriend and after that probably the EPT. I prefer to play the European Poker Tour events now because of the situation in Sweden - we have to pay tax on all tournaments outside of Europe - and also the EPT events have become really good.
Before I used to travel a lot for the WPT tournaments, like maybe three or four times a year at least to Las Vegas and maybe Los Angeles, but now I prefer to choose all of the EPTs and maybe the WPT World Championship.
Besides the tax situation, why do you like the EPT events more than the WPT ones?
It's good value and a great structure. Thomas Kremser is the tournament director and he's really good. Everything is really nice with the EPT. It's also good value; there are a lot of good aggressive players but a lot of lesser skilled players as well, so I think it's great value.
You mentioned the high-stakes cash game in Atlantic City. Are you more comfortable playing these big-buy-in tournaments or those high-stakes ring games?
I think in live cash games I'm pretty strong when I get in the mood to play, but often I think it's too slow to play live. You start to play a lot of hands you'd fold any day online because it just takes such a long time to see a good hand. So if I had to choose I'd choose the tournaments. I love to play tournaments.
Do you have any strategy going into tomorrow?
I'm often a pretty aggressive player and I don't really care about the various money bubbles, so I'm going to play my game. I'm not going to try to win every single hand or anything like that, but I'm going to stay pretty aggressive and try to get a good image, and then I mean of course if I can get aces and kings I won't say no, but hopefully I'm just going to play like I did today: not risking my stack on any big pots. This was the first time in the tournament I was all-in and it was aces against ace-king.
Hopefully I'll be able to avoid big hands, but you never know if you'll flop set-over-set or something like that and lose a big pot that way. But hopefully I'll just play my game.
Well good luck to you and thanks for your time.
Thorsson finished Day 3 of the PCA with $874,000 in chips, good for seventh overall. Considering his tough table and seating draw throughout most of the day it's a testament to the Swedish pro's incredible talent that he managed to accumulate so many chips, and the other 39 players who've survived until tomorrow will be best served to think long and hard before entering many pots with Thorsson on Day 4.