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Alias: Pete Willy - Day 2 Chip Leader at the Caribbean Poker Classic
The chip leader at the end of Day 2 of the Caribbean Poker Classic is "Pete Willy," a Danish poker professional who has so far flown under the radar both at this event and in the poker world as a whole. And that's partially by design, as the European Poker Tour veteran seems to take on aliases at many of the tournaments he plays.
He plays a professional game and has amassed professional-grade chips, but due to a sticky tax situation in Denmark, would rather we not reveal his real name. I talked to Willy during a break in the action near the end of Day 2 at the CPC.
Can you talk about your play today?
Basically, I had a lot of chips from Day 1, where I had an amazing streak. I hit like six sets in the first three levels, and I busted five players, so I was up to about $110,000 at the second break. That was quite a rush.
And then I didn't really get anything for the rest of the day, so I ended at like $107,000. Today I was struggling. I had like $160,000 and went down to $100,000, then up to $150,000 - it was going back and forth. But then I got bluffed out of a big pot and was down to $90,000.
Then I went all-in - a guy had raised like three times in a row, so I went all-in from the big blind with ace-nine, and he called immediately with queens. I hit an ace and was back up to $200,000, and then a few minutes later a guy raised and I called with pocket tens. The flop came 6-7-10, and he's got a set of sixes, and he's chip leader. So I pulled in like a $440,000 pot.
Since then I haven't really been playing any hands. I've raised a few times and everyone has folded, so that's been that. I reckon I should make the final table, but who knows? Anything can happen.
What's your plan with ten players left? Does the proximity to the final table change your strategy at all?
There are a few small stacks at my table. The problem is that the guy sitting on my left side is kind of a wild card, and he knows me pretty well. So if I raise too much he'll just come over the top, and I don't like to call big raises preflop without really good hands, and then I'd rather push.
So I'm not going to raise too much, but I'm going to play my cards and play my tells - there are a few small tells at my table. There are a few guys that have like $90,000-$100,000, and if they open for like $15,000, and I have a mediocre hand but something tells me they don't have anything, I'm going to put pressure on them.
Many of the players here have won tournaments to get in - was that your story or did you buy-in?
I simply bought in. I didn't win any qualifiers or anything, but I bought in for the trip without the main event buy-in, and then when I came here all of my friends were playing and they said, come on, you can't not play. So I bought in because there were so many bad players. (Laughs.)
Would you say that the caliber of the play is pretty low?
Yeah, the general play in the tournament is bad. There were a lot of internet qualifiers and not many professionals buying in, so it's a very good tournament.
Did you play the preliminary events?
I played the Blackjack Hold'em (Laughs), and I came eighth. It was kind of fun, but finally you realize that it's mostly a B.S. game, and it's just mostly who gets the cards. Not much skill required.
Whereabouts are you from?
I'm from Denmark.
How long have you been playing poker?
I've been playing professionally for two and a half years.
Mainly on the European Circuit?
Yeah, I play the EPT, and I played the World Series, of course, but I try to stay out of the U.S. because of tax issues in Denmark. If I win this tournament, I'll have to pay a lot in taxes, but since I'm sponsored by one of my friends for some of it, it won't be that bad, but I'm still going to have to pay.
Do you play very much online?
Yeah, at most sites online. Not many tournaments, actually; I mostly play cash games.
Is No-Limit Hold'em your game?
No-Limit Hold'em 50%, and Pot-Limit Omaha 50%. If I just grind it out, it will be like $10-$20, maybe $25-$50, and sometimes I play the bigger tables. I've been playing $200-$400 No-Limit but it's rare. If the game is good, I'll play.
Thanks Pete. Good luck at the final table.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Willy continued waging rampant destruction on the field after we spoke, eliminating Odd Bjarte Lavik, Magnus Rindeskar, and Nicolas Levi to do his part in securing the final six competitors. Willy heads to the final table with a fearsome table image bolstered by $702,000 in tournament chips - good for a $250,000 lead on his closest competitor. He's the favorite, but he'd better watch out; a few more finishes in high-profile tournaments like this, and it's going to take a lot more than just a phony last name to keep the world from getting to know him.