You had a really tenacious day. You were short-stacked for a lot of it but somehow managed to get up to second in chips by the end. Can you talk a bit about how you managed that?
I got very lucky in a hand where I was all-in; I re-raised Joe Hachem with A-10 all-in, and Justin woke up with jacks behind me and called my all-in, and Joe folded. So I got lucky to hit an ace and get back in contention. And then I had the back-to-back hands at the end where I knocked out two players when my pairs held up, so I've just good luck at the right time.
It seemed like you were pushing all-in for most of the day; you were very short-stacked.
Yeah, I think when you're short-stacked you don't have the chips to see a flop, so I was just trying to accumulate some chips to survive. That was basically my strategy.
Was it daunting to be playing for so long at a table with Joseph Hachem and Daniel Negreanu?
I mean, I respect their play, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm not afraid of anyone; you can't be that way when you're playing. You have to play your own game, and of course, have respect for the other players, but don't fear them.
What is your strategy going to be for the final table tomorrow?
Now I have good chips, so I think basically I can take it more easy. I don't have to push it as much as today, and just see what happens.
Do you feel like you've got a good read on your opponents having played with them for so long today?
Ah, I don't know about reads, but yeah, I feel pretty comfortable with them.
You're from Denmark, correct?
Can you talk a bit about your background with poker and how you got into the game?
I played poker for fun in high school with friends, and then in college, I started going to these clubs in Copenhagen where they played poker, and I'd just hang out a little bit and get into it that way.
Is this your first WPT event?
No, I've played … I don't know the exact amount, but I think about ten. I cashed here last year at this event and got very close. I had my aces cracked by ace-queen of spades where I would have been the chip leader with 40 players to go. And now I'm back, and I've got a lot on my side this time.
Do you play very much online?
I play a little bit. Not much.
What sites do you play at when you do play?
Mainly PokerStars.com and a couple of other sites. Almost entirely PokerStars.com. I don't play that much, maybe five hours a week.
Great. Well thank you very much, Mads, and good luck at the final table.
* * * * * * * * * * *
I wasn't aware of it at the time, but a little research after the interview showed that Mads is indeed a highly successful tournament player in Europe. He took down the European Poker Tour (EPT) Scandinavian Open in his hometown of Copenhagen in January 2006, logging a $413,000 first prize, and can also boast a victory in the $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the Jack Binion World Poker Open in Tunica, Miss., in January 2005.
Mads slipped under the radar of most of the observers on Day 4, who saw him as just another face in the crowd surrounding pros Joseph Hachem and Daniel Negreanu, but we're guilty of underestimating the soft-spoken Dane; he's clearly experienced and he's clearly a threat, and his five counterparts at the final table would be best served by giving him a wide berth.