Watch Out - Thor carries a big stack!

Thor Hansen
Thor Hansen playing in Day 2B of the 2007 WSOP Main Event

The "Godfather" of Norwegian poker, Thor Hansen had put himself into a good position to make Day 3 of the 2007 WSOP Main Event by collecting more than $150,000 chips at the dinner break. sat down with Thor at the break to discuss big-time tournament poker, his WSOP so far and strategy for the Main Event.

So is Day 2 of an event like this all about survival, or are you trying to make a big stack heading into the next day?

I'm trying to build a stack but I'm trying to do it quietly. It's still a big field. There are still a lot of weak players out there and they can be pretty aggressive. So, I'm trying to pick up some antes and blinds and keeping the pots small, of course, just like everybody else, but I'm picking my spots. We'll see what I can do.

But you came into today with $120,000, can't you just bully the other players with shorter stacks?

Thor Hansen
A true pro!

No, I won't do that today, maybe the next day I will do it. You can still win some chips without doing it because the field is so weak.

This strategy must be working, you've made three final tables and cashed over $200,000 at the 2007 WSOP. Still, with two WSOP Bracelets under your belt from previous years, I wonder if you consider this WSOP a success for you personally?

I've made three final tables so it's been pretty good, but it's still a disappointment because I haven't won anything. I've cashed in almost half the tournaments I've played. It's been great. I wish I could have played in more tournaments, but I was too tired to do that. I've taken a few days off because I'm tired and I want to stay fresh.

So has it been a success or will only a bracelet win satisfy you?

Thor Hansen
Only the gold counts!

It's not been a success, but it's been OK. I would have liked to have won a bracelet. I have been a little bit disappointed in a couple of tournaments where I got to the final table, but there was no play. We don't have enough chips at the final table, only eight or nine bets. We've complained about it twice at the final table, they could change it, but they don't want to give us any play.

The structure has been terrible, they could have done a better job with that, but they decided not to. They need to give us a chance to play. I'm sure it's going to be better next year. I know it's tough for them with all these big fields, but they could have changed it. It was disappointing.

You've done well so far in the Main Event, did you come in with a specific strategy considering the massive field?

No, there is no strategy,. I just sit down and play poker and try to figure it out at the table. I'm not worried about too many things. I try to play against nine people at my table not 6,000 and I try to figure them out first.

Thor Hansen
Weak Field?

This is the weakest field of players compared to the rest of the WSOP tournaments. Sure you can go broke if you get in a big hand, but this tournament has more weak players than any others.

Do you prefer things that way?

Actually, I prefer the mix. Half good players and half weak players at the table. Usually the good players know each other and give each other respect. But even the unknown players can be very good. They play a lot Online and they know the game.

You don't play Online a lot, but what do you think of all these young gun Online pros and their aggressive style?

Thor Hansen
Respects for the Online players!

I just know, from what I've seen of the Online players, they play fantastic No-Limit Hold'em. They know their stuff and they play correct at all times. They know what to do. I just have to sit down and watch them and wait for their mistakes, because they do make mistakes. Online they like to play, they like to play a lot of hands and there's still a chance to beat them, but they are tough.

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Thor Hansen is a pretty tough player himself. I certainly would not want to be sitting across from him should he make a big stack and start playing the bully on Day 3. The man makes very few mistakes, is a consummate pro and wouldn't surprise anyone by going deep in this year's Main Event.

If a bracelet is the only thing that will make Hansen consider this WSOP a success for him he's sorely mistaken. Even if he busts on the bubble of the Main Event, has a ton of respect for his performance this year and considers him to be one of the top tournament players around.

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