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Theo Jørgensen “Slowly Getting Back to Normal Life”
Last December Danish poker pro Theo Jørgensen was attacked in his home and shot three times, an incident he and his family are only now getting over.
Jørgensen, number three on Denmark's all-time poker money list, was the victim of a home invasion in his Copenhagen home.
Since the incident the Danish pro has made a speedy recovery, and is now getting back to down to business as usual.
Presently Jørgensen is making a deep run at EPT London, sixth in chips with just 15 players remaining.
That's where PokerListings.com's Thomas Hviid caught him to find out what life's been like since the attack and how Jørgensen is dealing with it both privately and professionally.
PokerListings.com: First of all, how are you and your family doing after what happened in December?
Theo Jørgensen: We are doing fantastic considering the circumstances.
There are still some after-effects where we are a bit more jumpy than normal, especially in the evenings. But we are slowly getting back to normal life.
PL: Do you still feel any pain in the leg where you got shot? Do you feel it at the poker table?
TJ: No, I do not feel any pain.
I feel it in the leg a bit since there is a bit too much tissue, so the blood circulation is not 100%, but I am working on it in the rehabilitation.
PL: When were you without pain?
TJ: I have actually been that pretty much all the time. At first I got morphine, so even when I had the large open wounds it wasn't very painful.
When it starting growing together it went very quick and I didn't feel much.
PL: You've always been very open and friendly as a person. Will this incident make you more closed?
TJ: No, as long as it is about poker then it is not a problem. I have always been conscious that it would annoy me if people were taking pictures of my children or something.
But if I end up in the spotlight again in the mainstream media I will probably protect my family even more from the press.
PL: In the days after the episode were you very upset with some parts of the Danish media who had been taking photos of your house although you were registered under a secret address. How do you feel about it today?
TJ: Yes, I still feel that they crossed the line by far. In my naivety I thought that they would show more respect.
When they take photos of the house they're not only chasing me but also my family and children, and I think that is crossing the line.
It is also their safety they're putting at risk.
PL: You and Gus Hansen are a big part of why poker became popular in Denmark. Did you imagine ten years ago that you would one day get so much attention?
TJ: I feel that the attention only got big because of what happened. I was a semi-celebrity who experienced this, and the interest would probably not have been so big if I hadn't been shot.
At the hospital when I was about to be operated on I knew this would be a big thing in the media, mainly because of the severity of the attack.
PL: You have received a lot of support in the poker community. How have you experienced it?
TJ: It was nice of so many people to think of me, but my attention was elsewhere at the time. There are probably also many greetings and support which I didn't notice at the time.
PL: How is it to be back at a EPT after what happened?
TJ: It's actually nice. But some of my thoughts are still at home, how it’s going, is my wife afraid of being alone with the kids and so on.
I have these thoughts and I'm looking forward to going home more than usual. So in the beginning I might skip some tournaments and some cash games I would normally play.
PL: What are your plans for the rest of the year? Are you going to Las Vegas and the WSOP?
TJ: Yes, I will be going to Vegas. I haven't decided yet if it will be with or without the family.
If it will be six weeks I do need to arrange a lot of things, and it might be a bit bad to bring the kids with us when it is 40 degrees outside and summer in Denmark. I might only go there for ten days.
PL: You've won a WSOPE bracelet and WPT Paris in 2010. Which of the two wins is more important to you?
TJ: The win in WPT Paris, it came at a time of my life where I gained a lot of respect for my PLO and people also knew that I was good at Seven-Card Stud, so my dream became to win a big No-Limit tournament.
It was a great feeling to finally win when it had been my goal for so many years.
PL: You also came second in WPT Paris last year so we can only assume the tournament will be on your schedule again this year?
TJ: Yes, it seems like a no-brainer to go every time they have a €5k tournament in Paris.
I am still so superstitious that I would do that. In 2011, my wife was wondering why I didn't go there when she saw the tournament was underway, so I think I have to give it a go again and just go.