They say poker can be hours of boredom followed by minutes of sheer terror.
Rarely has this been more true than when former EPT champion Michael Tureniec busted from the Main Event in Deauville yesterday.
Originally planned as a feature in our series “one orbit, one champion," where we follow previous EPT Main Event winners to show how they play, we happened to witness a tragedy of epic proportions yesterday.
One Three Orbits, Good-Bye Champion
Sweden's Michael Tureniec has been an acclaimed poker pro for years. The 30-year-old almost snatched an EPT title as early as 2008 before losing heads-up in London against Michael Martin.
In February 2011 he finally made the dream come true. He won the EPT Copenhagen main event defeating countryman Per Linde heads-up.
Tureniec has made numerous final tables and has also been very successful online, for example cashing $360k in a $25k SCOOP Heads-up event. He's sixth on the Swedish all-time money list.
Day 2, Level 13, 1000/2000/300. 170 players left; average stack 100,000.
Tureniec has about 60,000 chips. He’s in Seat 7 and his table is a pretty tough one.
On his table are Owain Carey from Britain (Seat 2), EPT London champion Ruben Visser from the Netherlands (Seat 5) and Englishman Rhys Jones (Seat 8).
Tureniec is the antithesis of the stereotypical hyper-aggressive Scandinavian and this day is no exception.
Visser is the big stack at the table with around 180k. He’s pushing everybody around as hard as he can.
He’s raising almost every hand and he’s winning pots at showdown, too. For example he raises UTG, somebody moves all-in with K-Q, Visser calls with tens and they hold.
Tureniec, on the other hand, doesn’t feel the need to play at all with his 30 big blinds. He doesn’t even defend his blinds.
Same story, different orbit. Although Owain Carey begins to play back at Visser. Carey has about as many chips as Tureniec.
Carey goes on to win two pots and suddenly takes over the initiative at the table. The dynamics are changing and it's now Carey building up his stack.
As a reward, he doubles up against an older Italian player who held about 100k.
It was a standard situation: Carey’s aces went against the Italian player’s jacks. The board made it particularly painful for the Italian, as both players hit sets, but nevertheless that was the end of the line for him.
Tureniec doesn’t play a single hand.
Staying passive for most of this orbit Tureniec has now let go of over 20 hands in a row.
Now he’s sitting in the high-jack and Visser has just raised to 5,000. Tureniec considers his options for a couple of seconds and then announces “all-in” with about 50,000 chips left.
It's folded around to the Dutchman who has around 190,000 chips. Visser contemplates Tureniec’s range before making a decision: call.
Tureniec shows AQo while Visser has a surprisingly weak AJo. Visser is risking more than a quarter of his stack here with a rather mediocre hand against one of the tightest players in the field.
And guess what happens: a jack appears on the board.
Tureniec finds no help and busts while Visser moves up into the top 10 of the chip counts. As of the end of Day 3, Visser is still alive and sits 12th of 36 remaining with 569,000.
Pleasure and pain, idleness and action – nowhere in the world are they closer than in poker.