All Star Week: Challenger Canuck running hot

allstarweek_thn.jpgIf you had to choose a stand-out Challenger in PokerStars All Star Week, you wouldn't get in trouble picking the man they call Canuck.

In his first two matches, Canuck has played Pot-Limit Omahas and beaten Team PokerStars Pros Noah Boeken and William Thorson. Canuck's seat in those games was no accident.

"I picked those events because when I play online, I do not play any no-limit hold'em cash games--strictly Omaha in various forms," Canuck said. "I started playing Omaha in the early 90s and am extremely happy to see the resurgence of the game in the last couple of years."

Despite being an Omaha specialist, he knew Boeken and Thorson were no strangers to the game. Hailing from Europe (the Netherlands and Sweden respectively), Boeken and Thorson play a great deal of Omaha.

Canuck said, "I was sure they were going to be aggressive. I kind of sat back and let them win the small pots. Whenever there was a major confrontation I seemed to come out in front.'



Canuck is currently in contention for All Star Week's Most Valuable Player. He's happy about that, but not necessarily about his next two matches. He will face Barry Greenstein in a game of five-card draw today and Greg Raymer in limit Omaha high-low on Saturday.

"I never play limit five card draw," Canuck said. "When it comes to Greg on Saturday, I know he will be aggressive, as I have played cash with him on different occasions."

Unlike most of the All-Star Week events, Canuck's next two matches will be limit events. He expects it to be a grind.

"This whole event for the challengers is very long and demanding," he said.

And he's right. Canuck and the others had to qualify as an All-Star, then competed every day last week for a chance to play heads up. Now, they are spending one, two, and almost three hours a night playing against Team PokerStars Pro.

"Not only did we have to beat some of the best online players in the world to qualify, but then we have to beat some of the best Pros in the world," Canuck said. "It makes every win sweet."

The All Star Week matches for Friday begin at Noon ET. You can find them under EVENTS - SPECIAL in the PokerStars tournament lobby.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news