WCOOP profile: AlexKP, bad at backgammon, good at poker
A quarter of a million dollars will buy a lot of tuna salad at your local deli and a lot more if you make it yourself. Just considering the sheer volume of tuna salad that could be purchased for such a sum is the stuff of world records, dedicated gluttony, and a yearning so specific that it's best not ever realized.
But AlexKP, known to is friends as Alex Petersen, could very well make all of the above happen. He could stand in the middle of Denmark on a mountain of tuna salad so high that Starkist would come running to offer endorsements. That's because Petersen was the very first winner of the 2010 World Championship of Online Poker, beating out exactly 9,000 other players in a $215 six-handed no-limit hold'em contest for a first prize of more than $257,000.
And the tuna salad?
Well, Petersen, like a lot of other young poker pros, is a fairly focused individual. What's more, he's Danish, which I've found increases the focus exponentially based on the proximity to Copenhagen. With that in mind, the pro of five years is fairly terse when describing his talents off the poker table.
"I'm a pretty fast runner on 100m, suck at backgammon, and make an awesome tuna
salad!" he declared.
This answer came in reply to a query about what people would find most interesting about him. All things considered, any of the above would be topics for discussion. Chunk tuna or albacore? Has he worked on his backgame and some better anchor strategies? How fast is pretty fast?
But all of this discussion is probably for naught really. Why? Because Petersen is a poker player first, last, and all points in between. He's being interviewed about a massive poker win after taking the very first title in the 2010 iteration of the biggest online poker tournament series in the world. Why would he want to talk about anything other than poker?
Any attempt to draw him out of poker discussion is one that resulted in a false lead or, perhaps, a bit of flirting. When asked what he might say if we met at a bar, he replied,"I would probably tell you you looked nice, that my moms says I'm a good guy, and if we should head back to my place." E-mail interviews are interesting.
That's the thing, really. You can't expect a guy who is talented enough to win a WCOOP event to be able to turn off his poker focus with 60 events left to play. He just pocketed a monster purse, the biggest of his career to date. Although he's a terror at the cash game tables and has booked six-figure wins there, his tournament game hasn't posted anything so large as this WCOOP victory.
During last year's EPT London festival, Petersen played in the European Poker Championships at The Vic and took down Event #9--the £1,500 + £150 NLHE affair--for £45,900. The kid undoubtedly has game. He also has a bit of moxy about him. Up against Team PokerStars Pro Dennis Phillips on the way to the WCOOP Event #1 final table, Petersen ran a series of bluffs that still make him proud. "Not because they were good spots or anything like that," he said. "I just wanted to show the (expletive) bluff!"
And that's the life of a a young Danish pro who just won a quarter million bucks. It's the story of a guy who can't play backgammon, who runs fast, bluffs for the fun of it, might be a bit of a player in the bars, and makes a mean tuna salad.
To see how he made the money to finance it all, read our 2010 WCOOP Event #1 final table report.