EPT London: No surprises

There are a lot of statistics in poker and the most obvious way to determine the identity of the top players is to look at the column usually on the far right of the many league tables, the one headed "tournament winnings". There we'll find that Jamie Gold is the best player that ever lived. That's right, isn't it, poker fans? Huh? Oh.

League tables are flawed in many ways, especially those that look only at one criteria. A huge World Series score does not come by luck alone, but fortune will always pay a part in securing those massive pay-days. A better way perhaps to assess a player's true ability is consistency over a sustained period and when you continue to see the same face in a tournament's final stages over and over, you get to know that the guy has talent.

The young Swede Jonas Molander first appeared on the EPT radar in Dublin on season two, where he quietly progressed through that field of 248 players to the final nine, before falling one off the final table of eight. I remember seeing acute disappointment etched onto Molander's face that day, but the best way to overcome those feelings are always to return and make amends.

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Jonas Molander

Molander has done that time and again over the past three seasons: he was 12th in London on season three, seventh in Baden a month later and 14th in Barcelona last month, where he was knocked out by the eventual champion Sebastian Ruthenberg when his pocket nines were outdrawn by the German's pocket eights.

In between that, he picked up $110,000 for victory in a tournament in Helsinki and another $50,000 in Malmo, Sweden. And few will be surprised, then, to see Molander in the money again in London. He may be a relative short stack, but this boy can clearly play.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour