EPT8 Copenhagen: A tale of two Scandinavian legends - Lodden out, Molby up

ept-thumb-promo.jpgIn the lobby bar last night we were treated to the company of two Scandinavian legends; Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden (representing Norway) and former Liverpool FC star Jan Molby (representing Denmark). Both looked a little beleaguered, Molby by a day fending off attacks from the likes of Steve O'Dwyer while Lodden was shaking off the irritation of playing below par.

Lodden had made it through with 41,100, almost half of what he started the day with, and had admitted that he hadn't played well the last couple of levels. "I was opening too many pots and kept getting three-bet," said Lodden with a shrug.

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Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden

Molby who bagged up 56,300 at the end of play had already studied his draw for today and didn't like what he'd seen: defending EPT Copenhagen champion Michael Tureniec on his direct left with 214,500.

After bantering that if they combined their chips they still wouldn't quite have an average stack they started rating each others chances of making it through Day 3.

"You're a lot better than I am," said Molby.

"You've got twice as many chips as I have," replied Lodden.

Each was trying to give the other the better chance of making the money, a nice change from the usual one-upmanship you see at poker tournaments, but it seems that Lodden's poker knowledge has won through - he was first to bust.

Lodden, perhaps forgetting his own advice from last night, had been opening a lot of pots off his short stack. An open raise to 4,000 from the small blind was shoved on by Maksim Semisoshenk in the big blind. Fold. He opened from the button to 4,500 and took the blinds and antes for a 5,400 pot. Lodden got up for a coffee, as if he needed added incentive to play a hand, while Martin Staszko was doubling through Semisoshenk and returned in time to play a couple more pots. Opening from middle position he picked up two callers before folding to a bet on a K♦7♠A♥8♠ board.

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Lodden (centre) with Helge Stjernvang on his right

Lodden opened again under-the-gun and was called by countryman Helge Stjernvang in the big blind. Lodden c-bet 4,000 into the T♠4♥K♥ flop, 8,000 into the 9♥ turn and both players checked down the 9♣ turn. Lodden was shown A♥T♣, grimaced and mucked his hand. A couple of hands later he was in the small blind facing a raise from the same opponent. Stjernvang made it 4,500 from the button and Lodden pushed for 19,300.

Lodden tabled the A♥ and slowly squeezed out his second card, possibly seeing it for the first time. It was the 8♣. Stjernvang flipped over K♣J♦ which rivered a straight on the 9♣8♦5♠Q♦T♣ board to send Lodden to the rail.

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Jan Molby: from pitch to poker

Meanwhile, at the next table along, Molby was happily raking in a pot worth 120,000 having doubled through Alex Sippel with kings full. Molby, so I've been told, used to play his football from the centre of the park, spraying pinpoint accurate passes out across the field after letting the ball come to him. It seems that he plays a similar style of poker, unwilling to chase the pots down too much but to nail them hard when they do come his way. It's working so far.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour