EPT11 Deauville: Daniel Carlsson - the next Swedish superstar?

Something happened to Daniel Carlsson in June 2012 that you simply couldn't make up, and if you did then no one would believe you.

As well as being a talented poker player, he was also a renowned poker coach. One of the players he coached was Bulgarian pro Slaven Popov. The Bulgarian, who goes by the username 'suarez_BG' on PokerStars, won the SCOOP-M Main Event in May 2012 and decided he should thank his former coach. So, he invited him to come to Bulgaria to play the Eureka Poker Tour event in Varna. As Carlsson said at the time "I used to coach Slaven and he recently won the SCOOP (medium) main event for $560,000. As a thank you he bought me in to this event and paid for my flight and hotel."


Carlsson then

It was admittedly small fry for Carlsson, who said during the tournament: "I've won and lost pots bigger than the first prize in this tournament (€61,100). I've played as high as 250/500 but would say I've played regularly at 50/100." The chance to enjoy a holiday if he busted though, and play a poker tournament, was a decent combination.

But the story doesn't end there, far from it. Both Carlsson and Popov made the final day, indeed Carlsson was chip leader with 13 players left.

Both would go on to make the final table of the 246 runner event, with Carlsson eventually finishing sixth for €11,900 and Popov fourth for €17,300. That event proved a springboard for Popov. It was the Bulgarian's biggest live cash at the time and since then he's gone on to better it a number of times, most notably when he final tabled the EPT100 Main Event, where he finished eighth for €121,300.


Carlsson now

As for Carlsson, he returned for Day 3 of this event with a short stack of just 45,100 and found himself at the same table as Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann and poker player/astrophysicist Dan Wilson. Whilst he'll clearly be looking to make the money, it's already been a successful week for the Swede in Deauville as he won the €500 PLO Turbo for €18,910, defeating a massive 166-strong field. It marked Carlsson's first outright win at the EPT, having previously finished fifth in a €5,000 eight-max hold'em event at The Grand Final in Madrid in 2011.

Today though his attention is on the Main Event and his hopes of securing a second Main Event cash, to go with his 36th place finish at the EPT9 Grand Final, have improved. At the time of writing he has just under 80,000, and whilst that's still well below average he's still got chips. 118 players remain, 87 get paid.


Carlsson celebrates his win

Coverage from the Main Event of EPT Deauville is on the Main Event page. Check out all the action from around the festival on the main festival page. Also follow the action on EPT Live and stay up to date with the sensational EPT app for iPhone, iPad or Android.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour