EPT11 Prague: Martin Mulsow - the smiling assassin

It's not hard to spot Martin Mulsow in a crowded poker room. He'll be the one smiling, laughing, talking and generally actually looking like he's enjoying himself while playing cards. And he'll have that same demeanour and outlook if he's got 100 big blinds or 10 big blinds. It's just the way he is.


The smiling assassin

At the end of the first level, Mulsow was only too happy to sacrifice some of his break to tell us about his tournament. "It's going pretty well, I've got 410,000 now," he said. "I started the day with 380,000, I got up to 550,000 but then lost three pots. It's all right though."

Although Mulsow was eventually eliminated in 41st place, Prague is clearly a city he enjoys.

"I think I've been here three years and I've had a winning trip every time and gone deep in something each year," he says. Indeed he has. In 2012, Mulsow placed 27th in the EPT9 Main Event, cashing for €27,000 and a year later he finished 16th in the Eureka3 Main Event. "I live in Vienna, so it's almost a home EPT for me. I really like it here, it's affordable, it's easy to get to and the beer is good!" he says.

Although his biggest score came when he won a €1k side event at EPT9 Deauville he first came to the attention of the PokerStars Blog when he took third place at UKIPT2 Cork. Sam Razavi won that event but it could so easily have been the smiling German. But with three players left he was the recipient of one of the worst beats the Blog has ever seen. He had his aces cracked by the ace-king of David O'Connor when the Irishman hit running kings on the turn and river.

To be fair to Mulsow he took the beat incredibly well. "It happens," he says. "We'd done a deal three handed, so that made it's easier. I sat back down took a sip of beer and got on with it...I hope I can take revenge for that today.

Even when he took the beat he was soon smiling again. "I would say it's in my nature. I've seen plenty of hands, you can't change it, you can't affect the outcome so you better deal with it the best you can."

And Mulsow is self aware enough to know that the smiling and laughing is not always in his best interests. Earlier today he three-bet Balazs Botond on the flop and continued to laugh and joke before the Hungarian eventually folded. "That was probably bad because I looked too confident," he says. "Yesterday I played all day at the feature table and I tried to do the same motions, the same face every hand I played and focus on that and not talk during the hand because obviously Vanessa (Selbst) and George (Danzer) are very experienced players and are going to pick up on that."


The perma-smiling Martin Mulsow

As well as making a splash in live poker, Mulsow is well know for his online exploits where he plays under the name "moertelmu" on PokerStars. In the past couple of years he's taken part in a couple of outrageous prop bets. "The first I did one which was to play 1,000 tournaments in a week plus I had to make a profit and I won that one easily and then I did another one for charity."

That prop bet took place on June 23 this year and was a lot closer. "I made a charity thing, where I had to play for 24 hours, I had to finish in profit and play 500 tournaments. I fell just short of the goal, I hit the volume target but I was down by like 300 euros."

But the smiling assassin should have won two from two. "I messed up big time," he says. "After playing for like 26 hours I was at a final table and I could basically fold and win the prop bet but then I had a pair! It was exhausting, it was way harder than I thought. I'm used to playing long hours, 14 hours is not uncommon and 18 hour days happen. But 27 hours is a whole different ball game."


Just another day at the office for Mulsow

And he's adamant that it was the length of time playing rather than the volume was the deciding factor in losing the bet. "For the prop bet I wasn't really playing more tables than I normally did, I was just playing longer. It's really hard to get the volume in between the hours of like 3am-9am. There weren't that many tournaments I could play. I found myself nine-tabling and playing €2 re-buys with like 40 people just to get volume in."

Shortly after the bet ended he posted the figures. Over 26.5 hours of play he'd played 542 tournaments, with an average buy-in of $21 and finished down by $246. However despite losing on the bet his chosen charity benefited to the tune of $400 due to volume and time goals he met during the course of the bet. In his post-bet analysis he said: "If I could go back in time I'd definitely fold the 77 at the 75-turbo final table. I should really just fold everything and try to ladder one or two spots to lock it up. It's sickening to think, and gives you a good idea about variance, that out of 36,700 hands if I just play one or two hands different or win a flip, I profit."

When he's not playing the live circuit Mulsow is happy to grind online. "I play everything between $2 turbos and $215 tournaments, I play everything. It depends on the day but usually I'll get up at about 1pm, go to the gym, cook some food at start playing about 4pm and play until the hot $44 which starts shortly after midnight. My favourite tournament used to be the $33 cubed (1R1A) but it got pretty reg infested."

While he might not have a favourite tournament to play online, you sense Prague is at, or very near the top, of his favourite places to play live poker.


Mulsow - loves playing in Prague

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Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Prague