EPT Copenhagen: Ladies and gents your hosts - the Danes
“I’ve played against everyone – Americans, Europeans, Scandinavians, Asians. And you guys... I hate the most!”
That was Daniel Negreanu at the PokerStars Scandinavian Poker Awards last night. Legend has it of course that the sickest and most volatile players come from here. In a few generations I expect grandfathers will tell their young folk bedtime stories of poker beasts from these parts with no fear, seemingly no sense, and hefty bankrolls capable of crushing hope itself. Kids will then hide under duvets and hope the bogey man gets them instead.
For anyone not clear on the specifics only three countries make up Scandinavia – Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Outdrawn by a player from Finland – he’s no Scandy, you got beat by a Fin. Same goes for any Icelandic players out there (both are Nordic countries).
But as far as Denmark is concerned it’s often classed as the poor cousin of the three, despite being able to see Malmo across the water from this very hotel and a wealth of poker talent that goes beyond Gus Hansen.
Incidentally there are seven other players playing today alone with the surname Hansen - Christoffer, Lars, Dennis, Per, Jens, Anders and Martin. Jensen seems popular too but you get the point.
Sander Lylloff is the leading Dane on the EPT Tournament leader board, sitting in 21st place having won the EPT Barcelona last September. He’s not here today but Theo Jorgensen has had his share of final tables having made it there in Deauville (season two) and Copenhagen last year. Another Dane Peter Jepson took the title at the first EPT in Warsaw last year, whilst Mads Andersen won here in season two. Not bad for a country of 5.4 million.
Avid stamp collector Christian Grundtvig has yet to win big on the EPT but has a WPT title to his name having won in Paris two years ago. Rehne Pedersen beat Patrik Antonius heads-up in the WPT Five Diamond at Bellagio two years back. And law student Anina Gundesen became the highest cashing woman on the EPT in season two (a record since beaten by Vicky Coren) when she made the final table at Casino Copenhagen in season two and went on to win the Best Woman Player award at the Scandinavian Poker Awards 12 months ago.
Add to that list the likes of Martin Wendt, Soren Konsgaard, Lars Bonding, Martin Vallo, Fredrik Hostrup, Tommy Dender, Casper Hansen and Ricky Nielsen and no wonder some consider this place to be dangerous territory.