EPT8 Berlin: Thorson in his element

ept-thumb-promo.jpgWilliam Thorson is a legend on the European Poker Tour. The now bespectacled grinder was one of the first Scandinavians to come tearing out of Northern Europe and made big money final tables three seasons consecutively, Seasons 3 through 5. He's third on the all-time Swedish list with $3,265,906 in live winnings, finished 13th at the 2006 WSOP Main Event, the Jamie Gold year, for $907,128, was 22nd in the same event in 2010, and has also scored a ninth place finish at the PCA.

All that aside the Swede has been known as much for his off-the-table antics, ordering 50-odd rum and cokes after pleading a barman to take one last order at the end of a night, as he was on, but over the last season we've seen a cleaner living version.

These days Thorson looks slim and svelte, like a young Willem Dafoe: all intense eyes and wide, occasionally intimidating, smile. Thorson sits at the table as if he owns it, like he's being kind enough to let the other players sit with him and play with his chips for the time being. One such chip, in his own stack, is one of the first yellow 25,000 chips to be introduced to play, which Bahadir Kilickeser asked if he could take a look a closer look at.

"Yeah, if you invest in the pot. There are no free chips here," said Thorson grinning, a raise on the table laid out in front of him.

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William Thorson at EPT Berlin

After everyone passed and Thorson, sat with 550,000, readied himself to toss one of those large denomination chips down the table to Kilickeser who is table chip leader with 800,000.

"You can have one. You are chip leader and it's very unlucky if you don't," said Thorson.

"I don't like yellow," said Kilickeser with a the faintest hint of panic in his voice, waving his hand as if ready to bat the chip away.

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Bahadir Kilickeser: "Keep that yellow away from me"

Thorson limped the next hand for 8,000 and said to Kilickeser: "You have the button. I can play with you."

Kilickeser made the call but the big blind, Søren Reffstrup, didn't auto-check his option.
"No move, no move," said Kilickeser waving his hands again.

Reffstrup ignored him and announced a raise before slowly making it 48,000 out of a 180,000 stack. The action was back on Thorson who looked at Reffstrup's stack then over at Kilickeser's. After close to one full minute Thorson made the call. Kilickeser mucked.

Both players checked the K♦2♥Q♦ flop. The 3♠ turn seemed to make little difference to the hand and Reffstrup checked again but Thorson took his chance to bet and Reffstrup quickly moved all-in.

"I call," said Thorson with a touch of resignation.

Both players turned over pocket aces. Chop.Thorson has been this deep many times before and would be a fantastic addition to the final 24 - if not just for the EPT Live stream alone. The only thing missing from his poker career is a major title. He stands a good shot here in Berlin.

Tournament snapshot
Level 19: blinds 50-100
Players: 52 of 745
Average stack: 430,000
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Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in Berlin