EPT9 Sanremo: The unstoppable force of Inge Forsmo, qualifier of the day

ept-thumb-promo.jpgThere are certain conversations that sound best in specific accents. For instance the language of lurve is better with a Latin inflection, much like it takes an American to insist that they can dodge bullets, baby, or to order a super-sized mega-bucket with extra mayo - and a Diet Coke.

The following sentence was uttered a moment ago by Inge Forsmo, a 24-year-old PokerStars qualifier from Lillestrøm in Norway, and it's the kind of thing that can really only be said seriously with an accent hailing from the Nordic region, home of the most notoriously aggressive poker players in the world.

"I tried to be patient when I started yesterday, but after 45 minutes I was all in with ten high on the river."

Fortunately for Forsmo, his opponent in this particular hand may not have yet established the home region of this uber-aggressive bettor. It was during level one of a six-day tournament, after all. Forsmo's opponent folded pocket kings face up, was shown the bluff by the Norwegian, and sent on a period of "mega-tilt" which would end with him on the rail.


Inge Forsmo, ten-high good

Not so Forsmo. He was one of the first players to break through the 100,000 mark on his opening day (actually Friday, which is "yesterday" in poker terms) and he sat in six figures right until the end of play. He bagged up 123,700 and in the opening three levels of day two, he has added about 100,000 more. At the dinner break, he had more than 220,000 and is evidently feeling confident about his chances.

"Don't worry, I'm getting some patience now," he said.

It has long been established that the European Poker Tour is a fine place to be a PokerStars qualifier. Jason Mercier's victory here in Sanremo - in only his second ever live tournament - is only one example of how it is possible to take the short walk from the online satellite tables to the winner's rostrum and a life of poker super-stardom.

That's the plan as well for Forsmo, who began his professional life working in an office but who has decided recently that he preferred the life of a poker pro. "I'm trying to make a living out of it," he said. "I've played for six years now, but I just found out that this is the thing I want to do. No more eight-to-five work."

Indeed, his poker prowess has been putting people on tilt even back during his pen-pushing days.

"It was kind of fun because all of my bosses at work, when I came in on Mondays, they said, 'How much did you win at the weekend?'. When I said I made ten thousand or something dollars they were so mad and jealous. It was pretty hilarious."

Forsmo, however, is a good deal more grounded than all the talk might suggest. He also cites the solid poker-playing community in Norway as crucial to his success, insisting his 20 or so poker-playing buddies can keep him ahead of the game.

"All this mental stuff in poker, that's kind of hard to deal with," he said. "You have to talk to friends. We're really connected back in Norway, we try to motivate each other and help us through these bad beats. That's a key thing, to help others and not just to play by yourself. You can get burnt out...If you play with your friends, who play the same stakes online, then if someone is doing bad, you just have to support them."

Forsmo has previously travelled twice to the PCA, where he made two final tables in side events but busted the main without getting close to the money. His first trip to Vegas this summer yielded another small cash, but nothing huge.

He mainly plays turbo tournaments online, but qualified for this event via a €530 satellite. "I think I played ten turbo rebuys to this event, and that was the first freezeout I played," Forsmo said. "It was strange to win the freezeout and not the turbos."

Perhaps this deepstack, freezeout play might suit him after all. He is certainly one to keep an eye on through the rest of this tournament and beyond.

Keep an eye on the live tournament reporting from EPT Sanremo for all the news from the tournament floor.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Day 2