PCA 2014: Navigating to the PCA via TomTom
As the main feature table was being prepared for the final of the $100,000 Super High Roller event, two lower buy-in PokerStars qualifiers were taking their seats at table four in the Main Event, eager to make their mark.
Tom Pyl, 40, from Sweden, worked his way up from a $109 buy-in to be in the Bahamas. But even his spin-up wasn't as impressive as that of Tom Janssen, 31, from Belgium, who won his full package for $11.
Pyl used to be a regular on the tournament scene, but has recently been taking an extended break and plying his trade as a DJ in Stockholm. He is now playing his first major live tournament since the 2008 WSOP Main Event.
"I only play live four to five times a year these days, almost all of this in a poker club in Stockholm and playing about once a month online, so not so much poker as I was playing in 2008," he said.
He took up the game in 2003 and put his experience to good use in his final online satellite tournament on PokerStars, surviving with a short stack long enough to win his ticket.
As for Janssen, he is lucky to be here for a different reason. "It's a dream playing in an EPT or tournament like this," Janssens said. "I'm glad we came some days earlier, because we were stuck in a snowstorm in Chicago, and missed our connection flight in Miami to get here. It was a long journey, but worth it. Fingers crossed."
The pair are yet to tangle, but both made it through to the first break with Pyl on 25,000 and Jannsens 18,000 from their 30,000 starting stacks. Considering their luck to make it here, they will both be hoping it is the first of many breaks this week.
Tom and Tom update
As the tournament went for its second break of the day, Pyl was just all in for the first time, securing a much-needed double up on a frustrating afternoon.
"I've had aces once and faced an all-in on a KQQ board and had to fold," he said. "I also had kings. All folded to my pre-flop raise obviously. Eights, jacks, fives... just can't hit a flop and turn them into something."
Pyl had roughly 8,000 at the start of the pivotal hand, in which he won a race with pocket fours against ace-jack. Pyl's opponent had almost the same size stack but ended up being sent to the rail.
Pyl is back up to a playable 17,000 for the final two levels of the night.
It's approximately 17,000 more than Janssens, however, who is now out.