WSOP Main Event Day 6: Michael Sijpkens, younger still
With the field slimming quicker than a dose of diarrhea, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find unique stories in the World Series at the moment - especially as the tension is building up like a half-mile walk to the nearest bathroom.
This is all the more reason to celebrate the PokerStars qualifier Michiel Sijpkens, who is on course to feature in a story that could continue being told for decades. It seems that Sijpkens, from Rotterdam, Holland, is the youngest player remaining in this field and the best-placed to set a benchmark of youth that will likely last for many years to come.
When Peter Eastgate won the Main Event in 2008, he was a month shy of his 23nd birthday. He became the youngest World Champion ever, beating Phil Hellmuth's record that had stood for 19 years. However, Eastgate held the record for only 12 months until 21-year-old Joe Cada swiped it from him in 2009, winning poker's biggest prize a week before his 22nd birthday.
If Sijpkens were to prevail in November of this year, he would turn to the either two and call them "Gramps". Sijpkens was born on April 3, 1989 and would still have four months before he turned 22. Sijpkens won his
seat in a $33 rebuy satellite in May on PokerStars, only six weeks after turning 21.
There are at least two other 21-year-olds alive among the 84 players left, but Sijpkens is apparently the youngest. It's difficult to imagine anyone sneaking past him should he complete the job of reducing Cada to a 12-month record holder later this year.
TALISMAN OF THE HOUR
Jean Robert Bellande's new $5,000 Rolex, delivered to him at last break for good luck and now sitting behind his chips.
QUOTE OF THE HOUR
"Come on! A lot of times I don't want a call with ace-king, but...come on!"--Jean Robert Bellande after shoving with A♣K♣ and getting no action.
NICE TIME TO FIND ACES OF THE HOUR (IN PICTURES)
UNLIKELY STRATEGY OF THE HOUR
The railbird who is calling for cards and planning to expand his powers to other avenues. "It's working!" he exclaimed. "I'm going to try it with girls. It's working!"
QUOTE OF THE HOUR
"Matt Affleck. That's not Ben's brother is it?"
STATISTIC OF THE HOUR
Current number of people standing in line waiting to be served booze at the beer stall: 9
VIDEO OF THE HOUR
What would you do if you weren't a poker player? Probably what you're doing now, I imagine. But I wasn't really asking you. It was actually directed at Team PokerStars Pro: