WSOP 2011: Getting it quietly with Per Linde
Per Linde has many towers of chips in front of him and is busy counting, his spindly forefinger pointing at each stack of 20 while he whispers the mounting total to himself. It's a big figure, good for nearly 1.1 million. This was during a short break in play while the dealers changed shift at his table.
"Welcome to the World Series. I'm Joe, let's have some fun," the new dealer said, clearly a chap of cheerful disposition.
It was a nice sentiment, but in truth it was a little late. These guys are in their fifth tournament day, and now it's not so much about fun but about the serious business of making some obscene amounts of money.
Linde is well-placed to do just that. What's more, the young man from Motala in Sweden got into this $10,000 event for just €500 after winning his seat in a PokerStars Main Event Passport satellite. Already guaranteed $35,000, he's secured a good return on his investment.
Not many years ago, players from Scandinavia had a wild poker reputation; a generation of blond-haired lunatics who raised and bullied their way to success with what appeared to be an unorthodox, aggressive style. You could not say that of Linde, a player so quiet that that when he wears his Bose noise reduction headphones, he must be lost in his own little world.
But it clearly works. He's only recently become old enough to play at the World Series, but his record on the PokerStars EPT circuit is impressive:
EPT Berlin, 66th for $17,790
EPT Copenhagen, 2nd for $449,770
EPT Barcelona, 44th for $20,502
EPT San Remo, 13th for $54,346
On top of that, he finished third at the WPT Grand Prix Paris for $312,145, making for a total tournament record of $898,761. Not bad for one so young.
Just a few hands into Joe's shift at the table, all of which Linde folded, and tournament staff came over to break it.
"Thank you for playing at the World Series," Joe said, genuinely a little disappointed to see them all go so soon. Linde was off to another table in the orange section, one that features Team PokerStars Online's Andrew Brokos, who also hovers around the one million chip mark.
It seems a far more jolly table, but still Linde goes about his business calmly, only talking briefly when a man who said he once dated a girl from Malmo tried to speak in Swedish.
Linde sits two seats to the left of Brokos. While there could be explosive pots between the two of them, Linde will ensure he goes about getting it quietly.
That's if he plays any pots: these Scandis have changed.
* * * *
WORDS OF THE HOUR THAT ONLY MAKE SENSE TO POKER PLAYERS
"I play weak. I don't know what to do if I bet and you jam me."
MISAPPREHENSION OF THE HOUR
Robert "AJ Soprano" Iler is tall. Turns out, he's quite diminutive. Please don't wack me for saying so.
SET-UP OF THE HOUR
Nico Fierro's aces versus queens versus jacks. The aces held.
BET OF THE HOUR
"I'll take the under on 172 (players at the end of the day)."
"A hundred dollars?"
"I dunno? Where are you going to be when you bust out?"
WAITING TIME OF THE HOUR
Number of people currently waiting in line at the pay-out desk: 25 (including a massage therapist).
RANDOM FACT OF THE HOUR FROM THE OFFICIAL MEDIA GUIDE
Allen Cunningham is the highest-placed player on the WSOP All-Time money list who has not actually won the main event. He is in seventh place, having earned $6,742,077. He needs to finish in seventh place this year to overtake Joe Hachem in sixth.
VIDEO OF THE HOUR
Setting the scene for Day 5...