WSOP 2011: Jorgensen's year to remember
Lots of people want to turn poker pro; some even give it a bash. The history of poker is littered with those that try; inspired by books or movies that make this most competitive of games seem the natural expression of capitalist self-sufficiency. It also seems a good way to avoid working for the man.
Some of these mavericks then might even win something, enough to keep them in on the poker circuit with flights, hotels and buy-ins to pay for, for a year or so before their one win is forgotten and the money runs out. No one wants to return to a life of pink slips and pensions, but the poker world should be difficult and there's no shame in cutting your losses. It's just difficult when you'd seen the good life and know that it smells nice and comes with room service.
For some though this leap from the ordinary world into the poker goes rather well, like the opportunity was all written down on an invitation with the blueprint for success on the reverse -- like Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen for example.
Theo Jorgensen in action here in 2010
Jorgensen was a dealer before switching sides to play professionally. After studying business and working a few lifeless jobs, Jorgensen took his personal leap of faith after a spell working in a casino. It's easy to forgive anyone who works in a casino for thinking that life on the other side of the table seem like more fun, but the reality makes switching sides almost impossible. Regardless Jorgensen did that and never looked back.
First there was success in Europe, then a first big win in the United States in 2007, when he reached the final table of a WSOP Stud event. More World Series success followed only this time in Europe, where he first finished eighth in the 2008 Main Event before winning the Pot-Limit Omaha event a year later; the transition from civilian to poker pro was complete.
Then came 2010, perhaps the best of his career so far.
It started in May when Jorgensen won the World Poker Tour main event in Paris, earning $848,736, defeating Frenchman Antoine Amourette heads-up to the French crown. A month later Jorgensen took part in The Poker Lounge in Cardiff, UK, winning that heat ahead of Neil Channing, earning another $120,000. He would double that a month later on his second trip to Cardiff, this time defeating Axel Noack.
But it was what happened in between those two trips to Wales that rubber stamped 2010 as a vintage for Jorgensen, when the Dane pulled up in Las Vegas to play the main event. Jorgensen played the game of his life, never letting a shortage of chips, or indeed a surplus, effect his game plan. It worked, nearly all the way, until Jorgensen was eliminated in 30th place, earning $255,252.
Flash forward a year to today, where Jorgensen opens his 2011 campaign. He has a WSOPE bracelet a WPT title and has boxed to victory against Gus Hansen. Players will come and go, some may even get to stay a while, but few have the ability to stay for the long haul. While Jorgensen is proof that turning pro can be done, his standard of play should act as warning to those about to quit the day job.
ELIMINATION OF THE HOUR
Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko
STATISTICS OF THE HOUR
How many times PokerStars Blogger Brad Willis remember the protocol being for kissing Isabelle Mercier on the cheek: 1
How many times is actually protocol for kissing Isabelle Mercier on the cheek: 2
Number of times Brad said, "I'm stupid, stupid, stupid stupid" as he ran away in shame: ∞
"GOOD LUCK WITH THAT" OF THE HOUR
Carter Gill: I am supposed to be going into day 2 of the WSOP Main event tomorrow. I got banned from all harrah's properties this morning. For throwing a girls clothes out the window. Honestly. Thats why I was banned...If there is anything anyone can do to put me in touch with someone who can get me unbanned, I would greatly appreciate it.
IN THE WAY OF THE HOUR
Beautiful women slowing down to look at themselves in the mirror: 1
Oversized PokerStars bloggers getting in the way and preventing the beautiful woman from looking in the mirror because they slowed down to look her: 1
CHAMP WATCH OF THE HOUR
Number of railers watching Team PokerStars Pro and former WSOP champ Joe Hachem in action: 10
INDIGESTION OF THE HOUR
PokerStars Bloggers: 3 (following a mahoosive BBQ meal at Famous Dave's)
OBSCURE PREDICTION OF THE HOUR
Projected November Nine if all finalists are named after professions: