WSOP 2014: Matthias de Meulder closes out Team Pro's Main Event
There is something missing from the World Series of Poker Main Event field tonight. It feels wrong in a way that can't be adequately expressed. In any case, it's the truth. There are no more members of Team PokerStars Pro or Team Online in the Main Event field.
As the day began, Belgium's Matthias de Meulder was the only member of Team PokerStars Pro left in the field. He had less than 40 big blinds, but that was enough for him. He'd had a couple of drinks with a friend the night before, but he made sure to get in bed in time to get a good night's rest. Still, he didn't bother calling back to Belgium to talk to his parents or twin brother and fellow Team Pro Christopher. He didn't think he'd done anything notable enough to merit a phone call.
"Once we get deeper, I'll start calling," he said.
De Meulder dug in. He survived a short but contentious money bubble that saw three men go out simultaneously, including John Dwyer who had queens full beaten by Mark Newhouse's quads.
De Meulder's subsequent efforts guaranteed him more than $20,000. He wouldn't laugh at that kind of cash, but her certainly wanted more.
The exodus for the door was impressive. Within two hours after the bubble burst, more than 200 players had already gone bust and headed for the cage.
De Meulder scored a crucial double up in the hours before dinner, but one that still only brought him up to around half the average stack. He continued to grind and went for supper with 185,000 in chips. It still wasn't a lot, but it was enough to keep him among the 446 remaining players in contention for the bracelet.
De Meulder returned from dinner ready for a double up. He'd followed the same routine he'd stuck to all week, hoping that any voodoo he'd harnessed so far would last at least another couple of levels.
"I slept at the break," he said. "That's what I've done all tournament. Eat All American Dave at the table and sleep in the breaks."
Before De Meulder had a chance to do anything, last night's chip leader, Phil Ivey, went bust. It took some energy out of the room, but it gave De Meulder another step up the leaderboard.
De Meulder knew he had a difficult job, and it all depended on a double up.
He didn't get it. Less than an hour later, his main event was at an end. It closed the book on a PokerStars summer at the World Series. His 433rd place came after a lot of hard work. It was worth $25,756 in cash. He wanted a deeper run, but he can still be proud of his achievements here this week.
Though the Team Pro and Team Online WSOP summers are finished, we'll continue to look for stories here at the WSOP that might be of some interest to regular PokerStars Blog readers. We'll also be providing coverage of the Chad Brown memorial and charity tournament happening on Sunday night here in Las Vegas.
For now, we'll turn our attention to the kickoff of Day 5 at noon PT on Saturday.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Photos by Joe Giron and Jayne Furman/Poker Photo Archive