WSOP 2015: Seeing clearly with Matthias de Meulder
It was exactly this day last year that Team PokerStars Pro Matthias de Meulder busted out of the 2014 WSOP Main Event. He was the last Team PokerStars Pro left in the Main Event.
"I remember reading that somewhere," he said. (Again, he read it here...) "It wasn't that much of an accomplishment, though. I think we underperformed."
Today, he doesn't look in jeopardy at all. In fact, he's so relaxed, he's trading eyeglasses with his tablemates and sitting behind a stack almost anybody else in the tournament would want. Looking through the De Meulder lens is to look at future that goes far beyond Day 4 of the WSOP.
De Meulder plays a lot of deep-stacked cash games, an experience that could partly account for his ability to make back-to-back deep runs in the WSOP Main Event.
"I'm really in my comfort zone," he said. "I know how to play the deeper-stacked game."
Unlike a lot of tournaments out there, the structure of this event is one that doesn't always reward people without patience, something that De Meulder has in spades.
"The Main Event is kind of unique, and you do need to adapt your approach. It's going to depend very much on who you are playing with," he said. "You do see a lot of people rushing, maybe going a little bit too crazy, while the structure gives you so much room to play."
With that understood, in the first two hours of Day 4, De Meulder managed to double his chip stack and, unless the day gets away from him, likely seal a Day 5 berth.
"It all depends on your table," he said. "Sometimes you can play like a complete maniac and get away with it. Adaptation is key."
With his glasses sitting back firmly on his nose, De Meulder is now poised to lead the PokerStars team as far as he can, and this time, he can see a future where Team Pro doesn't underperform.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Photography by PokerPhotoArchive.com