Before play started today, Mikael Lundell came bounding over to my Swedish colleague Lina Olofsson to tell her the news of his table draw: “Hä ördiå gurda, ordæ gürda urddüe hurdy, gårdy hurdy, hurdy gårdy, hürdy,” he said.
Olofsson translated and revealed that Lundell was strangely delighted to learn he was on a table with his Swedish friends Petter “slaktarn” Petersson and William Thorson, as well as Jeff Lisandro, the WSOP Player of the Year, who was wielding the second-biggest stack of everyone in the tournament.
I went over to see this with my own eyes and determined that the “other” seats around that slab of felt were pretty impressive too. The full line up was actually as below, which immediately seemed worthy of “A Round With…” accolades. Here’s the first from EPT London in that occasional series where we go a complete orbit during an early level, giving you an idea of how these preliminary stages play out.
Seat one: Jeff Lisandro, Italy, 236,400
Seat two: David Williams, USA, 63,900
Seat three: Darus Suharto, Canada, 89,000
Seat four: Patrick Funke, Germany, 42,800
Seat five: Eric Liu, USA, 86,100
Seat six: Petter Petersson, Sweden, 32,100
Seat seven: Steve Sung, USA, 82,100
Seat eight: William Thorson, Sweden, 19,400
Seat nine: Michael Lundell, Sweden, 53,800
Note: Steve Sung had not actually arrived yet at the time of this “A Round With…” so the seat was empty.
Blinds are 600-1,200 (100 ante)
Hand one: Petersson on button
It was folded to Eric Liu, who raised to 2,700 from the cut off and Petter Petersson re-raised to 6,000. That was good.
Hand two: Button in front of Sung’s empty chair
Jeff Lisandro made it 3,000 under-the-gun and after it was folded to Mikael Lundell in the big blind, he re-raised to 12,000. Lisandro announced that he was all in, easily covering Lundell, who considered discretion to be the order of the day and folded. “Nice hand sir,” said Eric Liu, although we’ll probably never be sure of the sincerity attached to the comment.
Hand three: Thorson on button
Darus Suharto, one seat to the left of the under-the-gun position (or UTG+1 in plainer terms) raised to 2,800. Again it was folded to Lisandro, in the big blind, who decided to bump it up to 6,000. Suharto called. The flop came K♦7♥Q♥ and after Lisandro checked, Suharto put out 12,000. “I’m all in,” said Lisandro, which again meant that it was actually his opponent facing a decision for his life. Suharto folded and Lisandro said: “Now we’re playing hold ’em. This is good.” David Williams wasn’t letting that comment pass, and weighed in: “Don’t brag. It’s easy to play hold ’em if you flop top set.” Etc, etc, and so forth.
Hand four: Lundell on button
Mikael Lundell finally found a chance to get his chips in the middle, and it would prove to be critical for the Swede. It was folded to Lundell on the button and he shoved for about 40,000. It got through Lisandro, but Williams, in the big blind, called. Lundell probably loved that: he had J♦J♣ and Williams had 8♠8♥. Flop and turn were blank, but the river was 8♣, giving Williams the suck-out. “(Something beginning with) EFF!” said Lundell. “The case eight!” said Thorson. “I folded an eight.”
Williams looked contrite enough and defended his play to Lisandro. “He’s going to be moving in with a lot of hands with you going crazy in the small blind,” Williams said. “What am I gonna do with my hand and my stack? I haven’t had a bit of fortune like that in a while.”
Lundell was left with 1,700.
Hand five: Lisandro on button
Eric Liu raised to 2,800 and Lundell’s meagre stack found its way into the middle. Lisandro, on the button, bumped it up to 8,000, shaping to play a big pot against Liu. The American looked back at his cards and muttered “I don’t think so. Oh boy,” and folded. Lisandro showed 10♣10♠ and Liu admitted that he was dominated, claiming he was holding pocket nines. Lundell had K♥5♠ and was in bad shape on the board of 6♥4♥4♦4♠9♣. Lundell was eliminated as Liu eyed the rivered nine and wondered what might have been.
Hand six: Williams on the button
Liu raised again to 2,800 and this time it was good. The conversation was now dominated by a newly-chipped up Williams, who began relating an anecdote from late last night, where he tripled his stack on the last hand of the day.
Hand seven: Suharto on button
It was folded to Lisandro, who made it 3,000. Suharto called on the button and the others got out the way. The flop was 2♦6♠K♦ and after Lisandro checked, Suharto bet 5,000, which was called by Lisandro. The 9♥ turn was checked by both and the river was Q♣. Lisandro bet 8,000 and Suharto now found his raising arm, making it 28,000. Lisandro folded.
Hand eight: Funke on the button
Folded around to Liu in the small blind, who makes up Peterson’s big blind. Check. The flop comes 8♦10♠A♥ and after Liu checks, Peterson bets 2,700. Liu called. The turn 4♦ and river Q♦ were both checked and Liu showed 8♥5♥ to take down the small pot.
Hand nine: Liu on the button
This hand began with Petter Peterson getting very annoyed with his sandwich. It clearly wasn’t to his taste and he swatted its plastic coating away as he chewed on it as though it was an old boot. He scowled and put it to one side, watching William Thorson move all in under-the-gun and take it down.
That concluded the “Round with” but not the action from the table. Thorson was eliminated about three hands later by Eric Liu but Steve Sung still hasn’t turned up.