The Norwegian is already an all-time great when referring to EPT history and is only a Main Event victory away from becoming a true legend of the game. These stats prove the point:
-Cashed in 10 straight seasons (3-12)
-Cashed in 11 different countries (Malta now the 12th)
-Total number of cashes: 21
-Total amount cashed for: €1,267,562 (minus what he wins here)
-Best cash/result: 3rd at EPT9 Grand Final for €467,000
-Final tables: 3
-Top 20 finishes: 10
Lodden sat down with the PokerStars Blog and looked back at his time on the EPT. He talked about how he got started on the EPT, his style versus others and a couple of memorable hands.
“A company came on board and asked me to play for them, travel around to do commercials and play big events. For me it sounded really fun and I was planning to do it anyway but they offered to pay for it all! I don’t regret it at all as I much prefer playing live to online and I’m sticking to that now.
“I didn’t struggle to the pace of live poker at all. When I started playing live tournaments it was a different game. It was like playing online poker 15 years ago because everybody was so tight and playing straightforward. The thing I remember best was that everybody was 3x the big blind and that was when you started with 10,000 in an EPT Main Event compared to 30,000 these days. The levels went faster too and it seemed as if everybody was playing all-in poker all the time. I was the only one raising less as I realised the value of the chips where others didn’t.
“On day ones I like to play a lot, a lot, a lot of hands. I feel I have my advantage on day ones because I love to play deep and I love to play post flop. So on day ones you get to play as many hands as you want and I do very little three-betting or four-betting. Then I ramp it up a little on Day 2 and calm down again on Day 3. I use that strategy now.
“For me, poker is post flop. When the internet kids came around – a bunch of them – five years ago, you couldn’t see a flop. Everyone was so aggressive: raise, reraise, reraise, reraise, all in, fold. You could never see a flop. I tried to change that up a little and the thing I love with playing those kinds of people is that you open, they three-bet and you just call. Then they’re like, ‘No. Based on what we do online, you are not allowed to call there, you either four-bet or fold.’ So when they see a flop, they say, ‘Okay, what is this? It’s supposed to come five cards or no cards.’ For me though, it was right to play like that as I was strongest post flop.
“I remember my first EPT as it was so much fun. A couple of other Norwegians went really deep too and I enjoyed the feeling of playing my first big live tournament after playing so much online. I remember it especially well as (Phil) Ivey came second and a close friend was sat next to, and chatting, to him. We were, and still are, Ivey fan boys.
“It can’t only be bad beats that cost me getting to final tables in the earlier days; it had to be something I was doing as well. I normally had a lot of chips even when I busted 12th or 15th or 20th and was playing so aggressively, more aggressively than I do now. I was thinking that if I picked up ace-king I have to get it in preflop but now I don’t feel like I have to get it in against queens for a battle of all the chips. With the experience I now have, it’s much better to keep things smaller. I try to play small pots preflop and test it out more after.
“I remember a hand at an EPT in Prague that didn’t hurt but it I played it so bad. I’d just won a massive pot and had a very big chip lead with three tables left. The very next hand I wasted it in a one-raise pot. I raised it up with aces and the big blind defends before I go nuts on a ten-six-four flop losing to aces. I was thinking to myself, ‘What the f%$k am I doing here? Wow!’ In that moment it felt like I had never played before.
“I would love to win an EPT a lot. A fucking lot! I’ve been trying to win one of these for a long time now and I’ve been close. Maybe I’ll just win this one as I have a decent stack and feel like I’ve been playing really good.”
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