Koen De Visscher is a calm and collected sort. There are no histrionics, no hand waving or speech play, just sensible measured decisions. His final table had not been going well, his chip stack slowly bleeding away, yet De Visscher was outwardly showing little frustration. We decided to catch up with the Belgian pro at the break to find out if the outer calm was just an illusion.

So Koen, how’s you final table going so far?

“Very bad actually,” said De Visscher, filling up at the water station, “I’ve never been this card dead in my life. The timing for that is pretty bad. When I do pick up a hand then obviously everyone snap folds. It’s kind of hard but now I’m short it’s a good table to re-shove so that should be pretty easy. I can shove move hands than I can open with around 25 big blinds. I’m still feeling confident but I’ve only seen one hand, a pair of nines when there was a raise under-the-gun and a three-bet under-the-gun plus one and I had 60 big blinds so I just folded. That’s the only real hand I had.”

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Koen De Visscher: was not smiling at the break

If you’ve been getting rags so far than the odds should dictate that you’ll start picking up some hands?

“Yeah, it would be nice if it worked that way but that’s just not true. I could keep running like this for two months of I could get aces the next five hands,” he replied with a shrug.

This is De Visscher’s second EPT final table, the first being EPT Snowfest in Season 7. He finished third there for €147,000, behind fellow Belgian Kevin Vandersmissen and Russian Vladimir Geshkenbein. How does that final table compare to today’s?

“The line-up now is tough. I’m pretty sure that I’m one of the weaker players, I’m not afraid to say that. There’s Busquet who’s world class, the Hungarian guy is a very good online player, the Danish guy I don’t really know but I’ve heard that he’s a high stakes cash game player. The German I don’t know but he’s playing really good. At Snowfest there were still a few softer spots still in.”

Well, if all else fails you can do what we’d do: get it in bad and try to suck out.

“Yes, I can try that but that should be my last option,” said De Visscher with a smile.

Returning from the break with the blinds moving up to 25,000-50,000 De Visscher followed through with his strategy (and ours as it would turn out). He three-bet shoved for 755,000 from the cut-off over a Busquet min-raise of 100,000 from the hijack. The American folded to chip De Visscher up to 955,000.

Busquet opened the next hand, again to 100,000, and again De Visscher moved it in. This time it found a call.

Busquet: J♠J♣
De Visscher: 5♥5♦

The board ran out 2♣K♦3♥5♣8♠ to turn De Visscher a set and chip him up to 2,015,000. The stony faced Belgian finally allowed himself a smile. He’s still the shortest stack at this final table but is certainly back into it with around 40 big blinds.

Mario Nagel has just been knocked out by Jannick Wrang who takes the chip lead so De Visscher is now guaranteed at least €124,000.

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Mario Nagel, out in 6th (€92,000)

Tournament snapshot
Level 27: blinds 25,000-50,000, ante 5,000
Players: 5 of 570
Average stack: 3,420,000
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