Amid the bustle of a World Series of Poker Main Event moving into its crucial stage, the poker world turned the other way today as a PokerStars Passport winner by the name of Anton Morgenstern turned 400,000 into 3 million chips today, seemingly without anyone noticing.
The 22-year-old from Berlin, Germany, will look back on a day in which not only did things go well, but in which he realised that the hours spent in a bedroom with the door locked finally began to pay off as he secured a place in the top ten.
Morgenstern, a pro for the past four years, could be called typical of the modern generation of player whose life is turned over to the pursuit of poker excellence. But then, Morgenstern’s life isn’t.
So unknown is he that this is one of only two pictures of Morgenstern we have
In an interview earlier today he confessed that in the past two years he had had his head turned away from a life of multi-tabling to the world outside of poker. It had been enough to tear him away from the computer screen, not entirely perhaps, but sufficient to put poker into perspective. That perspective is now crystal clear and good for a place in Day 6 of the WSOP main event.
Watching Morgenstern today was to see a player playing the tournament of his life. Each hand he played was with utmost confidence. He said today that he likes to dominate his table as early as possible, and so he did. When his chips went in you almost felt sympathy for his opponents, who were essentially working against the forces of momentum. Because after all, who was this Morgenstern?
A place in the final 27 now looks a distinct possibility, particularly if he continues tomorrow in the same fashion he played today.
We’ll admit, we knew little of Morgenstern ourselves before we caught up with him this afternoon. A PokerStars Main Event Passport winner, Morgenstern was uncertain of the specifics. Passport winners can play main events around the PokerStars globe, or take $13,000 to go the WSOP Main Event. For all intents and purposes, that paperwork was concluded here.
And so to tomorrow, where the man we have affectionately dubbed “Doctor Morgenstern” (for his precision) will return to the Amazon Room and continue with his air of invincibility. That’s certainly the plan. Perhaps by then the world will have taken notice. Even taken his picture. You can say you heard of him here first.