Last week in Berlin we got in touch with Mickey Petersen to see if we could do a quick interview with him about his good friend Andrew Chen who was starting the final table third in chips. Petersen replied that he couldn't do it face to face because he was holed up in his hotel room analysing the play for Chen (he eventually relented and agreed to do it by email). Others would be doing it for the other players but few would have backroom staff as skilled as Petersen. Chen, a phenomenal player in his own right, went on to finish second, coming oh so close to joining Petersen in becoming a Season 8 EPT champion.
"It was a very different experience. In a lot of ways it was more exhausting than playing the tournament because I was constantly analysing everything and seeing the cards. They're just sat there folding and raising. It was an interesting experience for sure," said Petersen of the difference between playing his EPT Copenhagen final table and railing Chen's as his backroom staff.
"It was funny in the sense that, until they got heads up where a deal was made, my entire job was to look out of anything that I could in the hands; the ways they played, any tells, bet sizing, live reads, what kinds of hands they were opening, what they were three-betting, and then pass it onto Andrew on his short 15-minute break... There was an hour delay so I was taking notes and he was coming into the hotel room to say, 'We're heads-up,' and I'd still be watching them playing four-handed. The thing is that the other people know that so, for instance, Marc Wright was three-betting light a lot in the first level. He busted pretty quick but had he lasted longer he may have tightened up. Any information is good information though. I think I helped him a bit for sure," said Petersen.
His tournament here in Monaco at the catchy PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final Petersen is looking more likely to be railing a friend at the final table than being at it himself. On the second hand back from the dinner break he lost a 'weird' pot post flop with pocket kings to queens on a queen-high board, then doubled the next hand back up to 12 big blinds. One of the best no-limit tournament players in the world, Jason Mercier, sits on Petersen's right and he's not the only player the Dane has to worry about.
"We've been here all day, it's a really tough table. I've got him (Mercier) on my right and there's Zachary Clark whose a very good player and Mike Telcher who is also a very good player. Everyone has good results. There are a couple of good spots but overall it's tough. It might just come down to the cards.
"I think I've been pretty unlucky with table draws and can look over at way softer tables but everyone is in town so there's bound to be some tough tables. It is what it is. Hopefully I can get some cards, get through the day and get a better table tomorrow."
Petersen's confidence is understated, not the showboating, chest beating preferred by players with big hats and even bigger shorts, but he certainly shouldn't be written off: he was down to two big blinds in Copenhagen and went on to win it.
Good news for Petersen. His table has just broke.
Level 13: blinds 1,000-2,000, ante 300
Players: 186 of 665
Average stack: 107,500
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