“I’m not so aggressive anymore. I only play aces if they’re suited.” This was the Danish player, Peter Hedlund, toying with our preconceptions of what characterises the classic Scandinavian poker star. He took another swig from his glass of beer, smiled to the rail and continued: “Drink lots and aces become suited.”
Whether or not Hedlund was telling the truth about a new-found steadiness (and one suspects he might not be), aggression will very much be the order of the day here in Copenhagen. Just ask Arnaud Mattern, the French player and EPT Prague champion from season four, who is already getting heavily involved on a table adjacent to Hedlund’s.
Mattern recently took four pots out of five. First he called a pre-flop raise of 150 in late position, checked the king-high flop but then bet 275 on the turn of [5D]. It was good enough. Then he bet 400 on a jack-high flop to take that one. Then he bet 275 on another king-high flop to push out two other players. And then he took a breather and folded his small blind.
The next hand, though, won him a sizeable pot — prised from the hands of Henrik “Lotto” Sorensen. Sorensen, who won the Norwegian lottery a couple of years ago for the equivalent of about $4m, raised pre-flop and Mattern defended his big blind. The flop came [AD]-[6H]-[5H] and Mattern checked, Sorensen bet 225 and Mattern made it 650. Call.
The turn was [7D] and Mattern bet 1,250, which Sorensen called, and the river was [AS], and Mattern bet 3,375. Sorensen went into the tank, but eventually emerged with the call. He mucked, however, when Mattern showed [9H]-[8S] for the turned straight.
Sorensen may have run very good for that lottery win, but it’s Mattern who seems to have hit top gear early on today.