It must be nice to be able to bowl up 90 minutes late to Casino Copenhagen, open your wallet and take out 50,000 Danish Kroner (something like the equivalent of $8,500, £6,000 or €6,700), grab your chips, find your seat, and have your eight table-mates quiver at your arrival.
In short, it must be nice to be Juan Carlos Mortensen.
The 2001 World Champion sidled into the building about an hour ago and did pretty much as described above. Despite being one of the most feared players in any tournament, Mortensen has a peculiar habit of flying under the radar and getting the media’s antennas twitching only when he had built a monumental tower of chips. It happened at the PCA in January, when we only actually noticed Mortensen deep into day two. And it would probably have happened here again had our new Danish blogger, Simon Langeland, not spotted El Matador on the way in, spreading the news in Chinese whispers across the press room.
Mortensen might be the most decorated player here this week. In addition to that Main Event bracelet, which was worth $1,500,000, he has also graced a further six World Series final tables (one of those resulting in another bracelet) and they are not even the biggest wins of his career. He has taken down two WPT titles, including close to $4 million at the $25,000 Five Star World Poker Classic in April 2007.
His EPT list of cashes features only one entry: 12th at the 2007 Grand Final in Monte Carlo. But if we were to be arranging a last-longer bet in the press room (which, of course, we never ever do, oh no, oh no), Mortensen would an automatic round one draft pick, whether or not he’s here on time.