by Dustin Mele

EPT Copenhagen was great. The tournament was very well structured and the hotel and casino were very nice as well.

The first day I arrived, I was exhausted from a friend’s birthday party the night before and there was no room for sleep because the PokerStars welcome party and the Scandanavian Poker Awards were being held that same night. Fortunately I was starting on Day 1B of the tournament, so I would have a full day to recover from all the partying. The party and awards were held together at a very nice club located in Copenhagen and the awards were hosted by Daniel Negraneu. It was all around a great time.

Dustin Mele in Copenhagen

The tournament was very fun. I played solid the whole time, eventually getting my chip stack over 50,000 from the 10,000 starting stack. I took a bad beat on Day 2 when everyone folded to the button while I was in the big blind. The player was a very loose player and I knew he would most likely raise in that position with any two cards. He raised 4 times the big blind, the small blind folded, and I looked down at pocket jacks. I had about 10,000 chips more than the button and I was very sure–in my mind–I had the better hand. So, I put him all-in. He auto-called me with pocket nines. Unfortunately, he turned a set of nines to beat my pocket jacks.

If the hand held, I would have had almost 100,000 chips close to the money. I managed to be patient and start a comeback when we were down to 55 players from the 250 or so that started. They were paying out the Top 40, so I had to make it through 15 more players to cash. But I wasn’t trying to just cash. I was trying to win the tournament or at least final table. So, when I looked down at pocket nines, I had to go all-in. With the blinds and ante’s getting so large, I was in great possition with pocket nines in the cut-off when every one else folded. The small blind called with AK. My hand held the whole way…until an ace hit on the river.

I finished 53rd. I am not too upset because I am on my to Italy on March 30th to play in EPT San Remo on April 1st and EPT Monte Carlo on April 12th. I am very dedicated and determined to get my first poker title under my belt.

Dustin Mele won the 2007 PokerStars Passport Tournament Leder Board competition. He is traveling around the world on PokerStars’ dime playing in big buy-in tournaments and recounting his experiences for the rest of us. His next stop is the EPT event in San Remo, Italy next month.


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