Card Player recently sat down with the newly crowned king of Danish poker, European Poker Tour Copenhagen champion Michael Tureniec from Sweden to discuss his long awaited victory and pressures on and off the felt.Rebecca McAdam: First of all, Congratulations!Michael Tureniec: Thank you very much!RM: You came so close before on the EPT , what did it feel like to be the last one standing?MT : It felt so good to win, if you’re very competitive you won’t settle for anything less than first, and since I think I played pretty bad against against Michael Martin back in London ‘08 it felt great to get another chance and I gave my best to win this time.RM : Would you look at it then like you weren’t ready for the win in ‘08, but you were in Copenhagen?MT : Well I was so happy securing a lot of cash after a four-way deal in London that I lost the adrenaline that had kept me going, so I slipped, which I regret a lot even though I was very happy for the big win and second of course. I worked a lot on my game and think the win was more skill dependent in Copenhagen, whereas it was more luck dependent in London.RM : What did you do differently this time around? Or have you improved your game in general over the past two years or so?MT : I’ve been playing a lot, discussing hands and theory with friends, been railing friends playing and vice versa.RM : It was a pretty tough final table in Copenhagen.MT : Yeah, probably one of the toughest finals I´ve tabled.RM : Had you played with any of them before?MT : I’ve played two final tables with [John] Eames before — the English Poker Open 2009 and we chopped the €2,000 side event in EPT Barcelona in 2010, but he always loses to me so I knew he wouldnt be a problem [laughs]. [Juha] Helppi and I have played a lot lately as well and I think I have a pretty good clue how he plays. Per [Linde] and I played for the first time on day 4 and his style felt kind of random to me but he was definitely one of the toughest opponents. Liakos and I have been friends since we were like seven and started playing at the same time, so I guess we have a pretty good idea about each other’s game.RM : How did you find the heads up with Linde then? Did you see a pattern after a while?MT : I noticed I got away with being more aggressive than him. I three-bet way more and he just folded for most of the time. It seemed like he wanted to play small pots mostly, so I tried to keep playing aggressive without being reckless.RM : Were there many key hands or was it just bit by bit?MT : I think it was mostly bit by bit. He managed to double up twice while being down to 20-35 big blinds, but of course I had some big pots from time to time when the board ran out very good for me, and if I was bluffing, the best cards to continue the bluff fell on the turn and river.RM : Was there a point during the entire event when you felt like you were going to win?MT : I thought there was a good chance that I could make the final table after day 2, but to win… I dont know, things can turn so fast. After being pretty shortstacked and getting it in with 5-5 versus A-J on the final table I thought I had a decent chance. RM : Did you do anything special after you won?MT : I went to Lund in Sweden where a lot of my friends live and had a nice party at a night club.RM : Great, do you usually take some time off after a big win?MT : It depends. After london I didn’t play for a couple of weeks. This time, there was a €2,500 event at the casino in Stockholm so I played that one, but I haven’t been playing much online. The plan is to take some vacation though since I’ve been playing a bit too much lately.RM : If you don’t play for a while, do you find you get a bit rusty? Or is it good for your game?MT : You don’t recognise the situations as good as when you’re playing often, but it can be good for you as well to get a break for a while.RM : After time off, would you start playing lower stakes just to get back into the swing of things or just jump in the deep end?MT : Cash games — I would be playing lower stakes. Tournaments — I would play the same stakes.RM : So what kind of cash games and tournaments would you normally play, and how often?MT : Cash games — mostly 25-50 and 50-100, tournaments — from 150 and above. I haven’t played much online lately but maybe 1-2 times a week.RM : Hold’em only?MT : Yeah.RM : But you look like you’ve been doing really well online. You recently won just over $128,000 in an FTOPS XIX event!MT : Yeah I finished second to Jonas Klausen in a $300 Rush multi-entry tournament.RM : Is there a big difference to the way you play online and live?MT : Yeah there is, I’d say I’m a bit more creative while playing live.RM : Do you play a lot of live events?MT : I’ve been playing a lot of live. I didn’t do too well in 2010 but I’ve played most of the EPT’s, the Partouche, Irish Open, and the WPT’s in Paris.RM : Why do you think you weren’t doing well?MT : I was doing well online during 2010, so I think/hope its just variance. I managed to finish 2010 off with a chop in the €2,000 event with Eames as I mentioned earlier but that and a small cash in an Aussie Millions side were my only live cashes during 2010.RM : Well EPT Copenhagen is usually thought of as one of the more difficult fields, so that’s a good way to start 2011! Would you agree that it’s one of the harder fields?MT : Yeah, it’s definitely one of the toughest tournaments along with WSOP Europe and EPT London.RM : You must be feeling pretty good about your game now then?MT : [Laughs] Yeah it has worked out just fine lately.
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