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From the EPT Grand Final: Thomas Wahlroos

Talks About Waiting to Get Reads on His Table and Whether He's Threatened by Roland de Wolfe


Thomas Wahlroos has just under $950,000 in live tournament earnings, and he has only been playing poker professionally for about two years. His first major tournament cash came in the 2006 European Poker Tour Grand Final when he finished 10th and earned $40,000. The following year, Wahlroos returned to Monte Carlo and came in 34th, which meant a $30,000 payday. He is back this year to attempt his third consecutive European Poker Tour Grand Final money finish. Card Player sat down with Wahlroos to find out how he is doing thus far.

Lizzy Harrison: You have already built up a sizeable chip stack; how did you do it so quickly?

Thomas Wahlroos: Today is going perfectly. I doubled up early on with set over set. I’ve been running good and making good moves, so I have a stack that is about three times the average.

LH: Who did you double up through?

TW: Some guy I had never met before. I have been at three tables so far today, and I have only recognized about four people, combined. Now I have Roland de Wolfe on my right, and he is short-stacked.

LH: How familiar are you with Roland’s game? Do you think you’ll be able to pick him off?    

TW: I have never considered him to be a good player anyway [laughing]. He is a good friend of mine, though. I’m not worried about him at all.

LH: You mentioned that you have been at quite a few tables already. How do you keep focused when you have to move?

TW: Every time that they move me I just sit there for one hour and do nothing. I like to wait so that I can get a read on the table. I don’t want to do anything stupid because I know that my opponents will do something stupid sooner or later.

LH: Now that you have tripled up, how do you plan to maintain your stack?

TW: I will play a lot of pots when I am in position. I will wait for my opponents to get married to a hand like one pair when I flop a set. All of the big pots I have won today were when I flopped almost the nuts and my opponent had a hand like one pair.

LH: So, you are running well.

TW: Yeah, but I did make two sick bluffs where, if I had been called, I would have lost half of my stack. I wasn’t called, though, which means I am playing well.

LH: How do you hide tells when you are bluffing?

TW: I sit there with my iPod on and I do nothing.

LH: What is on your iPod?

TW: Everything; mainly Linkin Park, Green Day, and Finnish rap.

LH: You’re Finnish; can you spit some Finnish rap?

TW: No, I can’t [laughing]. I can’t [laughing]. Ziigmund [Ilari Sahamies], an online player, put it on my iPod, and it is actually quite good.