Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Poker Training

Newsletter and Magazine

Sign Up

Find Your Local

Card Room


WSOP: Bracelet Winner Q and A -- Rob Hollink

The Dutchman Talks About Why He Likes Limit Hold'em and What it Means to be the First Dutch Bracelt Holder


Rob Hollink and the first Dutch-Won WSOP BraceletRob Hollink had accumulated more than $2 million in career tournament winnings heading into yesterday's final table at the $10,000 limit hold'em world championship, but he had never won a bracelet. That all changed last night as he beat out tough opponents J.C. Tran, Andy Bloch, and, lastly, Jerrod Ankenman heads up to win his first piece of World Series of Poker history. He also made history by becoming the first player from the Netherlands to win a gold bracelet. Hollink can now add his WSOP victory to his impressive career, which also boasts the first-ever European Poker Tour Grand Final title. Card Player caught up with Hollink at the post-final-table press conference, and he shared his thoughts about the win.

Question: How does your first bracelet compare to winning the EPT Grand Final?

Rob Hollink: I think this is better. What else do you want to win besides a World Series of Poker gold bracelet? This feels better than winning an EPT, although that was a big accomplishment. I have been coming here since 2001, and I have played 80-90 events and have done pretty badly, and I never knew why. I always thought I was unlucky here. I have won 15 tournaments in Europe; here … I never could find the solution why I didn’t do well here. I thought I was unlucky, and that one day I was going to win. The day is here, and it feels very good. The longer you wait, the better it feels, I guess.

Q: How does it feel to win a limit event? European players are more widely known for their pot-limit Omaha play and their no-limit hold’em play. Limit hold’em is more of an American game that is played predominantly by Americans. Is this one of your stronger games?

RH: I like to play limit hold’em; it’s probably my second-best game. Originally, I played a lot of pot-limit Omaha, and besides that I played a lot of limit hold’em. I’ve always liked to play limit hold’em tournaments; it’s the kind of game I really like to play. You can be aggressive without being reraised out of the pot if you are too aggressive too often.

When the table got down to three-handed you really hit another gear in your aggression. Was that your plan, or was it a matter of picking up some strong hands?

I think, at that point, I played really well. From that moment on, I made a couple of great calls I think with king high, with a straight draw [and so on]. In that moment, I really played well. From the moment Tommy [Hang] was out and it was heads up, I probably got the best of it, I guess.

Q: What did you think of your heads-up opponent, Jerrod Ankenman?

RH: He wasn’t that lucky, I guess. From the moment I played really aggressive, it looked like he was waiting all of the time for me, so I changed a it up a little bit and decided to check a couple of hands where I wasn’t ahead, and I was lucky to hit on the river. He gave me free cards.

Q: Does it give you a large amount of pride to take this bracelet back to the Netherlands? I see the Dutch really rally around their countrymen, whether it is poker, the Olympics, and so on. Does it give you that much more pride to win in front of all of the Dutch supporters and friends who stuck around with you here tonight?

RH: Yeah, it feels very good. I’m very thankful that they all supported me that much. It really feels very good.

Q: You are the world champion of limit hold’em, making you the first Dutchman to hold that title, as well as the first Dutch bracelet winner. How does that feel?

RH: That sounds very good [laughing].