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Interview With Irish Open 2009 Champ Christer Johansson

Veteran Swede Adds €600,000 to Bankroll with Victory in Dublin


Irish Open 2009 champion Christer JohanssonChrister Johansson (pictured right), winner of the Irish Open 2009, is a veteran of the poker scene despite being only 38 years old. He has won a World Poker Tour title and made several European Poker Tour and World Series of Poker final tables, and his most recent victory takes his total live tournament winnings to over $2 million.

Paddy Power Poker’s Paul Burke caught up with him moments after his victory in Dublin on Monday for a quick Q & A:

Paul Burke: Where are you from in Sweden?

Christer Johansson: I live just outside Malmo, across from Copenhagen.

PB: How did you find the Irish Open?

. It has an amazing atmosphere, very friendly players, and it is very well organized.

PB: How does it feel to have won the Irish Open 2009?

CJ: I’m very, very happy. Not just because of the money, but because this tournament has such a long tradition and is so very well organized. It’s a very special day.

PB: What are your thoughts on that big, last hand against Kara [Scott]?

CJ: Well, she had started to get aggressive, maybe someone had told her during the break not to let me bully her, so I suspected she was weaker than her bet indicated.

PB: How long have you been playing?

CJ: Nine years professionally, 20 years in total. I played semi-professionally for a number of years before taking it up full-time. Once I started to make more money from poker than my regular job (as an electrician), it made sense to make the change. I first started playing cards as a teenager against my family and friends.

: I understand that you are a well-known online player; what stakes do you play online?

CJ: I used to play higher stakes, but currently I play $5-$10 to $25-$50 PLO [pot-limit Omaha].

PB: Any plans for the immediate future? I assume you will be going to Vegas in the summer?

CJ: No, I probably won’t go to Las Vegas, my next stop will be the Swedish Championships in Estonia. The tax issues that are associated with winning in Las Vegas [Swedes have to pay tax on winnings outside the EU] will keep me away from the United States.