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Tournament Trail Q and A -- Constant Rijkenberg

Champion of EPT San Remo Constant Rijkenberg Speaks about his Recent Success


Constant RijkenbergThe European Poker Tour San Remo was an astounding success, with 1,177 players including some of the world’s best poker players, but only one survived the carnage, and that was 20-year-old Constant Rijkenberg (pictured left), from Amsterdam. Card Player spoke to him moments after he won €1,508,000 for taking down first place. The Grand Final in Monte Carlo is just about to kick off, and before the week is out, the EPT will crown the final champion of this season. The Card Player live reporting team is also there to bring you all of the action.

Rebecca McAdam: How you feeling now?

Constant Rijkenberg: To be honest? I feel nothing, totally nothing. I’ve got one rule for myself, I made it up when I started building a lot, and it is: don’t show any emotions, don’t have any emotions when you’re playing a tournament. I mean, in cash games it doesn’t really matter because you can walk out and get away, but here you have to sit down and play your A-game every hand. And I might have made some mistakes — like the [pocket] fours I shoved, that wasn’t great, but I was kind of tilting there. For the rest, I feel great. I’m happy I won the tournament. I feel like I deserved it, but a lot of people say I didn’t because I got lucky a few times. But for me it was like fate or something, I don’t know.

RM: You said that from a long time ago you knew that you were going to win this. Why San Remo?

CR: I had a good feeling about it, for some reason. I have no clue why.

RM: Have you got a lot of live tournament experience?

CR: Yeah, I’ve been playing poker professionally for one and a half years. I went broke two times in those one and a half years, so how professional that is I don’t know, but I’ve played over 200 tournaments.

RM: What did you think of your opponents at the final table?

CR: I think William [Reynolds] was a great player, Alex was unlucky to be short. The guy on my right... [Gustav Sundell] I think he was a pretty decent player, but he played too tight, he folded to way too many of my three-bets, and I kept three-betting with air at random moments, and he kept folding. I think he couldn’t handle the aggression well, and William did it much better, but then again, I got lucky against Will and doubled up, and kept winning hands.

RM: What are you going to do with the money now?

CR: No clue. I have some backers, and I have to pay them first, and then I will just see what the hell I’m going to do.

RM: What events are you going to play next?

CR: Monte Carlo, and after that I’ve no clue. I can’t go to Vegas, which is terrible; I’m 20. I might have a nice holiday somewhere, just go lay on the beach for a month and get my tan on, because I’m like a zombie now, it’s crazy.

RM: Were you relieved to see Dragan Galic bust out early at the final table?

CR: No, I would have liked to have him a little bit more at the table, because when I showed the bluff he went on a raging tilt. I would have liked to see him get some chips from other guys and then give them to me. To be honest, I think I had action on him even though he was sitting on my left, because he has some sick tells he gives away; I picked up on them pretty quickly.

RM: You’re obviously prepared to gamble, do you think that’s what you need to go the whole way at a tournament like the EPT?

CR: If you’re scared, you will never win. Like the guy I played heads up [Kalle Niem], he was totally scared. The hand A-8-4 he raised the button; he knows I’m sick-aggressive, so I either have fours there or I have nothing. So, he actually should three-bet with his whole range there, because I am not representing anything. I’m three-betting any ace [preflop], just to keep the pressure on. I had like Q-9 or something. I just decided I would play him any post-flop I could. I did as many as I could and this last time, with aces against A-10 on a 10-high board, so that was like a setup.

RM: What a perfect final hand!

CR: That was a perfect hand, first time I had aces in the whole tournament. I had kings or aces twice in this tournament, once aces and once kings, and they were both today.



almost 12 years ago

what a humble guy... :)