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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – Johan Storakers

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He's cashed for over 1.6 million dollars, and just took down the Swedish Poker Championship 10 days ago. Playing poker for 20 years Johan is a 35 year old pro hot on the poker tournament trail and isn't letting up for a second.

KL: Catch us up on what you have been doing lately.

I went to the World Series in the US and I only cashed in out of the nine events that I played. After the WSOP I took a break and went to Sweden for a little while and then went to Barcelona and played two events there. I played an Omaha tournament there and it was good because we ended up just before they closed the casino so we made a three-way deal where I picked up 39,000 Euros. After Barcelona I went to Sweden for a little bit again and then on to London to play in the WSOP Europe. I think I made one bad play in the Main Event there, with Q-Q against A-A. I played well in the Omaha tournament but I ended up losing when I flopped a full house against four of a kind.

KL: Why did you make a deal in Barcelona?

I had a flight the next day and they closed the casino at 4am. So either we had to go sleep and then come back the next day or we just make a deal. The guy that had the most chips he offered us a decent deal and we took it.

KL: What is your best game?

I like no limit Texas Hold'em the best but I have extremely good results in Omaha. In Finland I have played their Main Event like 15 times and I have won the tournament 3 times and I have another 2 or 3 final tables in Finland alone. In Sweden I won the Swedish championship in that game. I played 2 other tournaments outside of Sweden this year except Finland, I split in Barcelona and I did well in that sense. I'm doing something right in tournament Omaha even though that game I can't explain exactly and I can be a little bit more wrong in the percentages. In Texas Hold'em I'm really close to exact percentages.

KL: What do you think you would be doing if you weren't playing poker?

I think definitely I would do some kind of business. I have some business going on right now.

KL: Do you consider yourself a gambler? Do you play in the pit or do prop bets?

I do prop bets, but usually when I think I am a slight favorite. If you are too much of a favorite then you shouldn't do the bet because it's like you are hustling someone. Usually I do those kinds of things but I don't play in the pit. I have never in Las Vegas put one penny in a slot machine.

KL: Do you have any recent prop bet stories?

In Turks and Caicos there were the water bets , the guy standing in the pool for 12 hours. I wasn't directly involved in the bet, but I would have bet that he would make it. The other one, the 24 hours in the ocean I don't want to do that bet at all, I don't want to be on either side. Especially when the hurricane hit that night, if the lightening hit the water within a half a mile he would have died.

KL: Can you notice when you are playing with a gambler at the poker table? Do you notice there are some people playing strategically and mathematically and there are others that have that gambling aspect?

Sure, and I can also see that some poker players are gamblers but they are winning poker players. They don't care about their bankroll and cash management, they just want to play as high as possible. Sooner or later they are losing something but then they get staked but they are gamblers. William Thorsson is probably one of the Scandinavia's best players but he can lose a million dollars in the pit. To me that really doesn't make any sense.

KL: Do you talk poker strategy with your friends?

I talk to Mats Anderson and Bo Sehlstedt on my messenger. I have discussions with them, how would you have played this hand. Usually they are giving you a confirmation that you did the right thing. Sometimes it is good to get another point of view, because there are so many ways that you can play a hand.

KL: Is there anyone in poker that has given you advice that has stuck with you?

In the beginning when I was playing I picked up all those words from the older guys. It can be hard, though, because you are in an environment where the other players want to take your money and they don't want to help.

KL: Who is your sponsorship with?

After being with another poker site for two years, I signed a contract with Ultimate Bet for two years and that is where I am at now.

KL: What is your greatest poker accomplishment?

I am proud that in poker I wasn't gambling and I wasn't playing higher stakes than I could afford. When I won the Master Classic in Amsterdam the thing there is that it came down to two and I offered the other guy a deal. I was thinking I had two thirds of the chips and I was thinking we should take out 1st and 2nd prize each and of the rest take out 60-70% and divide it percentage wise and play for the title. He said he was so pleased with getting so far and he wanted to play on. The difference between 1st and 2nd was €120,000 which is a huge amount for me.

So I think it was his way of getting an advantage but we kept on playing and I won the whole tournament. When I won it was so many things that were combined, I knocked out almost the whole field, Marcel Luske made a big bluff and I called him down and then Devilfish was kind of confused because I raised him hard before the flop so I got away with it because he was out there too much. He said something like, "I don't dare to play any flops." I didn't care that he said that and I took him out by calling down on the board with three over cards out there and I was right. It was like everything was wonderful. It was a great feeling.

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