Martin Sejer was the last 888poker qualifier left in the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event before his opponent rivered a king to send him back to Copenhagen, Denmark with $57,010 and a story.
As the official satellite partner of the WSOP, 888poker sent XXX qualifiers this year. Each has their own story of how they qualified. Sejer’s might be the shortest.
“I qualified for $109. One try, and I’m not kidding. I put $150 in the account and then I played up to the last stage of $150 for the $109 and then won the $1,050 and got the package,” said Sejer, moments after being eliminated in 159th place.
Sejer didn’t win the package and then just book his flights though. The biggest tournament he’d played in before this summer was a $1,500 buy-in event. He wanted to be prepared for the Main Event so he reached out to Danish poker pro Jannick Wrang three months ago.
“He’s been coaching me every week and I’m thinking that helped me a lot because I’ve played two tournaments here in Vegas and the last one was the $888 and I was top 200 in that one also, out of almost 7,800,” said Sejer.
A personal trainer back home, Sejer managed to avoid the pitfalls that Las Vegas can offer tourists and stayed focused on the task at hand.
“I don’t really drink that much alcohol anyway, so I don’t go out partying. I go to the gym every day,” said Sejer. “I do yoga and meditation right now every morning instead of going hard with physical weight training. But I’m training just to be in shape and have a blast and feel good.”
As each day ended with Sejer bagging chips, he couldn’t help but remember all the hours he’s spent watching the WSOP on ESPN since he first started playing poker.
“It’s been like a dream. I’ve only been playing for 10.5 years and I’ve been watching this every year during the summer,” said Sejer. “Up until the Main Event, I’ve been watching YouTube videos and just been seeing so much poker the last year.”
Even though he didn’t quite turn his $109 into $8.8 million, Sejer was happy with the way he played and enjoyed the total experience.
“I just played my A-game and tried to be a bit goofy and pushing people, raising up funny hands from positions and see if they want to answer back,” said Sejer.
A deep run in the Main Event for a longtime poker fan wouldn’t quite be complete with some on the main stage and the ESPN broadcast. Just after Monday’s dinner break, Sejer got himself mic’d up to sit and play at the same table as Antonio Esfandiari while ESPN broadcast it live around the world.
The net profit of over $55,000 was nice and allows Sejer to upgrade an upcoming Greek vacation for him and his family to something a little bit more extravagant, but that’s not the single biggest takeaway for him from this trip.
“I think it’s going to be the people here that I remember the most. It’s been really nice. Most of the people here are really, really at the tables, good energy – especially around the bubble time,” said Sejer. “It was nice to see people could be so good to each other even while still being competitive. It’s been a really nice success.”