“Oh, for sure, I could tell he was nervous,” Boeken, 23, says with a heavy Dutch accent. He’s from Amsterdam–part of Judi Online24jam Williams’ cabal of international pals. Williams, Boeken and a few other good friends of the same age met as teens while playing in Magic tournaments all around the world. (Don’t laugh. Williams made more than 50 G’s in his Magic career.) When they were 17 or 18, one of them watched Rounders, a favorite poker movie among players. Before long, they were playing poker when they were done with Magic. Soon, poker became the primary game for almost all of them. Now, instead of meeting in Russia or Judi Online24jam Japan to play Magic, they meet to play hold ’em–international swingers, and all before the age of 25. “We’ve known each other for a long time, and I could see that he wasn’t eating too much. But that was natural if you think about it. There was so much on the line. Especially when he kept going. I was out after two days, but he kept going. It was fun to watch. But there was a lot of pressure there. In poker, you make one mistake and it’s all over.”
For six days–that’s how long it took to whittle down the tournament from thousands to a handful–he made precious few mistakes. He played for 12 hours a day. During the breaks, he’d get together with Boeken and Boeken’s friend from Amsterdam, Marcel Luske, a 51-year-old considered to be one of the best in Europe (he took 10th at this year’s WSOP, winning $373,000). Williams, Boeken and Luske would work through hands together and talk about strategy.
It was an invaluable resource for Williams to have Luske as his de facto coach. At one point, when there were only 50 players left in the tournament, and Williams was on a short-stack (poker-speak for having few remaining chips), Luske took him aside for some counseling. He told his young friend that he was going to have to play a hand that he didn’t want to, something like ace-nine off-suit, meaning two dissimilar suits. (Poker for Judi Online24jam dummies: When playing hold ’em, two cards are dealt facedown to each player. Then three cards come faceup in the middle of the table for community use–called the flop. Then a fourth community card is dealt followed by a fifth and final community card known as fifth street or the river. Between each round there’s betting. In no-limit hold ’em, at any point you can bet everything you have. The winner is the player who can make the best five-card hand out of his two hole cards and the five community cards.)