Interview with Peter Gunnarson

Peter Gunnarson, who lives in Sweden, in the very south of the country, in the city of Malmo, became the world heads-up poker champion on May 24 (World Heads-Up Poker Championship 2005). The championship itself takes place in Barcelona (Spain), where Peter won 100,000 euros in first place.

Author: Richard Geller

You were one of 13 Swedish players to come to the tournament. This is the second largest representative group from one country. The largest was Great Britain - 54 participants. What is happening in Sweden now that sparked such popularity of poker in your country among the younger generation, like yourself?

I'm not sure exactly, but the internet has made poker available in Sweden. It all developed at a rapid pace, and now you can see for yourself that the Swedes are doing pretty well playing poker. In return, other Swedes see that it is possible to win good money on the internet, and this piques the interest of new players to get started.

Was poker a home game in Sweden before? Where did people play poker before the internet?

Yes, but on a smaller scale. But only with the advent of the Internet, the Swedes began to play and play poker. Also, we have several new casinos, precisely because of the popularity of poker.

Where do you play: only on the Internet or in a casino?

I play sometimes in casinos in Sweden. I usually travel to play and I have been participating in tournaments for a while. But WHUPC 2005 is my biggest win.

How do you like the players in this tournament? Is there a Swedish style of play and how did you adapt to the different types of play?

It was very difficult in the final, because we played very similarly. I tried to win a lot of small pots without a good hand, forcing my opponent to fold. But it didn't work as well as I planned. I tried to be aggressive, and by the way, if there is a Swedish style of play, it is to be the most aggressive player at the table. So, in several draws I won, in the rest I lost.

Agree, more aggressive than Pascal Perrault (Pascal Perrault) was there no one at the tournament?


How did you respond to his play?

I usually play pretty well against such a player. He won such amazing all-ins that I couldn't believe my eyes. And the river always saved him. I was upset with every incredible victory he won. After the sixth or seventh all-in, I just lost consciousness. I was losing with K-K his AQ. And then it seemed to me that everything was hopeless. But everything turned around. I made the nuts straight against the second nuts - and it was a tough play.

How did you restrain yourself psychologically in that fight? Watching on television, your frustration was quite noticeable, how did you not lose heart and collected your thoughts?

Every break contributed to this. When you play non-stop, you can drown in frustration and find it difficult to concentrate. During the break, I adjusted myself psychologically.

Did you play a lot heads-up before the tournament?

For a while.

What made you take part in this tournament?

I love Barcelona, and I was also interested in the title “World Championship One on One” - after all, this is a very important tournament.

What do you think about the contribution to the tournament, isn't it too small for the world championship?

Since poker is already quite popular, I think that € 2,000 is not enough for this kind of tournament.

What do you do in life?

This is what I do - I play professionally.

How did you get started? How did you form your bankroll, sell your house?

I was studying and in the last semester I was interested in my friend's book on poker. After I got my degree, I tried my hand at poker. It turned out pretty well. Since then I have been playing for about three years.

What is your degree?

In fact, I have two of them: a master of science in mechanics and engineering, a master of business in economics.

When we watch you on TV, thinking whether you will raise or call, are you evaluating everything from a mathematical point of view, or are you taking everything into account?

Everything. Mathematically, I quickly calculate everything and know if I am doing my action correctly, but this is a tournament, so I have to consider all aspects. For example, the last call (in the final). Before doing it, I looked at the expression on Simon Nowab's face.

Recover the last draw from memory.

I had KT suited. Simon was on the loaf. The flop came K-5-2, two diamonds. I bet 80% from my stack. He immediately called. The turn was J. I bet 35,000. The enemy raised with the speed of a tiger. I thought it was an instant decision, so he has a good hand. Then I made up my mind immediately. I will fold. I had a pretty weak hand. But still, I decided to think it over slowly. And I thought it was weird that he made such a huge raise, I also assumed he had a weaker hand than mine. It was not a strong raise, it even looked like a weak one, despite the fact that there were a lot of chips. I assumed that he was playing a pretty strong hand this whole hand, and then I could only congratulate him. But I also thought he might have a weak hand. After much deliberation, and also after looking at Simon, I decided to call, which turned out to be a winning one for me. Simon had K-6.

Your bets on most of the hands against Dave Colclough in the semi-finals were very interesting, which confused him and he lost. His frustration was evident.

I think I played my best poker games in that semi-final.

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