Anders Jensen is like many other cash players. But where he stands out from the crowd, is his incredible urge to indulge in poker and develop – all the time.
Back In The Day, Well Back in 2011
When Anders Jensen in late 2011 signed with the operator Bet24, it was his crowning glory of a poker career were he had put very few footsteps wrong. And although in rank he stood in the shadows of front man Jesper “Kipster” Hougaard, other players were fast to appoint him as the “Moral Team Captain”.
The title has stuck even though Bet24 now has been sold and shut down. Anders himself? He plays as usual, and as he has done for the last five years.
It was with the last remains of summer hanging in the air that we got hold of Anders Jensen at his office in the heart of Copenhagen.
Now most might think that Anders with that environment has to a normal 9 to 5 job, with water cooler, colleagues and the computer turned on in front of him. And it’s actually not entirely wrong…
For the office is part of the newly created “Poker Camp” where Anders Jensen and Tobias “Saibot” Storm not only teach and coach promising poker players, but also teaches them about the importance of proper nutrition and exercise, when the normal job playing $ 2 / $ 4 on the screen has to be looked after.
The initiative was realized during the summer and the camp has been in operation since September. The selected students are all dedicated and talented poker players, which they say will improve even more. The camp continuously updates on their experiences and development through their Facebook page and through the individual members’ posts on various poker forums.
And in a world where most are known only to think of themselves, it was natural to hear one of the founders why he is trying to make himself better opponents at the tables?
“It’s great to teach. It sharpens your own game when you have to communicate your thoughts and articulate them to others. We are in the fortunate position that we have been able to hand-pick the participants, so we have initially only winning players, which make it a lot easier. What we hope is to be able to generate interest in the project and motivated people to get started in a serious way.”
We already had some ideas, those we have put into training programs, which we test right now. We would like to work our way towards getting the process refined. Right now we have had a visit from a mental coach, and a lecture from him. I think that not only the participants, but also we got something out of it. And it is the attempt to involve external trainers and speakers, which should help us to make it a useful experience”
Anders started his poker career like most others after having become acquainted with Gus Hansen, Mike Sexton and all the others on the World Poker Tour via the Danish TV channel Zulu.
I can not really remember when I started, but I know that I studied as a physiotherapist when poker on Zulu caught me. I think I played on the old Crypto network, when a friend contacted me and told me that she had some Euro standing at Mermaid Poker, and thought that I should try playing cash game.
At that time, I played SNG’s and thought I might as well try it.
During short time I had turned my bankroll into € 50,000, and when I see some of the old hands I played then today, it was much more luck than sense that I was able to win. So the start of my poker career might as well have been the end, because if I had lost, I do not think that I would have continued…
He’s No Loser Baby
Today, Anders is playing $ 2 / $ 4 and according to himself he hasn’t had a losing month in five years.
That’s right. I have at no time during the last five years had to recover from an economic slap over the wrist. I play 14 tables at a time of $ 2/4. And my win rate is exactly the same at 14 tables, as if I played at 6, so that’s why I ended up with 14.
The economic security that I have built up means that I no longer have to play with BRM. I have in fact so many buy-ins behind me that I no longer think about it.
When it comes to discussing live tournaments, the situation is slightly different.
I love to play live. Tournaments online is a rarity on my part, but that does not mean that I do not like to play out in the real world. It’s only been to about 15 of the big tours, and here I must admit that the variance has not been on my side, probably in conjunction with that I have made some mistakes when I’ve been out.
I rarely play tournaments online. It is because my poker is arranged as a job. I get up, exercise, and then go of to “work”. In the evening I enjoy other things.
Of course it happens once in a while that I play a Sunday tournament or play in the evening, but there is no great value in it for me, compared to my normal game.
Working For The Man…
And poker also meant that Anders had to work for others, which he experienced during his time at Bet24.
The sponsorship with Bet24 was really a great deal. We all know the team captain (Kipster), so it was on me to be the mental lighthouse, he laughs and continues:
Of course I was fucking annoyed when they closed, but I’m not bitter. I really enjoyed my time with them and am grateful they showed me the confidence to back me up with trust and money.
With the Poker Camp we do a little to get on the poker map again, which means that we obviously are looking for a partner / sponsor. It would be a pat on the back personally for me to.
Keeping His Feet On The Ground
And when you look at Anders career, there have not been any major victories or results, which gave him momentary fame or who has raised him from one level to another in a single day.
I do not really have these moments where you look back and say: “It was the greatest moment of my career”. I’ve enjoyed the journey all the way up till here where I am now. The fact that I have always been able to regulate on some parameters and felt that I have been part of a continuous process, has in a way, been the greatest experience.
Call it fear of heights or common sense, but those highlights are often linked to gambling and luck, and it has never really had my interest, so perhaps that is why I am where I am now?
But What If It All Ended….
Like so many other poker players, then Anders does not really know what he would do if one day it suddenly would be the end of poker.
Dropping poker? Not going to happen.
What has made me go on is that I think my life is fun. Of course I do not write off other possibilities and I have also received offers from the industry, but poker takes up so much that I will continue as long as possible.
But if we set up a scenario where the possibilities are free-for-all, I would probably start studying social sciences or history.
And it is the quest for knowledge, the desire to improve, which permeates the thinking behind Anders poker.
The money that has followed has not resulted in significant physical symbols such as bling, champagne and fast cars. In addition, the process is obviously much more exciting than what you can do with the money.
My Car Usually Makes People Laugh
I bought an apartment and I have invested in all directions. My car usually makes people laugh, so it’s not on that I have spent my money. My profit usually goes to investments, and I do not really have any expensive habits. In my spare time I see friends and family and go for some long walks with my dog.
Fresh Air And Fun
And although leisure and job are separated, Anders admits however, that such a lot of fresh air and a brisk walk can not completely stop the flow of thought and poker.
Of course you can not just shut off. When we let our minds wander, then poker strategy and hands pops up all the time. Could I have played it differently? Did I use the right bet size? In addition to that, range analysis, betrange analyzes, etc., etc. In the old days when we were finished, I only thought of what I had earned that day…
An Easy Way To Beat Variance
There is of course variance when playing, but Anders has found a way to avoid it.
Yes, of course I know of variance and swings. But I play between 120,000 to 140,000 hands per month, so that way it compensates itself. If you for example only play 10,000 hands, then you will experience it.
What, are you saying that your advice to people who complain about fluctuations is simply to play more hands?
Full Of It
However, it is not the only advice to Anders gives us this September morning. Of course it’s hard to be brief, if you are asked for advice when you are teaching and has a coaching course, but Anders is trying anyway.
Work … or perhaps the word diligence. Yes, use the word diligence. The more you put into it, the better you get. It is probably the most useful and shortest version. Oh yes, and that talent is overrated compared to hard work … you can use that for the title.
A Busy Bee
The rest of the year, Anders plans to continue his and Tobias project. In addition to that WPT Copenhagen is knocking at the door, a tournament which he is very much looking forward to. Then he heads to the poker festival in Prague and then there is the annual poker tournament with friends.
I have a circle of people who do not make a living of poker. They think, however, that it is hilarious to beat me, so we play every year for an ugly trophy. It’s good to have some people around you, where everything is not just poker. If I didn’t have that, I think I would go crazy…
The Long Way Round
Apparently there are no shortcuts when it comes to performance in poker for Anders. It is hard work and development through learning. Anders has also acknowledged what most pros agree in.
– Online, people have become tougher. If you do not follow and spot new trends, then you have a hard time keeping up.
However, there are some bright spots for the game, seen with a pro’s eyes looking at the horizon.
I think that the small tours that have emerged are good for the game. It’s super that they stimulate interest, so I really hope that there will be more on the live front.
And so Anders returns to the water cooler, office chair and computer. The job must be cared for, the cards do not play themselves and then there are a handful of players waiting for him, hoping to get more knowledge poured into the tank.
Yes it would appear that poker is hard work.