Bengt Sonnert

The young Swede is transferring his cash game skills to the big tournaments

• What’s your game?
It’s almost only Hold’em that I play at the £50-£100 and £150-£300 tables. I occasionally play Omaha but I’m a much better Hold’em player. My games are mainly online but when I go to Las Vegas I’ll try to get involved in some of the bigger cash games as well.

• Best player?
It’s hard to say who’s the best player I’ve come up against. There have been so many good players I’ve sat down with who use a lot of different styles but I really appreciate the way that Marc Goodwin and Paul Jackson played in Monte Carlo. They played a really good tournament. I’m mainly a cash game player and I’ve been trying to improve how I play in tournaments. Playing against both of them taught me a lot.

• Monte Carlo or bust?
I’ve just got back to Sweden from the EPT in Monte Carlo. I did very well there in the side games. Last time I was in Monte Carlo I made the final table at the Monte Carlo Millions, which Phil Ivey won. (Sonnert came fourth and walked away with $250,000.)

• Dream heads-up?
I don’t know. It would definitely be against a poker player that everyone really wants to beat. I’d probably have to pick the best and go for Phil Ivey. (Ivey knocked Sonnert out of the Monte Carlo Millions last year calling his K-9 all-in with A-10 – despite a King hitting on the flop.)

• Favourite hand?
There was one hand I played recently on the Ladbrokes Cruise against one of the chip leaders. We were all-in before the flop. I had Aces and he had Nines. My play before the hand was perfect. He thought that I was bullying him and he came over the top to go all-in. In the lead up to it I’d been limping into a lot of hands with things like 5-7 suited and sometimes re-raising. I had a lot of chips and wanted to play. On this particular hand I limped in with Aces, he raised, I re-raised and he pushed all-in. Unfortunately a Nine came up and I lost the pot. (Sonnert came eighth and took home $40,000.)

• Young Swedes?
Swedes and Scandinavians haven’t been playing the game that long. Although a couple of casinos have opened recently, there’s no poker clubs here so most people have learnt to play online. There are a lot of young kids playing and you learn so much more quickly how to play that way. Scandinavians are doing so well in big tournaments because they’ve been in so many different situations online already.

• Viking blood?
When you’re young you’re so much more open-minded. Hold’em is not an old sport, so the game’s changing all the time. The young players coming in are getting better and it’s tough for me to keep up with them. Young Scandinavians have definitely made the game a bit more aggressive and I think in 20 years’ time the game may be even more aggressive. It might be because of the Viking blood, I don’t know!

Handle: pkrbt Play him online at

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