It appears 2013 is going to be a history-making year for poker pro Michiel Brummelhuis on both a personal and a professional level. He is the first Dutch player to make the World Series of Poker Main Event final table, which is generating some serious excitement in the European poker community. But before Brummelhuis can conquer the final table, he is going to need to conquer fatherhood. Like fellow tablemate JC Tran and last year's Octo-Niner Jeremy Ausmus, Brummelhuis is expecting a baby in just about a month. Brummelhuis readily admits fatherhood is more important than the bracelet and the money, but will he be able to find the balance it takes to make a run at the biggest bracelet in the game?
Name: Michiel Brummelhuis
Hometown: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Occupation: Poker Pro
Employer/Company Name: Self-employed
Marital Status: Single
Children (names and ages): Expecting a child in 2 months
Years playing poker:
Years entered Main Event: 4
WSOP Earnings: $174,170
WSOP Cashes: 7
WSOP Final Tables: 2
Best Main Event Finish: No in the money finishes
We caught up with Brummelhuis shortly after the November Nine was set:
WSOP: Did you feel any pressure playing the Main Event, especially as the final table approached?
Brummelhuis: No, not really. I wasn't under any pressure at all. Once I made the final 27, I thought I was freerolling. I got very lucky on one hand with jack-nine. I ended up making runner-runner straight. I think that was my “one time,” and I used it already [laughter].
WSOP: Do you think there's something added you get while playing from having a positive attitude and the feeling that you're freerolling?
Brummelhuis: Yeah. The whole tournament I had a feeling I was going to make it. I'm still here. It's unbelievable.
WSOP: Do you believe in superstition?
Brummelhuis: I'm not superstitious....but there is a feeling you get when things are going really well.
WSOP: What are some of the things you did that got you here to the November Nine?
Brummelhuis: I was bluffing so much. And every bluff worked. There's a bit of luck in that, as well, but I was playing very well. I look back and there were only two hands in the Main Event that I don't think I play correctly, I think. I'm satisfied with that. You can't always play perfectly, but if I was going to play those hands wrong, I'm glad it happened earlier rather than (late in the tournament).
WSOP: What do you expect during the coming months leading up to November's finale?
Brummelhuis: For me, the most important think is the birth of our first child. We are expecting a boy. To me, that is everything.
WSOP: Do you expect your life will change a lot the next few months?
Brummelhuis: Yes, but that has more to do with becoming a father, which is far more important to me than anything else. I think having a child will change me a lot more than the poker will.
WSOP: What's the due date?
Brummelhuis: September 21st.
WSOP: What about the prospect of becoming the 2013 World Champion and winning more than $8 million?
Brummelhuis: Of course, that is what we are playing for. Right now, the money is very nice for me, but it is not life-changing. If I win the Main Event, of course the $8 million will change my life in many ways. But, like I said, I have other things too that are going to give me a lot of happiness.
WSOP: Can you tell us about your poker background?
Brummelhuis: I was attending college and then in 2004, I started playing both online and at Casinos inHolland. I have been playing full-time now for almost nine years.
WSOP: So, what does making the November Nine mean to you?
Brummelhuis: It's every poker's players dream. I can't even describe it. I feel so lucky. I just want to play my best and enjoy this experience. It's something that so few people will ever get the chance to enjoy. So, I am going to make the most of it.
WSOP: One last question – do you expect to have a lot of friends and family from Holland come to watch you play?
Brummelhuis: Oh yes. I can't even guess how many people are going to come. We are going to have an amazing time.