Swedish high-stakes poker pro returns from poker hiatus and earns high roller title.
Las Vegas, NV (September 5, 2016)
— Erik Sagstrom really loves poker. After staying up playing cash games
all night long, Sagstrom late registered at the last possible moment
for the $5,300 no-limit hold’em high roller event.
Sagstrom registered just
before Day 2 started on Monday afternoon and the decision not to sleep
turned out to be a good one. The well-known Swedish high-stakes poker
professional bested a field of 26 players to take home $65,000.
“It feels good,” said
Sagstrom. “I’ve been up for the better part of 36 hours, so I’m a bit
tired. But it’s a good finish to the day. Or maybe two days.”
Sagstrom made a name for
himself in the early days of online poker. He then jumped into live
high-stakes cash games and dabbled in some of the high-stakes
tournaments. He earned his largest score in the $10,000 HORSE World Championship in 2009, ultimately finishing third for $522,393.
He was around for a few
more years before taking a few years off from poker. He spent most of
his time back in Sweden and playing very little poker.
“I wasn’t really playing
poker for a long time,” said Sagstrom. “I was in Sweden and I was doing
some different things. I was betting sports and not really playing much
poker over the last four years. Or maybe three years. I don’t even
After several years away
from the game, Sagstrom decided get a visa and come back to the states.
Just before the 2016 WSOP, Sagstrom made his way back to Vegas and picked
up where he left off – playing high stakes poker.
He jumped right back into
cash games and has been playing the biggest games around for the last
few months. He even picked up his first WSOP cash in several years last
June, a 19th place finish in the $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw Championship.
“I’ve been doing a little
of this and a little of that and then I came here,” said Sagstrom of
his recent activity. “I wasn’t planning on playing much, but once you’re
here, you get sucked in. Life is crazy and the degenerate that I am, I
play all the time now.”
Sagstrom picked up a win
in a no-limit hold’em event on Monday evening, but he considers himself
to be a mixed game specialist. Most of his time spent on the felt is in
‘Bobby’s Room,’ playing some of the biggest cash games the world has to
“It’s actually a mix of
everything,” said Sagstrom of the cash games he plays in. “There is
no-limit hold’em, there is pot-limit Omaha, there are stud games,
there’s everything. The mix is four no-limit games and seven limit
games. It’s everything. I feel pretty comfortable playing everything.”
Sagstrom’s cash games
have a cap on the big bet games, where players can only commit a certain
amount of money to the pot before the betting is over and the rest of
the hand is played as an all in pot. This format of cash game is part of
the reason Sagstrom decided to play the event.
“So this structure works
sort of good for me,” said Sagstrom. “It’s like a cap where you only
have 20 bets or you have a little more to start. It’s a good structure
By registering so late,
Sagstrom started out the tournament with a shallow stack and he was able
to work that to his advantage. He continued to apply pressure to his
opponents and when there were five players remaining, Sagstrom had most
of the chips in play.
He continued to apply
pressure throughout short-handed play and eventually the bubble burst to put the final three players in the money. Sagstrom eliminated Jayakrishnan Nair in third place to get heads-up with Joe Kuether, who won this
event last year. Sagstrom started out the heads-up match the chip lead
and never relinquished it. In less than two full levels of play,
Sagstrom earned the win and eliminated Kuether in second.
With his poker hiatus
over and a win already under his belt, it is likely Sagstrom will be
spotted more often in the tournament world.
“I’m playing a lot of
poker tournaments all over the U.S. actually,” he said. “I played at the
Bike a few days ago and then I played here. I’m going to travel and I’m
going to play a lot of poker tournaments. I’ll be around.”
Joseph Cheong was the unfortunate bubble boy, hitting the rail in fourth place. Here are a look at the results:
1st: Erik Sagstrom - $65,000
2nd: Joe Kuether - $39,000
3rd: Jayakrishnan Nair - $26,000