Dick van Luijk was the first player to hit the million-chip mark here in the 2013 WSOP Main Event. The Belgian player surged late in Level 12 and went to dinner with a huge lead over the rest of the field. Before he could sneak away, we caught up with him to discuss and his success and why he showed up late to register on Day 1.
What is your background in poker?
I just started playing poker about five years ago when I bought a house here in Las Vegas. I then started to play online tournaments and sometimes in the casinos. I once even qualified for a tournament in the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. I have played in the WSOP twice before but I never have gone further than Day 1. It’s funny because I have put in so little hours this year playing poker but I think it’s going well.
Can you take us through your experience on Day 1, Day 2, and now Day 3?
It was last minute that I decided to enter the tournament because I was supposed to go to a wedding. I figured that I would never get past Day 1 so I thought that I might as well play. My wife was very upset that I didn’t make the wedding but she is very excited that I am playing and doing well. So I entered the Main Event in the third level because I looked for other tournaments but there wasn’t any running so I decided to play the Main. I ended up with almost 150,000 for that first day.
In the second day I ended with about 430,000. Today was going up and down between 400,000 and 500,000 but then I won a very big pot of about 300,000. That is what pushed me to the top.
Your initial thoughts were that you wouldn’t get past Day 1. At this point what are you hoping to achieve?
I look at it from day to day. I don’t actually know what the schedule is or how many days this tournament is. I understand there is a resting day, though and I am curious as to when that is. This is a lot of poker at one time. It is fun but it is long hours. I am surprised I’ve even got this far but I’m really excited and it is lots of fun.
You became the first player in the tournament to reach the million-chip mark. What are your thoughts on that achievement?
Well it really surprised me to hear that. It’s just for the moment in time. Anything can happen and that can change. There is no guarantee that my success will continue; although it is possible it is never certain.
Is there any player that you are perhaps having difficulty playing against?
Oh yes. There are two players that I don’t like playing against. I don’t know their names but I think they are professional players. They are very aggressive and very hard to tell what they are thinking. It seems as though I lose every pot against them. Although I have a good hand I lose the pot. So I will try to stay away from playing against them. They are very tough and very good.