For a relatively small country, Belgium has a history of refusing to be overlooked in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. For the second consecutive year, a Belgian has made it to the final table. This year, Kenny Hallaert hopes to be the one to bring the bracelet home to Brussels.
“I am feeling great at the moment. It’s an unbelievable experience. I’m not sure if I truly realize what has happened,” Hallaert told CalvinAyre.com when the final table was announced. “It’s only 16 hours after the final hand was dealt and it’s unbelievable. It’s a dream coming true.”
Throughout his career, the 34-year-old has amassed 22 WSOP cashes and over $1.3 million in tournament earnings – putting him ahead of most of the pack in big-money experiences. Prior to his November Nine run, his biggest cash came when he placed sixth at the European Poker Tour Deauville in 2011 for $210,962. He is fifth on Belgium’s all-time money list.
Hallaert stands fourth in chip count, not a bad standing for a man who does more poker management than actual live playing. Back in his home country, he runs the Belgian Poker Challenge (BPC), a two-stop tour that visits the Grand Casino de Namur and Spa. He is also the tournament director for the Unibet Open Copenhagen.
Not one to relax during his three-month break, Hallaert bested a field of 4,531 players just last week when “FCBSpacey,” his online persona, bagged $63,891 in partypoker’s $500,000 guaranteed Online Grand Prix.
“Biggest online score since a long time tonight,” he tweeted after his win.
And he has no plan to slow down.
“I know some players personally who have made the November Nine, and I will seek their advice,” he said of his strategy. “I might contact some poker players I consider very good to see if they could help improve my game and look to see if I have any leaks. I want to work hard on my game to ensure I am prepared as possible and make as few mistakes as possible. … Winning it would make me very happy, but won’t be disappointed if I finish ninth,” Hallaert said.
The final table begins on Oct. 30.
Other November Nine profiles:
Featured photo credit: Kenny Hallaert, Twitter.
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