A seasoned professional with over $1 million in live cashes, Vojtech Ruzicka of the Czech Republic will be a force to be reckoned with in this year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. While he sits relatively low in chip count (sixth place), his previous 17 WSOP cashes prove he can hold his own in a high-pressure situation. And there is no brighter spotlight in the poker world than the Main Event final table and its $8 million first-prize, a fact that Ruzicka tacitly acknowledged in an interview with PokerNews: “My heart was going to explode during that tournament,” he said of the competition so far.
His anxiety was well founded; he bounced around in chip count throughout his tournament run but ultimately snagged a seat at the final table, which begins on Oct. 30.
“The first few days were pretty good for me … Day Four was good – crucial for me,” he said in the same interview. “I had a crazy Day Six when, in the last hour, I had knocked out two players … Day Seven was not very good for me but I’m [at the final table] which is awesome.”
A self-described “boring” professional poker player, Ruzicka is the first Czech player to make the final table since 2011 when Martin Staszko scored the runner-up spot. Ruzicka hopes he will be able to honor the contribution Staszko made to poker in the Czech Republic and make his country proud.
“The Czech Republic is not the United States and it sounded weird if you said you were playing poker,” Ruzicka told Poker Listings. “But after Martin Staszko made the final table it changed a bit; he got a space in the public eye … I feel a responsibility because this can definitely help how society sees poker players.”
When the final table starts, Ruzicka will be sit in seat two with 27,300,000 in chips. He’ll be just to the left of former video game pro Griffin Benger.
Ruzicka says he can expect to be seen cruising the European Poker Tour the next few months, keeping his mind sharp.
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(Photo credit: Vojtěch Růžička, Twitter)
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