Image courtesy of PokerGO.com
Espen Jorstad has been chatting with PokerNews about adjusting to life as the reigning Main Event champ and what he has planned for this summer. Only a year ago, the Norwegian hadn’t even earned $200,000 from live events, but now he has an eight-figure account!
Wins of more than $10 million aren’t commonplace and it would be easy to see how a pile of cash this size coupled with the fame this victory brings could corrupt a player’s ego. Not Espen Jorstad though, because he tells how he feels like just the same guy as before.
"I just still see myself as the same guy. Nothing about me has changed."
"The whole concept of Main Event champions being 'immortalised' isn't something I've spent a lot of time thinking about," admits Jorstad. "But it's still weird to me when I go to poker stops, or when I'm at the airport or in a restaurant, and someone comes up to me asking for a selfie. And I'm like, 'Why would you want to take a selfie with me?'
"I just still see myself as the same guy. Nothing about me has changed! I'm not saying that as a bad thing, I don't want to be someone else — I think I'm perfectly fine the way I am!"
Being Chosen to Join the WSOP Thrill TeamThe WSOP organisers recently chose a seven-player roster of players to join its new Thrill Team, celebrating a decade of its free-to-play social poker app. The seven are all big names in the poker world but Jorstad is the only WSOP Main Event winner chosen.
"After last summer, I guess you feel kind of connected to the WSOP brand immediately — I'm sure other players can relate to this. So, when someone got in touch when they were arranging the line-up, it immediately sounded like a pretty good fit."
"The line-up is really sick, and there are a lot of legends in this team. There's a good mix between old-school legends and new up-and-comers."
Patrik Antonius and Vanessa Selbst are two teammates Jorstad is looking forward to working with.
"He's been a big idol of mine ever since I first got into poker. By the time I had started playing, he was already crushing it, and he's been at the top pretty much forever."
"Vanessa as well — another old-school legend. Back when I was getting into poker, I watched so much poker content — from WSOP to WPT or High Stakes Poker — basically all the big TV shows, and Vanessa was there, and so was Patrik! Now I'm on the same team as both of them, which is really cool."
Landon Tice is another familiar face who Jorstad knows well and is tipping for future success.
"Landon is very hungry and seems like one to watch for the future, especially if he keeps going like he is now. I can see him being a regular on the high stakes scene in no time."
Getting Ready for the SummerAs the current Main Event champ, Espen Jorstad will be one of the guys we’ll all be watching out for, but it might not be as easy as last year.
"My headspace has been very low, and I feel like my poker game hasn't improved as much over the last six months as I would have liked it to. I feel like I've improved a lot over the last two or three years, but in the last six months, I just simply haven't had the headspace to keep on that steady grind as hard as I was doing before."
"So I'm kind of looking forward to getting back into that now. I had a lot of things that needed settling in terms of organising everything after the WSOP, and now I can really get back to focusing on the game and start looking ahead to this summer."
Unlike the 2022 series, though, Jorstad is going to be in Las Vegas for the duration, but he admits there is still plenty of grind in the lab to work through if he is to be confident enough to play in the big ones.
"I'm planning to go for the whole World Series this summer. I'm going at the very beginning and leaving at the very end. I was recently looking over the WSOP schedule trying to map out how much money I'm going to need in Vegas this summer. You know, deciding if I want to play the $250,000 or the $100,000."
"I figured if I want to play all the big stuff I'm going to need like $700,000-$800,000 just for my buy-ins. So, it will be a crazy summer if I want to play that full schedule — which would be cool! I just need to put in a lot of work to regain confidence until then."