Interview: Dag Martin Mikkelsen
Hometown: Stavanger, Norway
Largest Score: $440,000 in the $2 million guaranteed at Titan Poker
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Best Known For: Making a Royal Flush in the 2007 WSOP which later appeared on ESPN.
Dag Martin Mikkelsen burst onto the poker scene in 2007 when he held the chip lead deep in the WSOP Main Event at the age of 21. Mikkelsen has cashed in that tournament both chances he's had to play it and has also won the $2,000,000 guaranteed event on the iPoker network. This week he spoke with us about his life as a poker player.
PokerTips.org: How long have you been playing poker and what got you started?
Mikkelsen: I've played for almost five years now. I've always enjoyed 5 card draw with my friends, but didn't discover hold'em until I had just turned 18. Spent 6 months reading and studying the game before I started winning.
PokerTips.org: What are a couple things you most attribute to helping you hone your poker skills?
Mikkelsen: I got to know a few good players and were able to talk to and learn from them. I read some books, but not many, and they were mostly bad.
PokerTips.org: You've cashed in the WSOP Main Event each of the last two years. What type of in-the-money rate do you think you could sustain in that tournament if pretend that the field's skill level will never change?
Mikkelsen: In online tournaments I sustain about a 16-18% in-the-money rate. For WSOP, I think I might be able to do somewhere between 20-25%. The structure is very good.
PokerTips.org: What's your plan for Vegas this summer?
Mikkelsen: Nothing special. Only staying about two weeks around the Main Event. Last year, we stayed six weeks and tried to play a lot of cash games. Unfortunately that didn't go very well and I grew tired of Vegas.
PokerTips.org: What's the stupidest gamble you've ever made?
Mikkelsen: I don't like to gamble, but I'm a bit of a fish on the golf course. Luckily we don't play for big stakes.
PokerTips.org: How is your focus distributed between cash games and tournaments?
Mikkelsen: I hardly ever play cash games online. I just don't enjoy it. I might play some live cash games when I'm out traveling, like $2-$5 up to $25-$50.
PokerTips.org: What would you say the correlation is between the amount of money you've had in your life and the amount of girls you've had in your life? Is it direct? Inverse? Or is there no correlation at all?
Mikkelsen: No correlation in my opinion. I just charm them with my good looks.
PokerTips.org: What are the main attributes that you feel give you a special advantage over other players?
Mikkelsen: Not letting my ego affect my decisions. I have no need to play high stakes or beat the best players in the world.
PokerTips.org: American players are noted for blowing their winnings in strip clubs. How do Norwegian players blow their winnings? Are there strip clubs in Norway?
Mikkelsen: I know a lot of players have trouble with betting on sports. I don't do that at all. For me it's clothes and electronics. I haven't seen any strip clubs in Norway, but I think there might be some.
PokerTips.org: Who are some fellow poker players that you respect the most?
Mikkelsen: Moorman1, stevie444 and busto_soon are all extremely good players who put in way more hours than I could ever do.
PokerTips.org: Do you have a nickname? If not, might I suggest "D double M", "D M squared", or "DM2" all have good potential.
Mikkelsen: I'm "dmmikkel" on most sites. Some just call me "DM".
PokerTips.org: Where do you envision yourself in five to ten years? Is poker something you could see yourself focusing on for a very long time?
Mikkelsen: Right now, poker is merely a way of making money. Hopefully in five to ten years I've found something else, but I'll probably play a little poker as well. =)
PokerTips.org: Finally, for our readers anxious to achieve your level of success, what is the Dag Martin Mikkelsen Protip of the Day?
Mikkelsen: Plan your playing and don't play too much. Get out and work out. :)