WSOP Finalist Jorryt Van Hoof is Phil Hellmuth’s Type of Guy

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Thomas Somach
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WSOP Finalist Jorryt Van Hoof is Phil Hellmuth’s Type of Guy

The Dutch are known for many things, but playing poker isn't one of them.

Growing tulips, building windmills and wearing wooden shoes--those are the activities people from the Netherlands are associated with.

But that all may be about to change.

That's because when the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event resumes in November at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas with the start of final table play, the chip-leader at the table and odds-on favorite to win it all will be a 31-year-old Dutchman named Jorryt van Hoof, with more than 38 million chips at his disposal.

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The Dutch long ago made their mark on America when they founded New York City, then called New Amsterdam.

Now another Dutchman is poised to make his mark on America, this time in Las Vegas as a member of the "November Nine" at professional poker's premiere event.

Gambling 911 last week caught up with the dynamic Dutchman and asked him, among other things, what it's like to be a member of the "November Nine" and how he is preparing for the resumption of the WSOP Main Event. Here is a transcript of that interview:

Gambling 911: What has been the reaction from friends, relatives, co-­workers and others to your making the final table of the 2014 WSOP? And have you heard from people you don't know or haven't heard from in a long time?

Jorryt van Hoof: The reaction has been great, and from so many people! My family and a lot of good friends had been following me the last few days of play and when I made it to the November Nine, my phone's battery died pretty quickly because of all the messages I received. At least 50 family and friends will be flying over to root for me in November, so it is going be an awesome time!

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G9: Did you meet any celebrities or top pros at the recent WSOP, and if so, who?

JV: Phil Hellmuth came up to me on Day 6 to say hi. It was quite funny, as he told me I was going to make it really far.

G9: Have you gotten any sponsorship or endorsement deals since you made the November Nine, and if so, with who?

JV: I’m still talking to different parties.

G9: How are you preparing for the resumption of the tournament? Are you studying the tendencies and nuances of your November Nine opponents, or are you just doing your best to improve your own game and not worry about the opposition?

JV: A bit of both. There’s definitely room for improvement in my tournament game, so I’m working on that. For obvious reasons I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I can say that I stopped playing pot-limit Omaha cash games and switched over to playing tournaments mostly. I also got some practice in playing at the Barcelona EPT and Super-High Roller tournaments.

G9: Which November Nine opponent or opponents do you see as your main competition for the title?

JV: I think overall the table looks pretty strong. If I had to go for someone in particular, I would go for Felix Stephenson. I have played Felix a bunch over the years and know he’s a strong player. He also has the most chips after me. Martin Jacobson has got less chips but the best results, so he’s someone to watch out for as well.

G9: Do you think you're going to win the WSOP Main Event title? Assess your chances.

JV: I just try to focus on making good decisions and if I win that’s great, but it’s not something I am focusing on. My focus goes to playing well. I’ve got the chip lead and like my position at the table, but at the same time there’s strong competition and it’s poker, so anything can happen. But what ever happens I’m grateful for the whole experience. It’s been awesome.

G9: What other forms of gambling do you enjoy? Do you like to bet on sports?

JV: I sometimes gamble on random things with friends, like credit card roulette for the restaurant bill. I don’t gamble at casino games or sports.

G9: ­What are some of your other hobbies or pastimes you enjoy in addition to poker?

JV: I own two small businesses on the side. One is a poker website,, and the other is a facilitating platform between personal trainers and people looking for a trainer, called I also enjoy yoga, traveling, good restaurants, a nice show, reading books and watching a good movie.

G9: Please give us some basic biographical information, such as occupation, where born and went to school, family, etc.

JV: I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I've owned businesses since I was 16.  I was born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. I studied a bit of business engineering in college but dropped out since I didn’t like the classes and had other priorities set.

G9: Can you tell us something about yourself that you would like your fans to know but that you've never been asked about?

JV: I’m into quantified self. Quantified self is about using technology to acquire data on all aspects of a person’s daily life. Things such as logging the hours and quality of sleep, steps tracking and getting your blood tested. A person could then use that data to optimize performance and improve health, for example.

(This is the latest in a series of interviews with the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table members--the so-called "November Nine." Interviews with other "November Nine" members will run periodically until the WSOP Main Event resumes. Previous "November Nine" interviews can be accessed via the THOMAS SOMACH link on the left side of the home page.)

By Tom Somach Staff Writer