'' Thomas Vedel Jensen | Online Poker | Interview | Denmark
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Thomas Vedel Jensen
Poker Manager, PokerNet.dk
Poker Player

Algarve, Portugal, April 2009
I got to know Thomas Vedel Jensen when I was working at Casino.dk and came up with the idea to start a VIP team on the forum. We were looking for poker players who wanted to become active members of the forum in return for a trip to Algarve, Portugal, with a €1500 buy-in entry fee. We had a great trip and became good friends and since catched up every time I was in Aarhus, Denmark.
I later hired Thomas Vedel to help me manage Coinflip.com and soon after he started to work part time for Texaspoker.dk as well working in both offices. I had a really good time working with Thomas and if you are ever in the mood for a good tale from ''the hood'' of one of Aarhus' blue-collar neighborhoods talk to Thomas. I bet he knows more funny stories and can battle anyone in funny nicknames any time.
Currently Thomas Vedel resides in Malta where he works for Texaspoker.dk as poker manager while he plays semiprofessional poker on the side. 
What has been the biggest change in online poker?
I think for me, the biggest change in online poker has to be how much the average online poker player has improved his skills over the last 2-3 years. Games used to be so easy to beat, that I could 16-table NL100 while watching TV on the side, and still be beating the game - just clicking buttons. 
Nowadays, you really have to be focused when you're playing. Everybody out there - even at the lowest stakes - are thinking in hand ranges, 3betting, 4betting and it's just not enough anymore to be able to continuation bet a flop to be a winning player. 

The edge over your opponents nowadays comes more from being mentally prepared for your sessions and from playing your A-game more often than not.
When did you notice the games had changed?
I can't put my finger on a specific date or even month and say: "This was when I noticed the games got harder". But I recall I felt a big change after I took a 3 month break from poker because of a back injury in late 2009. I had pretty much spent most of my bankroll living it up, while I was on sick leave from my day job, and I needed to build a bankroll for myself again. It was much more hard work at the lower stakes, than I imagined. 

I used to be a NL100 grinder, with a bankroll who could easily handle NL200-NL400, but since I spent a lot of it just making a living basically, I thought I was going to start building from "scratch" at NL50. I imagined I would be back on track playing NL100 or NL200 in about a month or two, but I hadn't played NL50 for a long time at that point, and I underestimated the competition. 

I remember I took quite a downswing, which obviously came at the worst time too, so I had to take it down a notch, and play NL30 for a while, because that was all my bankroll would allow me to. I didn't want to get staked or borrow money to play with - that's never been my style. I wanted to prove to myself, that I could still beat the lower stakes, but I must admit the competition was tougher than I thought it would be.
At that point I knew the games had gotten a lot tougher and I was hoping I would still be able to beat NL100 once I made my come back. I did about 6 months later, and I can still handle my own at these stakes. I still play a mix of NL50-N100 this day today.
Has something changed for the better?
There are fewer shady sites out there, ready to scam the players out of their hard earned cash, which is definitely a good thing. When poker had its online boom in 2004, things were moving so fast, that new poker sites shot up on every street corner. Amongst those were a lot of shady sites, which couldn't be trusted for various reasons. Today there are a lot less stories on the poker forums about people getting their accounts hacked, frozen for no reason or the site simply claiming bankruptcy, and the players money disappearing into the blue sky. 

If something changed for the better, I would have to say money security for the players. Go for one of the larger trustworthy sites, and you should be ok. Go for a shady Romanian poker site no-one ever heard of, and you're asking for it in my opinion.
Mr. Thomas Vedel Jensen
Here seen at my birthday party in Malta in 2010 only two months before I moved back to Denmark. Simon in the middle and the two of us always had a good time at work and occasinally had a massive feast at MacDonals on sunny Friday afternoons sharing legendary tales from Aarhus' ''underworld''.
Malta, October 2010
What do you expect will happen in online poker the coming years?
I read some of the interviews you did with the other guys on here and some of them were somewhat skeptical about the future of online poker.

Let me be one of those who think online poker is heading towards a brighter future - at least in some areas.

Those of us who are still active players, notice that more and more players from Asia is joining the tables and I know that PokerStars has seen a rise in traffic from some of the South American countries. Once the US market opens again, and it will soon enough, I think that if Europeans, South Americans, Asians and North Americans are all able to play on the same sites and networks, there will be great games available for everyone at all times.

Online poker had an explosive start in 2004, and I think it needed to be regulated in some way or another. Now that all that is happening slowly all across the globe, I think we'll see a healthy growth in players numbers again. Poker is still a household game, poker is still fun to the common man. I'm not afraid the games will dry up. I'm confident that poker is finding its place, and that it will have its place alongside casino and sports betting, which I'm sure we can all agree will never be completely wiped off the map.