Marcel Luske
by Jason Kirk  

Marcel Luske - Source

Over the last five years Marcel Luske has been something like the Kevin Bacon is to the film world, the guy who's been at the final table with most of the poker best players in the world. Like Bacon, he's also known for his affinity for music, though it's much more intimidating to have Marcel singing to you at the poker table. Most American players who know of him are probably most familiar with his performance in the 2004 WSOP Main Event, when he bubbled out right before the final table. You can find this true gentleman of the game dressed in a sharp suit and wearing his sunglasses upside-down, more often than not while sitting at the final table with a chance to win it all.

The Flying Dutchman, as he's known, has compiled one of the most impressive lists of tournament results of any professional player in the world this decade, with cashes in many major tournaments throughout Europe and the Americas. No matter what the game is, if Marcel is in town he'll be playing. He's also well known for chatting with his fellow players and singing at the table. Behind the entertaining show he puts on, Marcel is getting information on his opponents he can use later. His knack for reading opponents is sometimes uncanny. Many times he appears to know exactly what his opponents are holding, and he acts very aggressively on the information he picks up through tells and betting patterns.

For many years Marcel was a feared cash game player in Europe, owning a club of his own in Amsterdam and playing pot-limit Omaha for the biggest stakes on that side of the Atlantic. He turned his attention exclusively to tournaments in 2001, and he's been the top-ranked tournament player in Europe twice since then. He next turned his sights on the World Series of Poker with the goal of being the best poker player in the world. He's certainly become known as one of the best: his list of tournament cashes is enormous, with over 80 notable finishes in seven-card stud, pot-limit Omaha, no-limit hold'em, and virtually every other game that's played in big tournaments today. While he hasn't won a bracelet yet, he placed 14th and 10th in consecutive Main Events that saw the largest fields in WSOP history, and he made the final three in two other preliminary WSOP tournaments. He's taken home enough cash to rank 77th on the all-time WSOP money list.

Like some other players on the tournament trail, Marcel has also gained a reputation as a mentor to students of the game. In 2004 he befriended young David Williams during the WSOP Main Event, lending support to the Texan as he fought through the rest of the final table to finish 2nd behind champion Greg Raymer. He's also been a big supporter of fellow Dutchman Noah Boeken, helping him to elevate his game to new heights and win an EPT event last season. He says that these relationships not only help the younger players, but keep his mind sharp as well. Marcel also serves as director of the IPF (International Poker Federation), an organization which aims to establish standardized rules and procedures as well as small, player-friendly poker festivals on the international tournament trail.

Only a handful of players in the world have been as successful as Marcel Luske since he first focused on tournaments, and even fewer are as well-liked as he is. He's a true asset to the poker community and without a doubt is one of the best ambassadors the game has today.

Marcel Luske's Official Site

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