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Aug 04, 2014

Gaming Store Owner Jorryt Van Hoof leads 2014 November Nine

By RTR Dennis

Jorryt Van Hoof

Jorryt Van HoofThe card game Magic: The Gathering has already produced some very notable poker players, including 3-time WSOP champ Brock Parker, Justin Bonomo and David Williams. Now Jorryt van Hoof looks to follow in the long line of Magic-to-poker players.

The Dutch pro leads the 2014 November Nine with 38,375,000 chips, which puts him in the best possible position to win the $10 million top prize. Assuming van Hoof can hang on to his chip lead and take down the WSOP Main Event, which is no small task, it would make his interesting background story all the more impressive. That said, let's discuss how the 31-year-old got started in poker and what he loves so much about the game.

Van Hoof was introduced to Poker by his customers

Long before he made a living out of live and online poker games, van Hoof owned a gaming shop. And as he explains, his store drew a large amount of Magic players. "It was a physical store with a lot of players in it all the time, and people started playing poker in the gaming store," he recalled. "And I just sat with them one time and played some poker, I probably got really lucky. Started to play more and more - I started playing fifty euro tournaments in the Dutch casino."

After continuing his good fortune, van Hoof began focusing on poker full-time. And if there's one thing that he enjoys about the game, it's freedom. "The freedom that you get from being a poker player is really awesome," he explained. "I think it's basically the main reason why I chose to stick with poker." He added that being able to make his own hours and travel are huge benefits to being a poker pro.

Van Hoof's thoughts on making the November Nine...

While van Hoof has proven that he's already a skilled pro with lots of winnings both online and live, he knows that it takes some luck to make the November Nine. "I'm super thankful to be here, and obviously I've gotten really lucky, and besides that the last year I've made a lot of progress as a poker player," he explained. "Especially my focus and stamina has really grown, and that's what you need to sit down for 10 hours straight, seven days a week."

Following in Michiel Brummelhuis' footsteps

Last year, Dutchman Michiel Brummelhuis had a fantastic run in the WSOP Main Event, finishing seventh place and earning $1,225,356. And van Hoof is definitely happy to be following him by appearing on the final table of the 2014 Main Event. "It's a pretty bizarre experience seeing somebody you know, a friend, on TV - it's really pretty cool," van Hoof said. "Now I'm here, basically sitting in his spot the year after. I'm just feeling really lucky and happy and super excited."

Seeing as how he has the chip lead, there's a very good chance that van Hoof will outdo Brummelhuis' performance...maybe he'll even become the first Dutch WSOP Main Event champion.