Espen “sh4wshank” Sørlie Discusses Chopping FTOPS ME, Sunday Million the Same Night

By Gareth Chantler Posted at 5:59 am on 21 August 2014

Espen Sørlie, who plays on Full Tilt as “sh4wshank” pulled off a rare feat Sunday, chopping both the FTOPS Main Event and the Sunday Million [click through for replay], two of online poker’s most coveted (and lucrative) titles. The Norwegian tournament pro moved to Canada a few years ago, where he has thrived on and off the tables.

Sørlie generously answered a few questions for the Full Tilt Blog following the scores.

How many tables were you playing as things got deep? I see you had another score on Full Tilt for $5k that same night.

I had two other final tables until there was about fifty left in each of the majors.

So I was 2-tabling and focusing hard on the majors for around four hours or so after that. My 5k score came at a more hectic point of the Sunday for sure. That was the Full Tilt $50 Half-turbo with multiple starting days.


Sørlie cashed for over $300,000 Sunday

You had final tabled the Sunday Million before. Can you talk about the concentration needed to get through such large fields?

You have to be extremely lucky. The first 10 hours or so I will have many other tables to focus on at the same time, so I don’t get to pay too much attention to dynamics and the players at my table. But when it comes down to it, it is nice to hopefully have some good stacks on just a few tables, so you can maximize your expected value in those when it matters more.

It takes some getting used to playing long sessions, but that has never really been a problem for me. In fact, I have put up multiple, grueling 36-hour sessions before.

I can’t say I recommend doing that, I was a total wreck after those.

Which tournament did you chop first? Did chopping the first affect your deal-making in the second?

I chopped the Sunday Million heads-up when I was the chip-leader in the FTOPS with 9 left. I don’t think it really affected my deal-making as I think all the players left at that point were all pretty good.

I knew in both tournaments which point I wanted to chop and it worked out well.

The funny thing is that in the Sunday Million €urop€an actually used the fact that I was at the other final as leverage. He said that he’d have a small edge since I had to focus on both the heads-up and a different huge final at the same time. He made a pretty good point, so he got slightly the better part of that chop. I didn’t mind though, he is a really good player and ended up beating me anyways.

The FTOPS chop was just a straight, fair ICM chop with 30k left to play for (23k for 1st and 7k for 2nd).

Three-handed in the FTOPS LuisFigo1014 ran a huge bluff against ponyo88 with dry nines on a four spade board (Qs-Js-T-8s-Xs). ponyo88 had flopped the nuts. Do you think LuisFigo1014 makes the same bluff if a deal had not been reached?

I didn’t think it was a particularly good bluff at the time. LuisFigo1014 rivered a straight so he did not have to turn his hand into a bluff at that point.

The fact that ponyo88 had both the ace of spades and the nine of spades makes it quite likely it is a bluff, as I don’t think he will value-shove for that much with worse than the ace-high flush or the straight flush (T9ss). I am not sure if he would do it before the deal was done. He seemed pretty crazy in general, but people do loosen up a lot after dealing, even though we were still playing for a 23k first place and a 7k second place.

Espen Sørlie and son

Sørlie and Son on Syttende Mai

How have you adjusted since moving to Canada?

Firstly, I find the climate very similar. It is a bit more of a difference in Canada between winter and summer, plus there are way more thunderstorms over here. The language has been easy enough to adjust to. People generally are very helpful and understanding if there’s anything I have a problem explaining.

A big difference I noticed right away though is random small talk. Here in Canada people will just walk up to you and start chatting about weather or anything really just in random places like in the elevator or on the bus, even if they have never met the person before. It is not something I’m used to from Norway, where that happens very rarely or never.

Prices in Canada are a lot lower than Norway in general. Wages are also lower, but as a poker player online I make the same amount no matter where I live.

We wanted a good timezone and a place where English is the main language. Now I am married here and in the process of getting permanent residency, so you can say things took a quick turn :).

Do you come back for Syttende Mai? [Norway’s Constitution Day, May 17th]

I have been in Canada the last two Syttende Mai celebrations, which is a bit sad especially since my family lives in Eidsvoll, where the constitution was written. So it makes it extra special to be there then. I do however try to come to Norway at least once or twice a year to visit friends and family.

Any celebration plans?

I have recently moved to Barrie, Ontario, but I have many friends in the area (mostly Toronto). So there will be lots of partying for sure.

Barrie has a beach, and mountains close by and I really like it a lot so far.

Gareth Chantler,

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