By Simon Young

Poker is fast becoming a family affair. Yesterday PartyPoker had a husband-and-wife team playing the World Series of Poker Main Event – and today we have a mum joining her son for a shot at the biggest tournament on earth.

Mikael Thuritz is a pro player from Stockholm, Sweden, who has made more than $1 million in tournament cashes, including nearly $250,000 for his 41st spot in the Main Event two years ago, and a bumper $400,000 for second place at the London Open in 2005. While some parents might worry about the possible excesses of poker, Mikael’s proud mum Carina has decided to embrace it as well.


Carina Thuritz: Taking on her son at poker 

She started playing just a couple of years ago, and has now won a PartyPoker qualifier seat for the Main Event for the princely sum of just $3. While Mikael lives the life of a pro in Los Angeles, Carina still lives in Stockholm.

“I ran a jewellery shop and then sold it a year ago. Since then I’ve been enjoying a nice rest – and if I win this event I’ll be enjoying an even longer break,” she said. “Mikael has done very well for himself, and has been in Vegas for a month already. When he became serious with poker the whole family decided to play for fun as well – and we caught the bug.”

Is she nervous to be playing the Big One, and possibly coming up against her son who also plays today? Not a bit of it. “No, I’m not nervous. After all, I did not have to pay $10,000 to play here, just the $3 on PartyPoker. But I do want to get into the money.”

We’ll keep an eye on Carina today – and wonder what will happen if she ends up on the same table as Mikael.

As for yesterday’s married PartyPoker couple – Sylvia and Stefan Sulek – from Austria – there will be no great prize. Stefan was unlucky when his flopped straight was overtaken on the river by a flush, while Sylvia put up a tremendous fight on a tough table that included Swedish pro William Thorson and Olga Varkonyi, wife of 2002 Main Event winner Robert Varkonyi.

Of yesterday’s Day 1B PartyPoker players, we know that Finland’s pro Mika Paasonen got through with 14,775 chips, as did Marc Mcloghlin, a chef from Limerick, Ireland, with a healthy 41,050.  We’ll try and update results from all yesterday’s players soon.


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