Is Germany Live Tournament Poker’s New Super Power?

The world of live poker has its new super power. It has not been on rare occasion over the past several years that German poker pros have been dominating action at poker tables. And they have been particularly successful in high roller tournaments around the world.

Some of the highest buy-in tournaments have lately been taken down namely by German players. It has been mere hours ago that Steffen Sontheimer was crowned the victor of the $100,000 buy-in Poker Masters Event #5 for $1.5 million. What is more, the player cashed in four of all five events (and won one more of them) that took place within the inaugural edition of the series to eventually capture the Purple Jacket.

There is one more important thing to take into account here – four of all six finalists in that same $100,000 tournament were from Germany, and they were all players we have been hearing a lot about as of lately. Three of those four players occupied the top three positions by the time the event was completed. Sontheimer took it down after facing his fellow countryman Christian Christner heads-up. And the heads-up duel was set after Fedor Holz, yet another German, was eliminated in third place.

For the poker nerds, the Poker Masters finale came as a reminiscence of a heads-up duel between the same two finalists from several months ago. Sontheimer squared off with Christner at Aria Casino back in May in a $100,000 Super High Roller event. Christner was eventually the player to emerge victorious back then. But Sontheimer took good revenge on his fellow countryman last night.

The Poker Masters was only the most recent manifestation of the growing trend of German players gradually establishing themselves as the rulers of the poker world. The above-mentioned Sontheimer, Christner, Holz, together with Rainer Kempe, Stefan Schillhabel, Christoph Vogelsang, and several more, represent an elite group of poker pros who can easily win German the reputation of poker’s new super power. And given their accomplishments from the past several years, this statement is by no means an exaggerated one. Here is why we believe in what we say and stand firmly behind our words.

Aria Super High Roller Bowl

Since 2015, when the high roller series was introduced, Aria Casino in Las Vegas has played host to three such festivals. And two of all three Super High Roller Bowls were taken down by German players. Rainer Kempe captured the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl title, emerging as the winner from a field of 49 other high roller specialists. The player won $5 million for his performance. Here it is particularly important to note that the event saw an all-German finale last year, with Fedor Holz playing heads-up against the eventual champion.

This summer, Christoph Vogelsang boosted his already impressive portfolio with a Super High Roller Bowl title and $6 million in prize money. The player almost face a fellow countryman heads-up, but it was eventually American poker pro Jake Schindler whom he played against for the title. However, Stefan Schillhabel also ran deep into the tournament, finishing third for $2.4 million.

Fedor Holz, the Player Who Took the High Roller World by Storm

Despite his young age – he is only 24 – Fedor Holz has accomplished so much that it almost seems surreal. Since 2012, when he scooped his first live tournament cash, the German poker pro has accumulated the amount of $23.9 million in live tournament earnings. In 2016 alone, Holz collected more than $16.4 million in winnings.

How a player does this, one would ask. By winning most of the major high roller tournaments to have taken place over the year. At least that was how Holz boosted his bankroll last year. The player took down tournaments in the Philippines, Las Vegas, Barcelona, and in different other parts of the world. His first-place in the 2016 WSOP High Roller for ONE DROP for more than $4.9 million in prize money has remained his best accomplishment so far.

Germany’s All-Time Money List

A quick look at the German section of HendonMob reveals a long-list of profitable players. With over $23.9 million, it is not a surprise that Holz is topping that list. However, there are five more players to have accumulated eight-figure earnings from live poker tournaments. And a better look at each of them would tell us that a great portion of their winnings have come from high roller tournaments.

Vogelsang’s Super High Roller Bowl triumph from this summer rocketed him into second position with over $14.2 million. Ole Schemion, who was particularly profitable in 2014, 2015, and 2016, ranks third with live tournament earnings of nearly $13.3 million. Tobias Reinkemeier with $11.1 million, Philipp Gruissem with $10.9 million, and Rainer Kempe with $10.5 million are the rest of the players to be comprising the list of eight-figure winners.

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