German pro Dominik Nitsche bagged the largest prize up for grabs at the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOP-E), winning the €111,111 buy-in High Roller for One Drop for €3,487,463 in earnings.
Representing online poker room 888Poker as a sponsored ambassador, Nitsche defeated his German countryman Andreas Eiler heads-up to claim the title – and his fourth WSOP gold bracelet.
That moved the 27-year old Nitsche into a multiway tie at 25th place in the all-time bracelet chase – pulling him even with legends like Huckleberry Seed and Tom McEvoy, along with contemporaries George Danzer and Jeff Madsen.
Nitsche also extended his lead among German players – a particularly talented segment within the international circuit which includes phenoms like Fedor Holz, Christoph Vogelsang, and Ole Schemion among many others.
But to hear Nitsche tell it during his winner’s interview with WSOP.com, beating the best players in the world provided more satisfaction than the latest bracelet:
“It’s not about the bracelets for me, mostly. It’s about playing really well. I’m more proud of how I played rather than that I won.
The bracelets are nice, but the bracelets show me that my hard work pays off.
I’m not the kind of guy to go trophy chasing. I’m more the kind of guy to play in a high roller because I love competing against the best.”
He certainly did just that, topping a final table loaded with world-class talent from top to bottom.
In addition to Elier, the juggernaut German contingent was represented by Stephen Sontheimer and Vogelsang, who finished in fifth- and sixth-place, respectively. German-born Thomas Muehloecker finished in fourth place, while Koray Aldemir (11th), Jan Schwippert (14th), Christopher Frank (15th), and Daniel Pidun (20th) all made deep runs representing Germany on European poker’s biggest stage.
The prestigious high-roller tournament attracted 132 entries in total, with 88 unique entries and 44 reentries making up the field. Bracelet-winning stars like Phil Hellmuth, Gus Hansen, Bertrand Grospellier, Liv Boeree, John Racener, Adrian Mateos, and Bryn Kenney were among the stars to take their shot throughout the three-day event – but none managed to play their way to the final 10 when Day 2 concluded.
As the pivotal third day of play began, Vogelsang held a massive chip lead, holding more than 63 million chips to Eiler’s 30-million stack, while Nitsche lurked in fifth on the leaderboard at just under 29 million.
After the elimination of Charlie Carrell in ninth place, the official eight-handed final table lineup was set, and from that point forward Nitsche simply dominated his competition. In the first 13 hands of final table play, he picked up 7-7 and flopped a set, before holding 10-10, J-J, and K-K to win three pots in four deals.
Nitsche then proceeded to eliminate Martin Kabrhel in eighth place, catching a flush on the river with K-10 of diamonds to crack A-K in a preflop all-in, to give himself a commanding chip lead which he never relinquished.
As Nitsche told WSOP.com, his preparation ahead of the WSOP-E series made the big win – which more than quintupled his previous career high – possible:
“A lot of time recently that I put into playing was heads-up cash games, specifically. So I felt extremely comfortable all the way through. Maybe a little bit three-handed was not the strongest part of my game, and [third-place finisher] Mikita [Badziakouski] is one of the best in the world at that, so I wasn’t the strongest player there.
But I felt as good a player as Andreas Eiler, who played fantastic. I felt like was the strongest player at this point.
And I felt like I made no mistakes at all. I think I played perfect. There was no bet size, no fold, anything that I would change in hindsight. That’s why I’m happy.”
The 88 unique entries each sent €11,111 apiece, for €977,768 in total contributions, to the One Drop charity – which specializes in sourcing clean water throughout the developing world.
See below for a full rundown of final table results:
WSOP-E €111,111 High Roller for One Drop Final Table Results
PLACE PLAYER (NATION) PRIZE
1st Dominik Nitsche (Germany) €3,487,463
2nd Andreas Eiler (Germany) €2,155,418
3rd Mikita Badziakouski (Belarus) €1,521,312
4th Thomas Muehloecker (Austria) €1,096,206
5th Steffen Sontheimer (Germany) €806,758
6th Christoph Vogelsang (Germany) €606,694
7th Ahadpur Khangah (Iran) €466,421
8th Martin Kabrhel (Czech Republic) €366,762