Philipp Gruissem wins another Super High Roller
With Philipp Gruissem’s victory in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Alha8 tournament in London it’s pretty safe to say that $100k buy-in Super-High-Roller tournaments are the domain of German poker players, and Gruissem has been particularly successful in High Roller tournaments.
The Alpha8 London win marks Gruissem’s third High Roller victory since 2011, and his tenth six-figure cash in a high-roller/super-high-roller tournament in that same time period. But Gruissem isn’t the only German that has excelled in these high buy-in, small field, tournaments, as his fellow countrymen Max Altergott, Tobias Reinkemeier, Martin Finger, Benny Spindler, Nicklas Heinecker, and Fabian Quoss have all performed well in Super-High-Roller tournaments over the years.
Is Phillip Gruissem the High-Roller King?
Normally I’d meticulously layout my case for Gruissem, but in this instance I’m just going to let Gruissem’s results in tournaments with buy-ins over $10,000 speak for themselves:
* 1st place in the 2013 WPT Alpha8 London £100k Super-High-Roller — $1,379,840
* 1st place in the 2013 WSOP APAC $50k High Roller — $863,386
* 1st place in the 2011 EPT £20k High Roller Event — $703,657
* 10th place in the 2012 $258k Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller — $587,778
* 3rd place in 2012 EPT Grand Final €25k High Roller — $483,213
* 5th place in the 2013 PCA $98k Super-High-Roller — $400,700
* 4th place in the 2012 WSOPE €50k Majestic Roller — $358,778
* 3rd place in the 2013 WSOPE €25k High Roller — $337,915
* 3rd place in the 2013 Macau HK$250k NLHE – Warm Up — $221,427
* 2nd place in the 2013 Aussie Millions $25k Challenge — $197,416
*Philipp Gruissem’s tournament results from www.thehendonmob.com
The WPT Alpha8 London Results
The tournament attracted just 18 entrants (the total number of entries was boosted to 20 as two players reentered on Day 1), a disappointing number considering the recent success of high-roller events in London. With just 18 unique entrants the tournament paid just four spots, two of which were occupied by German players:
1. Philipp Gruissem — £862,400
2. Scott Seiver — £509,600
3. Tobias Reinkemeier — £352,800
4. Igor Kurganov — £235,200
*WPT Alpha8 London results from www.theworldpokertour.com
Why is the Alpha8 Struggling?
With the surge in popularity of $100k buy-in tournaments, the premise for the WPT Alpha8 tour seems pretty sound, but thus far the two stops have failed to attract anything remotely resembling a solid field. Making matters worse, the first two stops were in poker hotspots (in Florida for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open and in London), while the next two stops (in St. Kitts and Johannesburg, South Africa) might as well be played atop Mount Everest, as neither location is known for poker and do not coincide with a major tournament series.
One of the biggest issues also seems like one of the easiest to fix; the structure. The Alpha8 tour is asking people to part with $100,000 to play in a fairly fast-structured tournament –Alpha8 tournaments last only two days.
The fast structure is one reason Daniel Negreanu has no interest in participating, and I’m sure there are at least a handful of others that feel the same. And when you are talking about a Super-High-Roller tournament, five or six players is A LOT!
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