Take a look at the winner’s mug shot on the front of the WPT Live Updates as it tells a story of how close the modern poker community is these days.
Philipp Gruissem is being held aloft by Max Altergott, and he is joined in celebration by Jason Koon, Timothy Adams, Steve Silverman, Tobias Reinkemeier, Igor Kurganov and Scott Seiver; all of whom were trying desperately to dethrone him only moments earlier.
If any of those players want to win the next WPT Alpha8 event in Johannesburg in February then they should have dropped Gruissem on his head, because on this form can you really see anyone else taking the title?
Gruissem defeated the Englishman Tom McDonald in heads up action to capture the $1,086,400 first prize just a few weeks after capturing the $1,385,273 first prize at the Alpha8 event in London.
That win takes Gruissem’s lifetime earnings close to $7m and almost all of it has come in the High Roller format of the game.
Here is a brief recap of the most exciting moments on the final day of action:
Unusually for a WPT event the final day started with 16-players and Paul Newey was the first to be ousted by Jason Koon: AQ v 99 when an ace appeared on the turn. Tobias Reinkemeier was then beaten by Mike McDonald QQ v A5, and Timothy Adams eliminated Michael Singh when Singh moved all-in on 882 (2 diamonds) holding pocket nines and Adams called holding T9dd for the draw. The Qd hitting the river to hand Adams the flush.
Scott Seiver eliminated Max Altergott A2 v AJ when he hit a runner-runner wheel straight draw, and then Jason Koon took over. The muscleman picked off Jeff Gross TT v ATcc, Antonio Esfandiari KK v AT, and he then made it three on the spin when he took out Sorel Mizzi QQ v 55.
Steve Silverman became the final table bubble boy when Fabian Quoss eliminated him: 44 v A2cc when a four on the flop gave Quoss the chips.
Final TableSeat 1. Scott Seiver – 325,000 (54 bb) Seat 2. Isaac Haxton – 288,000 (48 bb) Seat 3. Tom McDonald – 660,000 (110 bb) Seat 4. Timothy Adams – 161,000 (26 bb) Seat 5. Philipp Gruissem – 274,000 (45 bb) Seat 6. Mike McDonald – 448,000 (74 bb) Seat 7. Fabian Quoss – 285,000 (47 bb) Seat 8. Jason Koon – 360,000 (60 bb)
Despite taking Silverman’s chips Quoss’s game was up in 8th when he got it in with the worst of it against Isaac Haxton: TT v JJ, and Haxton himself would bow out when he called an all-in from Mike McDonald on a low board holding Jacks only to see a set of sixes in the hand of Timex.
Timothy Adams was the last player not to see any money when he bubbled in 6th after his KQ ran into the AK of Mike McDonald; Scott Seiver would take $217, 280 for 5th when he ran into Philipp Gruissem’s full house; Jason Koon would have to make do with $298,760 after failing to hit with AK v 99 of Timex, and it would be the Canadian making way in 3rd for $434,560 when his pocket deuces couldn’t out flop the ace-seven of Tom McDonald when a seven hit the flop.
The heads-up encounter started with Tom McDonald holding 1,100,000 chips and Philipp Gruissem holding 1,691,000.
The German was the most experienced player of the two, but in the end it all boiled down to a piece of luck. The pair getting it in with McDonald the favorite to take a big advantage when his A6 came up against the A5 of the German, but a five on the flop sent McDonald out in second for $679,000 and Gruissem was being hoisted onto the shoulders of Max Altergott not long after.
The fourth WPT Alpha8 event will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa in February on Valentines Day.