World Series of Poker Europe

2012 World Series of Poker Rookie Roundup Recap: $857,231 in Cashes and a Bracelet

Viktor "Isildur1" Blom

The 2012 World Series of Poker is on hiatus until the final table of the Main Event begins again in October, and since none of our Rookie Roundup selections are among the final nine, we thought it would be a good time to look back at our annual series of predictions.

In 2010, our Rookie Roundup roster, traditionally compiled by members of Team PokerNews, proved to be tremendously successful. We picked two players who went on to win bracelets.

Unfortunately, our 2011 selections weren’t nearly as successful. Of the eight selections that year, two failed to notch a single cash, and the other six accounted for two finals tables, ten cashes, and $381,278 in winnings. Luckily, we were able to recoup some credibility this year because our seven picks amassed $857,231 in winnings and a bracelet, though we admit Dominik Nitsche saved us right at the end with his win in Event #59 $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em.

Here is a look at our Rookie Roundup selections and how well they performed at the 2012 WSOP (click on their names for original prediction):

Dominik Nitsche — Four cashes for $670,327

  • Event #9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry, 230th ($3,584)
  • Event #41: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em, 116th ($6,470)
  • Event #49 $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em, 44th ($5,476)
  • Event #59 $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em, 1st ($654,797)

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom — Two cashes for $107,941

  • Event #16: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em/Six-Handed, 151st ($2,706)
  • Event #45: $50,000 Poker Players Championship, 14th ($105,235)

Harrison Gimbel — Three cashes for $78,963

  • Event #19 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, 108th ($3,729)
  • Event #38, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, 218th ($3,079)
  • Event #49 $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em, 4th ($72,155)

John Riordan — Zero cashes

  • No cashes

James Obst—Zero cashes

  • No cashes

Oliver Speidel — Zero cashes

  • No cashes

Ami Barer — Zero cashes

  • No cashes

First and foremost, let’s address the elephant in the room — four of the seven didn’t even cash. It seems inevitable that at least a couple of players don’t cash, but more than half the selections failing to do so was certainly a surprise. We knew going in that the 2012 Aussie Million champ, Olivier Speidel, might not be playing many events. He told us that he may only play the Main Event because of the heavy tax on Australians.

Indeed, Speidel did play the Main, but he didn’t do much. Likewise, neither Ami Barer nor James Obst showed, and John Riordan finished empty handed.

Team PokerStars Pro Viktor “Isildur1” Blom gave up playing on the virtual felt for the summer to test his skills on poker’s biggest stage.

Blom’s appearance at the WSOP did not go unnoticed. He made several deep runs and scored an early cash by finishing in 151st place in Event #16: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em/Six-Handed for a modest $2,706. A few weeks later, Blom entered Event #45: $50,000 Poker Players Championship, much to the amusement of his fellow high-stakes pros. You see, Blom was a no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha star online, and, admittedly, he was inexperienced with mixed games. His innocence and naivety made for some comical moments, but as the tournament progressed, Blom silenced his critics and naysayers by making a deep run. He was one of only 16 players to cash, ultimately finishing in 14th place for $105,235.

Another player who had moderate success was Harrison Gimbel, winner of the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $2.2 million. The Floridian had a great deal of success in his home state and in the Bahamas where you only need to be 18 to play, but he wasn’t able to test himself against the game’s best until this summer.

ALthough he didn’t accomplish his goal of winning a bracelet, Gimbel did manage three cashes for $78,963, all in no-limit hold’em tournaments. His best finish came in Event #49: $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em, which was the very first time an ante-only tournament had been held at the WSOP, when he made the final table and eventually placed fourth for $72,155

Of our seven predications, Nitsche panned out the best by finding gold in Event #59: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $654,797. What’s more, the German did so in spectacular fashion by dominating the final 51 on Day 3; so much so, that the tournament finished a day ahead of scheduled — something unheard of at the WSOP. Read all about Nitsche’s dominance in our event recap.

Although our predictions didn’t match up to those of two years ago, we did much better than last year. We’re hoping to keep that ball rolling going into the 2013 WSOP, so we’ll be scouring the world for poker’s best players who’ll be making their first trip to Las Vegas next summer.

PokerNews’ Rookie Roundup Track Record

YearBraceletsCashesWinningsMain Event Cashes

Are there any rookies you were surprised by during this year's WSOP? If so, be sure to use the comments section below to tell us why; in the meantime, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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