German Domination: Gruissem Defeats Seiver to Win WPT Alpha8 £100K Event in London

Philipp Gruissem

Surprise, surprise. Another German poker superstar won a High Roller event on Tuesday.

Philipp Gruissem took down the £100,000 buy-in World Poker Tour Alpha8 event in London, earning £862,400 ($1,379,840) after two days of work at the luxurious Palm Beach on Mayfair. Gruissem outlasted fellow Germans Tobias Reinkemeier and Igor Kurganov, as well as high-stakes specialist Scott Seiver at the final table. Seiver finished second for £509,600 ($815,360) after a back-and-forth heads-up duel with Gruissem.

The Germans have dominated the high-stakes tournament scene here in 2013. In addition to his Alpha8 title on Tuesday, Gruissem emerged victorious in the A$50,000 High Roller event at the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific in April for A$825,000. Reinkemeier's third-place finish comes just three weeks after he finished runner-up in the £50,000 Super High Roller event at the European Poker Tour London, which was won by fellow German Martin Finger. Reinkemeier also finished second at the A$250,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions — an event that was won by Kurganov. Germans Fabian Quoss, Niklas Heinecker and Max Altergott have also found success in High Rollers during the year.

WPT Alpha8 London Results

1Philipp Gruissem£862,400 ($1,379,840)
2Scott Seiver£509,600 ($815,360)
3Tobias Reinkemeier£352,800 ($564,480)
4Igor Kurganov£235,200 ($376,320)

Day 2 began with 11 of the original 19 players still in contention for the title, but that number increased to 12 when jovial businessman Bill Perkins bought in before registration closed Tuesday morning. The 20 total entries created a prize pool of just under £2 million, and Perkins only had to evade 11 opponents to claim the win.

Unfortunately for Perkins, though, his run ended shy of the final table. After the eliminations of Steven Silverman (12th place), Talal Shakerchi (11th place), Perkins was sent to the rail by Viktor Blom when his three-bet shove with {a-}{6-} fell short against Blom's {a-}{k-}.

That set up the unofficial final table with Tony G leading the way. A short while after Perkins' exit, the final table bubble burst when a preflop raising war between Fabian Quoss and Richard Yong resulted in Quoss' elimination, albeit in brutal fashion. The German was all in with {k-Spades}{k-Hearts} against Yong's {7-Spades}{7-Clubs}, but the {7-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{6-Hearts} pushed Yong into the lead with his set of sevens. The {q-Clubs} turn and {j-Diamonds} river were no help to Quoss, and his exit secured the televised eight-handed final table.

1Richard Yong323,000
2Max Altergott119,500
3Tobias Reinkemeier100,000
4Tony G240,000
5Scott Seiver146,000
6Tobias Reinkemeier451,000
7Viktor Blom319,000
8Philipp Gruissem311,000

There were still four more spots to go into the money, though, with a top four finish guaranteeing at least £235,200. Viktor Blom plays cash-game pots bigger than that seemingly every day, so there was no question he was playing for first and nothing else. But the Swede's run ended in eighth after losing a flip to Seiver. According to the WPT Live Updates, a flurry of preflop activity saw Blom commit his stack with {a-Diamonds}{k-Hearts} against Seiver's {j-Spades}{j-Clubs}. The tension rose when a {k-Spades}{q-Spades}{10-Spades} gave Blom top pair and Seiver a royal flush draw! The PokerNews Odds Calculator shows us that Seiver was a 53% favorite to win the hand, but that percentage increased to 89% when the {a-Hearts} hit the turn, giving him a straight. Blom still had three outs to river a full house, but the {9-Spades} on the river gave Seiver a meaningless straight flush to leave Blom crippled. He was eliminated on the next hand by Gruissem.

Yong and Altergott were the next to go, setting up a £235,200 money bubble. In most cases, you'd see play slow down during a bubble of this magnitude. But most cases don't involve Tony G, who demonstrated his aggressiveness in a huge preflop battle with Gruissem and Seiver to exit in fifth place.

Gruissem opened with a min-raise to 16,000 from under the gun, and the action folded over to Tony G who three-bet all in for 121,009 from the button. Seiver then cold-called from the small blind, and after Reinkemeier folded his big blind, Gruissem re-shoved. Seiver tank-folded, and the cards went on their backs.

Tony G: {7-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}
Gruissem: {q-Hearts}{q-Spades}

Tony G needed help to stay alive, and he picked up some out to a straight on the {10-Clubs}{9-Spades}{8-Spades} flop. The turn was a jack, however, giving Gruissem a high straight and a lock on the hand. Tony G was looking for a queen to chop, but the river didn't help and he made his way to the rail.

German Domination: Gruissem Defeats Seiver to Win WPT Alpha8 £100K Event in London 101
Kurganov and Seiver (Photo c/o

The final four included three Germans and Seiver, who watched two of his opponents go to battle. Kurganov moved all in preflop with the {4-Clubs}{4-Hearts} and Reinkemeier called with the {a-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds}. The race was won by Reinkemeier as the board ran out {a-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{3-Spades}{8-Spades}, sending Kurganov out the door with £235,200.

Reinkemeier was unable to put those chips to good use. After Gruissem raised preflop with the {4-Spades}{4-Clubs}, Reinkemeier three-bet all in with the {a-Hearts}{3-Spades}, and Gruissem made the call. Reinkemeier was unable to improve on the {k-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{4-Hearts} board, and Gruissem advanced to heads-up play with a big lead over Seiver.

The two players exchanged the chip lead multiple times before Gruissem was able to seal the deal. On the final hand of the tournament, Seiver committed the last of his chips preflop with the {k-Hearts}{q-Spades} and was behind Gruissem's {a-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}. Gruissem picked up top pair on the {j-Hearts}{9-Spades}{4-Spades} flop, but Seiver added a gutshot straight draw to his two overcards. The turn was the {5-Diamonds}, changing nothing, and the river brought the {4-Hearts} to secure another High Roller title for Gruissem, who joins Silverman as the first two winners of the WPT Alpha8 circuit.

That's all from the WPT Alpha8 in London, but be sure to tune in tomorrow as we bring you the results of the World Poker Tour Grand Prix de Paris event, where Christina Lindley and Mohsin Charania will look to add their names to the WPT Champions trophy for the first time!

*Photo and data courtesy of

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