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Philipp Gruissem Wins Second Straight World Poker Tour Alpha8 Title in St. Kitts

Philipp Gruissem

He's done it again. German poker pro Philipp Gruissem won his second straight World Poker Tour Alpha8 title on Sunday, taking down the $100,000 buy-in WPT Alpha8 St. Kitts event for $1,086,400. Gruissem outlasted a tough field of 23 players (28 total entries) at the Royal Beach Casino and has now won two of the three Alpha8 high roller events since the series began this year.

WPT Alpha8 St. Kitts Final Table Results

1Philipp Gruissem$1,086,400
2Tom Macdonald$679,000
3Mike McDonald$434,560
4Jason Koon$298,760
5Scott Seiver$217,280
6Timothy Adams$0
7Isaac Haxton$0
8Fabian Quoss$0

Day 2 of the tournament began with 16 players still in contention for the seven-figure prize, but only five would make the money. Among the early exits before the eight-handed final table was reached were Paul Newey, Tobias Reinkemeier, Michael Singh, Max Altergott, Jeff Gross, Antonio Esfandiari and Sorel Mizzi.

Steven Silverman won the first WPT Alpha8 event in Florida this summer and was eyeing title No. 2 on Sunday. However, his run ended on the final table bubble at the hands of Fabian Quoss. According to the WPT Live Updates, Quoss min-raised to 12,000 from under the gun, and Silverman moved all in from the small blind for 83,000. Quoss called with {4-Clubs}{4-Diamonds} and was out in front of Silverman's {A-Clubs}{2-Clubs}, and the {A-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}{4-Spades} flop all but sealed the deal for Quoss who made a set. The {A-Spades} on the turn made things interesting, giving Silverman outs to a bigger full house, but the {6-Clubs} bricked on the river to send Silverman out the door.

That pot pushed Quoss into the middle of the pack when the final table began, but he wasn't able to put Silverman's chips to good use. On Hand No. 26 of the final table, Quoss raised to 23,000 (blinds 5,000/10,000/1,000) with {10-Clubs}{10-Spades} and Isaac Haxton shoved for 195,000 from the big blind with {J-Diamonds}{J-Spades}. Quoss called and failed to improve on the {K-Spades}{8-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}{2-Hearts} board.

Like Quoss before him, Haxton was the next to fall after eliminating a player. Haxton and three other players saw a flop of {9-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{6-Clubs} and action checked to Haxton, who bet 55,000 into a pot of around 100,000. After Macdonald and Scott Seiver folded, Mike McDonald check-raised all in for 455,000. Haxton called with {J-Diamonds}{J-Spades} — the same hand he had against Quoss — but this time he was in dire straits against McDonald's {6-Diamonds}{6-Hearts} for bottom set. Neither the {Q-Hearts} turn nor the {7-Hearts} river helped Haxton, who exited empty-handed in seventh place. Meanwhile, Mike McDonald was the new chip leader.

That left six players trying to avoid a massive money bubble of $217,280. Unfortunately for Tim Adams, fate would not fall in his favor. Adams open-shoved from the button for about 17 big blinds with {K-Spades}{Q-Hearts} and Mike McDonald called from the big blind with a dominating {A-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}. The board ran out an anti-climactic {8-Spades}{4-Spades}{3-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{9-Clubs}, and Adams was eliminated.

Just three hands later, Seiver was sent to the rail by Gruissem. Coincidentally, Gruissem beat Seiver heads-up at the most recent Alpha8 event in London, and he got the best of his friend again in this one. Gruissem raised to 28,000 (blinds 6,000/12,000/2,000) from the cutoff and Seiver called from the big blind to see a flop of {9-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{4-Clubs}. Both checked, and the {9-Spades} hit the turn. Seiver bet 35,000 and Gruissem called, bringing the {8-Diamonds} on the river. The action moved quickly from there and Seiver ended up all in and second-best to Gruissem's pocket sevens for a full house. Seiver picked up $217,280 for his second straight Alpha8 cash.

Jason Koon had been quiet for much of the day but he tangled with Mike McDonald in a big preflop confrontation. McDonald four-bet shoved with {9-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}, having Koon covered, and Koon called with {A-Spades}{K-Hearts}. The {J-Spades}{J-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{2-Clubs} board rang true for McDonald, and Koon exited in fourth place

That left Gruissem battling three-handed against McDonald and Macdonald. Mike had the chip lead when the action resumed but he took a huge hit to Gruissem when he ran sixes into Gruissem's kings, leaving him as the short stack. Mike held on for a while longer before eventually losing a flip with {2-Diamonds}{2-Hearts} to Tom's {A-Spades}{7-Spades}, leaving Gruissem heads-up against Macdonald for the title.

Macdonald (left) and Gruissem battle heads-up
Macdonald (left) and Gruissem battle heads-up

The match lasted 26 hands and Gruissem never lost the lead. On the final hand of the tournament, Gruissem three-bet shoved with {A-Spades}{5-Diamonds} and Macdonald called off with {A-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}. Macdonald was in good shape to double or chop the pot, but the {J-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{4-Clubs} flop pushed the German in front. The {K-Spades} on the turn left Gruissem one card away from back-to-back titles, and the {10-Hearts} on the river secured his amazing accomplishment. Macdonald earned $679,000 for his runner-up finish, and Gruissem picked up his second seven-figure score in a span of three weeks.

The next WPT Alpha8 event is schedule to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa in February. Stay tuned to PokerNews for full coverage of the World Poker Tour!

*Photos courtesy of the WPT Blog.

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