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Ole Schemion Wins WPT European Championship on Home Turf

Ole Schemion
  • It was only fitting that German Ole Schemion would be the first WPT European Championship winner.

The first World Poker Tour European Championship wrapped up on Monday, and perhaps the most fitting possible champion emerged from a field of 339 at Spielbank Berlin.

Ole Schemion, a 25-year-old German whiz who sits third on his country's prestigious all-time money list ranking, added his name to the WPT Champions Cup and pocketed a prize of €218,435. That includes $15,000 worth of value in a WPT Tournament of Champions seat.

Schemion bested budding Czech star Michal Mrakes, who has over $1 million in cashes since the start of 2017, in a heads-up battle.

Official Final Table Results

1Ole Schemion€218,435*
2Michal Mrakes€143,845
3Patrice Brandt€93,105
4Michael Behnert€60,730
5Han Kuo Yong€46,705
6Amjad Nader€39,010

*includes $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions seat

The tournament carried a €1 million guarantee that it managed to surpass by the slimmest of margins, posting a final prize pool €100 in excess of that amount. There were 43 places paid, and Gerald Karlic, Paul Michaelis, Julian Thomas, Davidi Kitai and Thomas Muehloecker were among those claiming a chunk of that cash before they headed for the exits.

Another German, Marvin Rettenmaier, put together a strong bid to join the exclusive group of three-time WPT champions. However, he had to settle for a 10th-place finish when, according to the live updates, he couldn't hold with eights against the ace-jack of Amjad Nader.

Thus began final table play with Schemion essentially tied atop the counts with Han Kuo, both north of 100 big blinds. There would still be three more eliminations before the TV final table was set.

The first came when Mrakes flatted a raise from Sirzat Hissou, and three players saw a {9-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{3-Hearts} flop. Mrakes bet the flop and got check-raised, but he played it slow with his flopped quads and just called. Most of the rest of the money went in on the river with Hissou tank-calling it off with aces and seeing the bad news.

Marius Pertea followed in eighth and then Mrakes won a flip against Maxi Lehmanski to bust him in seventh and set things up for the final day with a stark contrast between haves and have-nots — Schemion, Mrakes and Kuo had between 2.5 and 2.8 million while Nader, Patrice Brandt and Michael Behnert sat under 1.1 million.

Final Table Action

After a number of early doubles, it took until the 37th hand before a player went down, and Nader was the man who walked with sixth-place money. He got his last few blinds in with {k-Spades}{q-Diamonds} and got action from two players, but Schemion's bet on an {a-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{5-Hearts} flop signaled the end as he closed out the action and revealed {a-Hearts}{10-Spades} for top pair and held for the elimination.

Kuo bled away most of his chips and then tried taking a stand with king-high on a board of {7-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}. He had raised to 110,000 at 25,000/50,000/5,000 and Mrakes defended big blind. Both checked the flop and Kuo called bets of 200,000 and then 400,000 on the turn and river, losing the showdown to ace-high.

Left with just over five big blinds, Kuo busted a few hands later.

Behnert shoved 490,000 in from the small blind two hands later and received a call from Brandt, who had {k-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}. Behnert was ahead with {a-Clubs}{9-Clubs} but found himself out the door after an {8-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{6-Spades} runout.

The good times didn't last for Brandt, though. Two hands later, he opened for a min-raise with {j-Hearts}{9-Hearts} on the button and called a three-bet to 300,000 from Schemion, who had {a-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}. Schemion down-bet the {2-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{5-Hearts} flop for 190,000 and called a shove worth 1.3 million. The ace-high was good and held unimproved to send Brandt out.

That set Schemion up nicely with a 2-1 lead on Mrakes. The match only lasted about 20 hands, with Schemion taking control early and Mrakes clawing back. The Czech wound up gambling in a three-bet pot, reraising with {7-Spades}{5-Spades} preflop and then shoving about three-times pot on {k-Hearts}{q-Spades}{9-Spades}. Schemion found the call button with {k-Clubs}{7-Clubs} after using a couple of time extensions and the turn and river bricked out to send the title to the German crusher.

Photo courtesy of WPT

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