Five of the Best German Poker Players
Without a doubt, Germany has produced a fantastic number of poker players over the years. Coming to a Top 5 wasn't an easy task by any means, as players that would be first-picks in many other countries didn't even make the cut with the limitation to just five.
Choices had to be made, but omitting juggernauts such as Steffen Sontheimer, Manig Loeser, Philipp Gruissem, Tobias Reinkemeier, Koray Aldemir and Marvin Rettenmaier feels weird no matter how you put it. So, who did make the cut? Read on to see who PokerNews has included as five of the very best players in Germany.
1) Fedor Holz
Selecting a top 5 may have been hard, but picking the overall #1 was a lot easier: with more than $32 million in lifetime winnings, Fedor Holz dwarfs his nearest German challenger Christoph Vogelsang by more than 13 million, and Holz finds himself fourth on the Hendon Mob All-Time Money List as well.
The German prodigy's accolades are countless and include an astonishing seven seven-figure cashes alone. His biggest cash to date came this past summer, when he finished runner-up to Justin Bonomo in the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop for a haul of $6,000,000.
While his live accomplishments are nothing short of amazing, Holz has been tearing it up on the digital felt over the years as well. Known as "CrownUpGuy" online, Holz' biggest claim to fame came in the WCOOP Main Event, which he won in 2014 for more than $1.3 million.
While he may not put in the hours like he used to, Holz' apparent "retirement" has been quite overstated as the partypoker pro still loves to swing by for the occasional Super High Rollers across the globe. Despite his successes in poker, his focus has shifted beyond the felt over the past few years. One of Holz' most noteworthy projects taking his attention away from the poker tables is Primed Mind, a company that focuses on mindfulness, meditation and life coaching techniques.
Fedor Holz Poker Stats (November, 2018 - thehendonmob.com)
|Germany All-Time Money List||1st|
|All-Time Money List||4th|
|Global Poker Index||914th|
|Best Live Cash||$6,000,000|
|Total Live Earnings||$32,556,377|
2) Dominik Nitsche
Compared to Holz, Dominik Nitsche's lifetime winnings top out at a 'paltry' 16 million USD. However, the 888poker pro can flash the hardware that his adversary is lacking: WSOP bracelets. No fewer than four of the coveted pieces of jewelry are in "Bounatirou"'s possession, making him the most successful German in WSOP history.
Before he embarked on his WSOP journey, Nitsche instantly made a big splash during his first-ever recorded live tournament. In April of 2009, Nitsche played the $5,200 LAPT in Mar del Plata, Argentina, and topped the 291-strong field for a payday of €381,030. With such a cushion, Nitsche was aptly rolled right off the bat and worked himself up to ultimately be a contender at the highest stakes. After winning two tournaments in 2011 in Cyprus (six figures each), he won his first WSOP bracelet in Event #59 at the 2012 WSOP, a $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $654,979.
Nitsche's second and third bracelets came in the summer of 2014, where he won the $10,000 WSOP National Championship ($352,800) and another $1,000 event ($335,659). His fourth bracelet and the biggest win of all came in 2017 in King's Casino in Rozvadov, where Nitsche topped the €111,111 High Roller for One Drop at the WSOPE for a hefty €3,487,463. The German high roller and 888poker is still very active and sits just below the top three German all-time money winners.
Dominik Nitsche Poker Stats (November, 2018 - thehendonmob.com)
|Germany All-Time Money List||4th|
|All-Time Money List||30th|
|Global Poker Index||21st|
|Best Live Cash||$4,064,026|
|Total Live Earnings||$16,662,774|
3) Ole Schemion
Third on the list is Ole Schemion, who's closing in on the $15M lifetime mark. If there's one thing that sets "wizowizo" apart — other than his swag — it's winning tournaments. According to The Hendon Mob, Schemion has won 16 live tournaments in the span of just seven years. Even more impressive is that each of those victories came about in tournaments with a buy-in of $1,000 or better, showing off Schemion's prowess to close out tournaments among the very best.
The Berliner has racked up four elusive seven-figure cashes along the way. His biggest success came at the EPT12 Grand Final in Monte Carlo, where he shipped the €100,000 Super High Roller for €1,597,800. His second-biggest score could be considered his breakthrough finish: back in 2012, the Schemion-train started rolling with a €1,172,850 score in the €8,500 Partouche Poker Tour. Shortly after, Schemion won the Master Classics of Poker Main Event in Amsterdam for €286,200 to fully establish himself as one to watch on the tournament scene.
Schemion's latest victory dates back to January this year when he mobbed up the WPT in his heimat of Berlin, worth €218,435. Lately, it's been relatively quiet on the Schemion front as his latest live cash dates all the way back to April. Longer periods without a cash aren't uncommon for Schemion, who doesn't grind as much live as some other players do, and with many interesting series on the horizon such as the PokerStars Player's Championship, Schemion is likely to be throwing his hat in the ring again soon.
Ole Schemion Poker Stats (November, 2018 - thehendonmob.com)
|Germany All-Time Money List||5th|
|All-Time Money List||36th|
|Global Poker Index||423rd|
|Best Live Cash||$1,807,078|
|Total Live Earnings||$14,594,458|
4) Rainer Kempe
When you think of Rainer Kempe, the first thing that pops into most poker fans' minds is the Super High Roller Bowl of 2016. While Kempe certainly was no slouch before his career-defining win — he already had final tabled the EPT Main Event in Barcelona and conquered a 25K High Roller in Prague — the $5,000,000 win at the SHRB's second incarnation instantly put Kempe in the one to watch column for a broader audience.
The German has been tearing it up ever since, racking up around $10 million in the span of three years. His 2018 is nothing but pure gravy and if it wasn't for Justin Bonomo's astonishing year, his would likely be talked about more. Kempe's 2018 thus far consists of 38 cashes, totaling over $5.5 million, and includes eight six-figure cashes, as well as an HK$16,005,000 score (around $2M) in the Chinese Super High Roller Bowl.
Being one half of a poker power couple with Maria Ho, one of Kempe's highlights of the year was hunting down some trophies in South Africa, where Ho also shipped a tournament.
Rainer Kempe Poker Stats (November, 2018 - thehendonmob.com)
|Germany All-Time Money List||3rd|
|All-Time Money List||573rd|
|Global Poker Index||23rd|
|Best Live Cash||$5,000,000|
|Total Live Earnings||$17,170,212|
5) Christoph Vogelsang
Closing out the top 5 German players list is Christoph Vogelsang. Like Kempe, Vogelsang had his own key tournament that put him on the map: the 2014 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. Vogelsang, largely an unknown at that point, ended up in third place for $4,480,001 behind Dan Colman and Daniel Negreanu and instantly established himself as a fixture on the high stakes scene.
Vogelsang is notorious for his very slow playing style, but while it may not please the raibirds, it certainly hasn't hurt his bankroll as he's scored three more seven-figure cashes in the span of three years. His biggest win came in the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl — another match with Kempe — where Vogelsang reigned supreme over the elite field to win $6,000,000.
Vogelsang's past six years all brought over $500K in winnings, and four of those years ended up in seven figures to put his lifetime winnings at $19,049,408. It's good for second place behind Holz, and a strong showing in either Prague or the Bahamas may just put the German over the $20M lifetime mark.
Christoph Vogelsang Poker Stats (November, 2018 - thehendonmob.com)
|Germany All-Time Money List||2nd|
|All-Time Money List||21st|
|Global Poker Index||176th|
|Best Live Cash||$6,000,000|
|Total Live Earnings||$19,049,408|
All data in this article is courtesy of The Hendon Mob. For more statistics, visit thehendonmob.com