The inaugural Poker Masters was comprised of four $50,000 buy-in tournaments and a $100,000 finale. Germany’s Steffen “Goose” Sontheimer made the final table of four of them, and closed out two to earn $2,733,000 in combined winnings and The Poker Masters Purple Jacket™. Oh, and the one tournament he didn’t cash, he bubbled it in eighth place.
Event #5: $100,000 NLHE drew 36 players, and after three days of play, Sontheimer defeated Christian Christner in heads-up play to capture the $1,512,000 first-place prize. Prior to it, he finished fourth in Event #1 for $306,000, and he followed that up by topping a field of 50 entries to win Event #2 for $900,000. Event #3 was the tournament he bubbled, and in Event #4 he took fifth for $117,000.
To put it another way, throughout five tournaments against some of the best players in the world, Sontheimer never finished worse than eighth place. It’s also worth noting that Sontheimer now has 31 cashes dating back to 2015, of which 18 have come in high roller events.
Coming into the Poker Masters Sontheimer had $3,551,390 in tournament earnings. Coincidentally, his best previous best score of $1,223,264 came when he finished runner-up to Christner in May’s ARIA $100K Super High Roller 19.
Other highlights on his relatively new résumé include winning the 2017 Poker EM €25,000 Super High Roller for $501,183, sixth in the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo €100,000 Super High Roller for $415,348, and sixth in this summer’s Triton Super High Roller Series Budva for $313,423.
Event #5: $100,000 NLHE Results
It took five hours before the first player busted the final table, and that man was Stefan Schillhabel. The WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star champ three-bet his short stack all in holding ace-three suited and was called by Justin Bonomo, who had originally raised with king-queen.
Bonomo ended up drawing to 17 outs headed to the river, and he hit one as a king spike to send Schillhabel out the door in sixth place for $180,000. That brought his total Poker Masters winnings up to $486,000.
Bonomo, who finished fourth in Event #4: $50,000 NLHE for $175,000, was the next to go after he got short and jammed with king-ten. Sontheimer called with ace-ten, Christner did the same with ace-king, and then the two active players checked it down on a dry run out. Christner’s Big Slick was best, and Bonomo was bounced in fifth place for $216,000.
Three hands later, Christner scored another knockout, this time Seth Davies. The latter got it in good with ace-seven against the former’s king-seven, but a king on the flop proved to be the final nail in his coffin. Event #5: $100K NLHE was the only Poker Masters tournament Davies played, and he earned $324,000 for his efforts.
Two hands after that, Fedor Holz, the only player who could catch Sontheimer, lost a race with queen-jack to Christner’s pocket sevens to bust in third place for $504,000. Along with the $550,000 he received for finishing runner-up to Sontheimer in Event #2, Holz brought his Poker Masters earnings up to $1,054,000.
Sontheimer began heads-up play at a chip disadvantage, but the silver lining was that by virtue of making the top two, he clinched The Poker Masters Purple Jacket™. However, he did not stop there as he wrested the chip lead away from his friend, grinded him down, and eventually finished him off.
“It was interesting to play against him, I know he’s the better heads-up play,” Christner said after busting. “He took it down like a champion.”
That does it for the inaugural Poker Masters from the ARIA Resort & Casino. Congratulations to Steffen Sontheimer on becoming the first-ever Master of Poker and claiming The Poker Masters Purple Jacket™.