The first-ever Poker Masters, from beginning to end, belonged to Steffen Sontheimer.
The 27-year-old online pro known as 'Go0se.core!', who had his first live cash just two years ago, rolled into Vegas last week with his talented German cohorts and never let off the gas.
Not only did Sontheimer win the final $100k Challenge last night to seal the Masters and the Purple Jacket, he final-tabled four of the five events and won another.
All told he hauled in $2.7m over the week of intense poker and clearly announced he's a force to reckon with for years to come.
Sontheimer Wins $100k Final
With a good stack coming into the final yesterday Sontheimer was a heavy favorite to claim the first-ever Poker Masters crown but still had to fend of a challenge from a few of his countrymen.
Friend and phenom of his own, Fedor Holz, was there as was Christian Christner and Stefan Schillhabel - each standing a chance of winning the Purple Jacket themselves if the cards played out right.
Americans Justin Bonomo and Seth Davies joined them in the final 6 but would have to win outright to take over the money lead from Sontheimer.
The finals began quite placidly and the first orbits saw chips exchanged without many big hands. The first exciting moment came when Davies 3-bet pre-flop with kings but failed to notice when Christner 4-bet with AQ and mucked his hand when Sontheimer folded ahead of him.
The first player to bust was Schillhabel on hand 93 when he was all-in with A-3 against Bonomo's K-Q but a king hit the river. Bonomo busted 30 hands later when his K-T couldn't catch up to Sontheimer's A-T. Shortly thereafter Davies hit the rail when his A-7 lost to Christner's K-7.
Fedor Out 3rd
Sontheimer's last obstacle was a big one in Fedor Holz. Christner had the chip lead ahead of them both but Fedor could still claim the Purple Jacket if he won and Sontheimer finished third.
Fedor pushed 16 BB with Q-J out of the small blind against an open shove from Sontheimer. Christner paid the all-in with 7-7 and won the flip, though, to bounce Holz out in 3rd. With another $500k payday Holz took his total winnings at the Poker Masters to over $1m.
The heads-up began with Christner in a 5m-2.3m lead but Sontheimer doubled with A-8>2-2 and quickly took over the lead.
Christner was on the ropes but doubled five times before getting all-in with 2-2 against Q-Q and failing to catch.
Sontheimer fittingly won the final event of the Poker Masters and was fitted for the Purple Jacket with $2.7m in earnings over the week.
Final results for Event #5, the $100k Challenge
- Steffen Sontheimer $1,512,000
- Christian Christner $864,000
- Fedor Holz $504,000
- Seth Davies $324,000
- Justin Bonomo $216,000
- Stefan Schillhabel $180,000
A total of $13 million was played for in the first Poker Masters and 43 players participated. Seven German players took part and they took a total of $5.6 million dollars in prize money.
Individual event winners were Sontheimer (2), Bryn Kenney (1), Brandon Adams (1) and Nick Schulman (1). Check the full results of the week-long series below: