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Lemke dedicates $5k WSOP win to Shronk
Brian Lemke took down the $5k No Limit Hold'em WSOP bracelet early Tuesday, picking up $692,658 following an epic heads-up game against German player Fabian Quoss.
Lemke was overwhelmed following his hard-won victory.
"It's a sick thing to happen," Lemke revealed.
He had to conquer a final table replete with marquee names, one of whom was online sensation Isaac "WestmenloAA" Baron.
Baron looked ready to dominate the final table in the early stages, eliminating danger-man David Pham and Christian Iacobellis in the same hand to set himself up with a big stack.
He couldn't maintain this momentum however, crashing out in 7th place to Lemke when his top pair was outkicked and he was unable to slip the noose.
Danny Illingworth succumbed shortly after this, and he was joined at the rail by Lika Gerasimova, the girlfriend of 2008 WSOP Main Event runner-up, Ivan Demidov.
Gerasimova's reputation as a top-flight player is growing all the time, and it won't have been hurt by her 5th-place finish here.
Four-handed, it was Quoss who appeared to be the man to beat. The German built a huge stack, which he used effectively as a weapon to subdue the other players.
Quoss was on a roll and he soon removed Mike Sowers from contention, flopping a set of eights to bust the American's queen-ten.
Playing so aggressively, there was no chance for Thomas Keller to escape a big cooler when he was dealt queens at the same time Quoss picked up aces.
The aces held and one more scalp was notched up for the young German as his dominant chip stack swelled and Keller joined the ranks of nearly-rans in third spot.
The heads-up match looked like it was going to be a procession to the title for Quoss, who had Lemke severely outchipped as they faced off.
Lemke however had other plans.
"I knew I had to suck out or catch a hand, but once I got even in chips, I thought I could do it," he told the media afterwards.
The American proved a durable opponent and after grinding into the chip-lead following a three-hour marathon, Lemke delivered the fatal blow just a few hands later to send his boisterous supporters into raptures as he picked up the bracelet.
It wasn't just poker on his mind as he battled for the bracelet though.
Lemke is the cousin of the late Justin Shronk and he wore a shirt dedicated to Shronk throughout the final table.
"He was with me all the time, the whole tournament," he said, struggling to contain his emotions.
"I know he is up there looking down now. He should have been right here with me."