Marco Joos wins PartyPoker German Open

Empire Casino, London

The PartyPoker German Open II concluded earlier this week with Marco Joos taking the top spot.

Joos beat a field of players that included some of the biggest online and offline German speaking poker players in the world. It all came down to the factory worker versus a 25-year-old Zurich computer science Ph.D. student named Kristijan Dragicevic in the heads-up battle.

Dragicevic, who qualified for the tournament online, began the heads-up session with a $444,000 to $156,000 chip lead. However, the lead would swing back and forth between the two players several times before Joos finally reeled in the win.

"I have to say I was a bit card-dead in the heat, but got two really good breaks," Joos said.

The final hand came down to Joos' K-4 off-suit against Dragicevic's A-3 off-suit. Joos' hand turned into two pair, while the board bricked out for Dragicevic.

Joos takes home €50,000 for the win.

"I won more in one heat of poker than I earn in a year at the factory," Joos said. "I'm very proud. I have been playing offline for three years and just started playing online a little while ago. I am now happy to say that I have a bankroll to go forward with. I am back on night shifts now, but I am just so happy. This money will change my life. I was so pleased to make the final and cannot believe the result."

Joos said he now has his eye on the Spring Poker Festival in Vienna and perhaps a crack at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Dragicevic is also considering more tournaments even though he only just discovered online poker five months ago.


The final table may have seemed a little daunting to the two players who didn't have much experience. Joining them when play began was German pro Benjamin Kang, Swiss pro Rino Mathis, one of Germany's top female players Soraya Homam and chip leader Andre Kannler.

Kannler was completely bossing the table as he took out Kang first, and then saw off Mathis. Joos took advantage of Kannler, continually playing hands, and eventually took him out in fourth place after flopping two jacks to make trips.

Next out was Homam. She had dominated her heat with aggressive play, but her pocket fives didn't hold up against Joos, who made three of a kind on the flop again to take her out.

"I have been successful offline in the last year or so and because of this I got the opportunity to play in this tournament but this was the first time I had played in front of cameras," Joos said.

The final-table results were:

Place Name Prize
1st Marco Joos €50,000
2nd Kristijan Dragicevic €30,000
3rd Soraya Homam €20,000
4th Andre Kannler €10,000
5th Rino Mathis €4,500
6th Benjamin Kang €2,500

Many expected some of the more experienced players in the tournament to make it to the top ranks. But Michael Keiner, Eddy Scharf and Thomas Bihl all ran into trouble in their heats. Keiner did say he enjoyed the tournament, though.

"In every heat there were very different styles and creative strategies, and it was a great tournament," he said. "The drama of the final was excellent. There was a great atmosphere amongst all the spectators."

Scharf also commented that Dragicevic may be a player to watch in the future. He couldn't believe Dragicevic had only been playing five months.

However, it's Joos who has the title of German Poker Open champion for the next year.

"Last year's winner, Sebastian Ruthenberg, has gone on to make a significant impact in the poker world, and the same could be the case for Marco," said a PartyPoker spokesman.

"The tournament was a success. Some would say that being a Ph.D. Computer Science student would give you more chance of succeeding in the poker world than [being] a factory worker, but Joos proved that poker is a game for anyone from any walk of life."

The 36-player tournament took place in London and had a €2,500 buy-in. Organized by Matchroom Sport, the tournament was filmed for broadcast next year.

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