Nitsche Makes Strong Case for German Poker Players

dominik nitsche
Dominik Nitsche

Dominik Nitsche chalked up another WSOP bracelet for emerging poker power Germany last week.

Nitsche outlasted 4,620 players – the biggest field of the 2012 WSOP prelims – to win Event 59 $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $654k.

Germany is the only European country to win multiple bracelets at the 2012 WSOP and is still coming off the high of having Pius Heinz win the 2011 Main Event last November.

“It’s the biggest accomplishment of my career,” said Nitsche. “It’s my second big win so that always feels better than the first. You’re not just a one-hit wonder anymore.”

The 21-year-old has been playing poker for six years now and won an LAPT title back in 2009 for $381,030.

Nitsche is originally from the small German town of Minden where he found the game of poker at a young age.

“There wasn’t really a lot to do,” he said. “When I was 15 my friends started watching poker on TV and started playing home games.”

Eventually Nitsche started playing freerolls on PartyPoker and quickly built a bankroll. He turned 21 this year and going to Vegas for the WSOP was a no-brainer.

“It was never in doubt I was going to go,” he said. “All my friends had been telling me about it for years. It’s the best poker series in the world. The WPTs and EPTS, they’re good, but they don’t compare to this.”

Pius Heinz
2011 German Main Event champ Pius Heinz

German Poker Scene Stronger Than Ever

Although Nitsche now lives in London, England, he’s happy to see poker continue to grow in his home country of Germany.

“We have a lot of good players, like Pius [Heinz] obviously,” he said. “So many good players. Philipp Gruissem who had a really deep run in the $1 million [BIG ONE]. I still feel kind of bad for him.”

Heinz became the first German player to win the WSOP Main Event last year and Nitsche said it’s made a big difference for the poker scene in his home country.

“It was so good for poker,” he said. “I think Pius is a fantastic guy and he does a great job representing the game. He showed up in all sorts of media. I like what he did for poker, he presented a really good image.”

Nitsche took down one of the biggest first place prizes of the summer but doesn’t plan on buying anything extravagant.

“I’m not the kinda guy that’s going to buy a flashy watch or anything,” he said.

“I think that’s just silly. As a poker player I make financial decisions all day and at this point I just see buying a $15k watch as super -EV. I would never do that. It’s just the kind of person I am.”

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