PartyPoker German Open II begins Thursday

Thomas Bihl
Can anyone beat the Buzzer at the German Open?

The PartyPoker German Open II is approaching and there looks to be some pretty stiff competition heading to the tournament.

PartyPoker confirmed today that two of the 36 players in the tournament will be Thomas "Buzzer" Bihl and Michael Keiner. Both won major tournaments already this year.

During the 2007 World Series of Poker, Keiner won his first WSOP bracelet in the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud event. He also cashed in an Omaha and a Pot-Limit Hold'em event.

Thomas Bihl also added a WSOP bracelet to his poker resume this year, but his was at the WSOP Europe. He won the very first event ever of the WSOPE, the $2,500 H.O.R.S.E. event.

According to PartyPoker, Bihl will be looking to go one better this year after finishing runner-up in the inaugural tournament in 2006 to Hamburg pro Sebastian Ruthenberg. Bihl couldn't improve his K-Q off-suit to overcome Ruthenberg's pocket eights.

The Man
Can Michael Keiner pull off another win?

Bihl and Keiner may be slight favorites to win the German Open II, but they'll be going up against the likes of PartyPoker Premier League Poker runner-up Eddy Scharf, Rino Mathis, Benjamin Kan and Roland Specht in the tournament as well.

"There are a huge number of very able German-speaking Internet players out there, and it will be fascinating to see how these up-and-coming aces get on against giants such as Keiner, Scharf and Mathis," said a PartyPoker spokesman.

"The event was a big success last year, and we're pleased to be sponsoring it again in 2007."

Pros and Internet qualifiers won't be the only Germans taking to the felt. There will also be a special celebrity table set up with the winner progressing to the main tournament. Ex-footballer and TV pundit Thomas Stranz, Austrian TV presenter Robert Palfrader, German TV presenter Gundis Zambo, musician Klaus Baumgart, actor Christian Kahrmann and Berlin rap star Sido will be battling at the table.

"We're looking forward to the celebrity heat and are just a bit worried that we [won't] have enough room in the hotel for Sido and his entourage," said a PartyPoker spokesman. "He's a huge fan of poker and will be celebrating his birthday while on the felt."

The German Open will take place Nov. 29 through Dec. 2 in London. The buy-in is €2,500, which will result in a €117,000 prize pool and €50,000 first-place prize.

The event will be recorded to be broadcast to German-speaking audiences next year with commentary provided by Michael Koerner, Eddy Scharf and Michael Keiner.

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