Danke Schoen!: Voertmann Wins for Germany

Jens Voertmann
Jens Voertmann wins Event 22 at the 2008 WSOP

After years of toiling in poker obscurity, German poker players in the last few years have seen their ample skills begin to be recognized.

Today German poker fans can celebrate their fifth bracelet winner, Jens Voertmann of Dortmund. I spoke with Voertmann just after his heads-up win over American Doug Ganger.

What did you think of the quality of the field from Day 1 all the way through the final table?

I think the average strength was pretty high. We had a couple of weaker players at the beginning who made a lot of mistakes, which you usually have in WSOP tournaments. But on average the field was pretty tough, and most of the superstars were playing in this event, so it was a great event.

This was a long, tough day for you. You started with 16 players and had to play all the way down to the bracelet. How did the long day and the long levels wear on both yourself and your opponents?

At the beginning we went pretty fast. We went quickly from 16 down to eight, and I felt pretty comfortable. I thought it might be a quick tournament, but once we got to three-handed with Marcel still in there, it took forever.

I think we played four and a half hours three-handed, and it was pretty intense. Everybody was at one point the short stack and then the chip leader again. It changed so often. So it was really an exhausting tournament.

Do you consider yourself to be a master of all the H.O.R.S.E. games, or do you prefer one over the others?

My favorite game is Stud - that's what I started with, and it's what I'm most experienced with. But I play a lot of H.O.R.S.E. on the Internet at Full Tilt, and it's my favorite game. So I liked my chances today.

Did you feel like your Stud experience gave you an advantage when the game got three-handed?

I thought so. Of course, Marcel Luske is a famous player and a great player. He's a great No-Limit and Pot-Limit player, but I thought that in H.O.R.S.E. I might have an advantage over him. But only a slight one - he's a great player, and he played good and aggressive and got very unlucky to be busted out.

You said you play a lot of H.O.R.S.E. online. How does it compare to playing live in this event, where you had the ability to use physical tells to read your opponents?

I think that those sorts of things helped me, particularly in a key hand when I was short-stacked and I bluffed my opponent on the river in Stud with king-high. He folded his pair of sevens and I was able to show it to him. I had the feeling that he was steaming afterwards, because that was his big chance to win the bracelet.

So of course that's more difficult to online. I think that helped me for sure.

What does this win mean for poker in Germany?

Poker is growing and growing and growing in Germany. It's becoming very popular. Full Tilt has just hired 10 pros [there], so you can see how popular it is. So now having five German players who have won bracelets, that's something special.

Thanks for your time, Jens, and congratulations.

Thank you.

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With the popularity of poker igniting in Germany, another bracelet winner can only stoke the game's flames higher. Voertmann produced a patient display of poker skill today and came out the winner over a tough field, hopefully inspiring more of his countrymen to take up the game and make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas next summer.

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