Needless to say, we're starting to see a similar trend at this year's WSOP. In the sole PLO8 event, Martin Klaser became the third German this Series to take down an event. Afterward, he chatted to the media.
So Martin, before you got into poker, what did you do?
I did material science, chemistry and biology and maths basically. I actually wanted to work in a laboratory mixing things. [laughs]
You're fairly young; how many events have you played?
This is my first year at the World Series and the third event I've played.
And now you're the third champion at this WSOP from Germany?
Yeah, we're all proud of the other two.
What is the poker situation like in Germany at the moment?
Yeah, it's awesome in Germany, poker gets more and more popular like you have here in the U.S.A. We have a problem with the law like you have here and we haven't got poker associations like the PPA, but actually, the poker players and the poker itself actually [run] very well in Germany.
Does having a European background give you an advantage in PLO8, given that O8 in the States is generally considered a Limit game?
No, I don't think so; I actually just play No-Limit Hold'em. I only just learnt PLO8 six months or nine months ago. I actually am a very good PLO player, which is a big advantage, and I play a lot of that game.
What's your general strategy for finding a good hand in PLO8?
I'm just looking for a combination hand, when I get a good high hand with two low cards, that's pretty good. An ace, any ace is good. Any four low cards are also very good but if someone re-pops you then you should fold because don't have any options on the high half and often they'll have a better low hand as well.
I lost a big pot to Erik Seidel when I had A-Q-5-2 and he held A-K-3-2, which was crushing me. The higher the blinds get and the shorter the table, the more important the high hands get because you can scoop people easier.
What was it like playing against Erik Seidel?
Erik Seidel? I was very afraid of him; I was just glad when he got off the table. I bluffed him once in a very big pot, and I won a big pot against him with a king-high flush, but I was real afraid of him because he was the best player on the table.
When you knocked out Fetter in third place, you really got very animated and overly excited. Was it just the emotion of knowing you were heads-up for the bracelet?
No; when I knocked him out I just knew I was going to win!
You won 15 of the 20 hands heads-up and were very aggressive the whole time. What did you think of the heads-up?
I had like two and a half times his chips. He only had 20 big blinds and every time he folded the small blind, he was folding like 1/20 of his stack.
The funny thing was that, in a couple of the hands he won, you folded when he had the nuts. Did you have a read on him?
No, I just had crap in my hand, I had like J-6-5-4! You have a jack with a crappy low, there's no potential, those two hands I just had were rubbish and I wasn't going to play them and it was just those two times he had the nuts.
Thanks for your time.
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Martin Klaser joins Jens Voertmann and Sebastian Ruthenberg as German bracelet winners this year. All three have managed victories in non-Hold'em events, which must be a testament to the variety of games German players excel at. Can they add to their tally? You'll have to check out the updates on PokerListings.com to find out ...