WSOP 2013 Best Bets: Good Money on Germany

German flag

There's a growing sentiment on poker tours around the world that a new powerhouse has emerged on the poker scene - Germany.

With an elite crew of grinders like Phil Gruissem, Igor Kurganov, Tobias Renkemeier and Fabian Quoss dominating high roller events and rounders like Marvin Rettenmaier threatening in every main event, the top tier of German pros is as good as any.

Based on their ROI at the last two WSOPs, it seems like the trickle-down effect is working as well with Germans all over the payout ladders.

If we were betting men (and we are), we'd invest heavily on the Germans in Vegas this summer - and particularly these four rising stars handpicked by PokerListings Germany's Dirk Oetzmann.

Ole Schemion (21 yrs.)

Right before the Super High Roller Event at the EPT PCA in the Bahamas this year a few German players were gathered, wondering if they should buy in or not.

One of them, former EPT Champ Martin Finger, had a better idea. He said much rather stake youngster Ole Schemion, because “he's currently the hottest machine in tournament poker."

One of seven trophies Ole Schemion lifted this year.

At the end of the day Schemion didn’t play that event but the last 12 months have turned the young player from an unknown to a certifiable star in the poker scene.

Schemion won seven tournaments with a buy-in of more than €1k including the main events of the Partouche Poker Tour and the Amsterdam Master Classic.

This summer will be his first in Vegas and it is not difficult to imagine him playing in as many tournaments as possible.

At the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo Schemion was seen playing in tournaments every single day. At the end of the series, he had won not one but three side events and cashed for over €230.000.

Despite all the successes and the spotlight on him, little is known about this rookie who plays under the nick wizowizo online as he generally tries to avoid the media.

Manig Loeser (24 yrs.)

Manig Loeser has all of the prerequisites you need to become a top pro.

Manig Loeser
Manig Loeser.

He’s already had significant success, he's well respected by the community and he lives with Marvin Rettenmaier in a big apartment in London.

Loeser is a quiet guy, though, and he’s waiting for the really big hit.

Prior to this summer Loeser's second-place finish on the UKIPT for €110k is his biggest success – and that was two years ago.

He’s slowly made his way up the GPI, though, and in May 2013 he had reached the top 20 for the first time.

Last year he had six cashes at the WSOP where he also proved his PLO skills. On the EPT this season he made the money in four main events.

Manig Loeser’s biggest successes are still to come. On this, the whole German poker community agrees.

Note: Soon after this article was published on Manig Loeser proved us right as he came second in Event #4, $1,500 NLHE, at a final table with Joe Cada and Keven Stammen.

Robert Haigh Neil Stoddart
Robert Haigh (Photo: Neil Stoddart PokerStars blog)

Robert Haigh (28 yrs.)

Haigh made his first appearance on the live circuit at EPT Snowfest in Austria in 2010. Since then, he’s been a regular at EPT events.

Haigh moved to London two years ago to turn pro and lived there with poker friends Jan Collado and Sebastian Gorr.

Things have gone well enough those two are his neighbour as Haigh has moved in with his girlfriend.

His poker career is also gaining momentum. At EPT Berlin, Robert only had to give in to the winner Daniel Gai-Pidun. His runner-up finish was worth more €500k.

Due to this and other successful tournaments Haigh finished third in the EPT Player of the Year race behind Jan Bendik and Steve O’Dwyer.

The MTT specialist said he wants to play as many NLHE events at the WSOP as possible – and maybe a couple of PLO events.

Max Altergott (22 yrs.)

There are more of them around than you think: extremely successful online specialists who fly under the radar and don’t seem to feel comfortable in live poker.

Max Altergott EPT Grand Final (Photo: Neil Stoddart, PokerStars blog).

One of them is, or was, altiFC, a well-known and feared player at the nosebleed stakes.

The name Max Altergott, however, was not familiar to many when it suddenly appeared on the players list of the High Roller Event in Monte Carlo.

Altergott had only registered right before the start of the tournament and his presence posed a few questions in the community.

One player, however, knew exactly who the players were dealing with: WSOP champion Greg Merson. On Twitter, he said that Altergott was a top player, In fact one of the best he knows.

Not only did Max Altergott make the heads-up he beat his last opponent – Jason Mercier – and won the Super High Roller title for €1.7 million.

This is Altergott’s only entry in the Hendon Mob database but it catapulted him to 12th place on Germany’s all-time money list, leaving behind players like Sandra Naujoks and Max Heinzelmann.

Presumably Altergott will focus on the high buy-in events at the WSOP. At least he will if a bracelet means anything to him.

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