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Today in the 3-Bet we find two Top Guns duking it out for the Purple Jacket, Rainer Kempe re-imagined and shots fired between poker legends 1A and 1B.
1) Maverick v. Go0se
After 7 days, millions of dollars in buy-ins and dozens of impossibly intense, high-level poker hands, it all comes down to this.
Six elite poker players return to try and become the first-ever Poker Masters champion and wear the Purple Jacket.
The heavy favorites? Fedor Holz and Steffen 'Go0se.core!' Sontheimer.
Holz, of course, is the best tournament player in the world (more on this later) of late with a mind-boggling, multi-million-dollar series of results over the past 24 months that will likely never be matched.
Sontheimer is the heir apparent, anointed by King Holz himself as the best player in the game right now.
It's an epic showdown on Highlander/Rocky v Drago levels and we can't wait to watch it all play out on PokerGO shortly.
Mind you there's still a chance any of the six can claim the crown depending on how it plays out - as long as Sontheimer crashes out early. Here's how they stack up to start:
1. Fedor Holz 1,471,000
2. Christian Christner 1,367,000
3. Steffen Sontheimer 1,354,000
4. Stefan Schillhabel 1,218,000
5. Justin Bonomo 1,050,000
6. Seth Davies 740,000
2) Rainer Kempe ... You are the Weakest Leak!
If you didn't already know (more on this later), the elite group of German high-rollers who descended on the Poker Masters this week are, by verdict of those in the know, the best in the game right now.
Holz, Sontheimer, Stefan Schillhabel, Christian Christner, Koray Aldemir and Rainer Kempe as a group of friends/horses/poker thinkers have clearly shown they're a step ahead of the standard in tournament poker.
With four of them at the final table of the $100k today - and all over the final tables all week - it's not a big leap to say it's beyond variance with this group.
It's hasn't been smooth sailing for everyone this week, though, as Kempe, $5m winner of the Super High Roller Bowl in 2016, has failed to cash - much to the delight of the playful Sam Grafton:
When you have a super strong franchise but it's let down by just one weak link... pic.twitter.com/TxEMQDehuB— Sam Grafton (@SquidPoker) September 19, 2017
Lol. Btw, if you're not a big Bond fan that's George Lazenby (of On Her Majesty's Secret Service) Grafton's comparing Kempe to. And we beg to differ he's the worst Bond - that's Pierce Brosnan by a mile.
3) Daniel Looks In, Phil Lashes Out
When you've been at the top of your chosen profession for years it's hard to hear you've been surpassed by younger, more talented players who've put the time and effort in to re-shape how the game is played.
Some, like Daniel Negreanu and Erik Seidel, have acknowledged the winds of change and worked to bring their skill level up accordingly.
Some, like, Phil Hellmuth, refuse to give up the mantle just yet - despite a raft of evidence to the contrary - as demonstrated by an amazing Twitter exchange spurred by Negreanu' yesterday.
The full thread/conversation is really quite amazing and worth a full read; excerpts/highlights below:
Oct-Dec I will be working really hard on my poker game. It's time. The top players today are just too good and I need to improve and I will.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 20, 2017
If I had to rank my current skill level against the best I'd say I'm in the top 100. My goal by Jan 2018 it to crack the top 20.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 20, 2017
I'm not embarrassed to say I don't think I'm as good as these guys. They are unreal. In order to improve you have to humble yourself & learn— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 20, 2017
I was the best NLH tourney player in the world in early 2000's. I truly believe that. I'm inspired to be able to compete with the best now.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 20, 2017
I am always the #1 seed in no limit Hold'em tourneys DNegs, best ROI in history kid. And yes, I agree: one of us is delusional... https://t.co/V7XeGep0TK— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) September 20, 2017
And one other thing @realkidpoker, you told me in 2009 (and 2011) that the kids were better than you & me at NLHold'em: you were 100% wrong— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) September 20, 2017
I respect them. I berate everyone (Poker Brat!), and I always learn and improve. But I see too many flaws to concede they are better https://t.co/GW08EP8Ctk— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) September 20, 2017
2 are better than me, and let's compare notes in 7 yrs, Sept 1, 2024. Your last "list of guys better than me," from 2010, all disappeared— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) September 20, 2017
Cmon DNegs, that's WEAK!! Put your list up for the world to see or admit I'm the best: no other way out of the mess for you kid https://t.co/CVoKI455W4— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) September 20, 2017
Give us the list of these players that will "Crush me badly" in No Limit Hold'em tournaments, don't be a coward Daniel https://t.co/WtQJ0dij3Y— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) September 20, 2017
The Germans are the best players in the game right now, give them their due Phil, this is such a BS argument https://t.co/CCgfrBlGip— Erik Seidel (@Erik_Seidel) September 20, 2017
Yes, I want all of them listed https://t.co/g6m8kvXlug— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) September 20, 2017
More thoughts from Negreanu about it below along with a parallel perspective that seems to fit. Enjoy!