The €111,111 One Drop at the 2017 WSOP Europe was the highest buy-in WSOP event of the year – even bigger than the one in Vegas because of the currency difference.
The title is coming home to 888poker Team Pro.
Dominik Nitsche, one of the longest-standing poker ambassadors for the brand, took down the elite-field event over the weekend to claim almost €3.5 million, beating Andreas Eiler in an all-German heads-up.
88 players registered to play and with 44 re-entries, that meant 132 total entries and a prize pool of just shy of €13 million. Just under €1 million was raised for the One Drop charity.
It was by far the highest class field of this year’s WSOPE with names including Phil Hellmuth, Ryan Riess, Benjamin Pollak, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, Igor Kurganov, Liv Boeree, Bertrand Grospellier, Phil Gruissem, Fedor Holz, Rainer Kempe, Sam Trickett and Ole Schemion.
And those are the players that didn’t even make the money.
There were 20 spots ITM and Vladimir Troyanovskiy was the unlucky bubble boy after Charlie Carrel hit a straight on him on the river.
Carrel would later finish in 9th place but outlasted Daniel Pidun, Jack Salter, Bryn Kenney, Christopher Frank, Nick Petrangelo, Eugene Katchalov, Koray Aldemir and eventually Kenny Hallaert in 10th place.
At that point Christoph Vogelsang held a massive chiplead with more than 60 million chips equalling 25% of the chips in play.
Martin Kabrhel and Ahadpur Khangah followed Carrel to the rail and then luck ran out for Vogelsang, who finished in sixth.
Mikita Badziakouski was the only one of the five remaining players whose native tongue isn’t German. It took just 90 minutes to eliminate Steffen Sontheimer, Thomas Mühlöcker and Badziakouski and then there were just Nitsche and Eiler left to battle for the title.
Eiler started the heads-up as the chipleader but Nitsche quickly surged ahead when he hit a runner-runner flush against Eiler’s pair of aces in just the third hand of the finale.
Nitsche crushed the heads-up and moved into a 5-1 chiplead within 90 minutes before Eiler managed to double up.
But it was Nitsche’s night, the cards fell his way, and he played them well. Less than two hours after heads-up play began Nitsche had all the 264 million chips in front of him.
WSOPE One Drop Final Table Payouts
“I Think I Played Perfect”
The champion appeared to be extremely pleased with how he handled this tournament.
“A lot of time recently that I put into playing was heads-up cash games, specifically,” Nitsche said.
“So I felt extremely comfortable all the way through. Maybe a little bit three-handed was not the strongest part of my game, and Mikita is one of the best in the world at that, so I wasn’t the strongest player there.”
“But I felt as good a player as Andreas Eiler, who played fantastic. I felt like I was the strongest player at this point. And I felt like I made no mistakes at all.
“I think I played perfect. There was no bet size, no fold, anything that I would change in hindsight. That’s why I’m happy.”
It’s the fourth WSOP bracelet for the young German which puts him in on par with Mike Matusow, Huck Seed, Max Pescatori, George Danzer, Tom McEvoy and Amarillo Slim, to name just a few.
Still, the bracelet isn’t the most important thing for Nitsche. And it’s not the money either.
“It’s not about the bracelets for me, mostly. It’s about playing really well. I’m more proud of how I played rather than that I won. […]
“The bracelets are nice, but the bracelets show me that my hard work pays off. I’m not the kind of guy to go trophy chasing. I’m more the kind of guy to play in a high roller because I love competing against the best.”
Nitsche is a member of the 888poker pro team and plays regularly on 888poker. If you want to play there, too, get your own account through the PokerListings links on our 888poker review page.