The day Ruthenberg ruled the world
Editor's note: Robin Scherr was among the first bloggers PokerStars hired to write for non-English-speaking audiences. He has remained Germany's chief blogger ever since. He was among the first to witness and write about the national pride that went along with winning a major event.
Early in 2007 I finished my studies in business management but wasn't sure if that was the direction I wanted for my future. During my studies I started writing as a freelancer for a local newspaper about football and took all the jobs I could get. It wasn't only a job. It was fun, and I got money for it. During the same time, the poker boom had fully caught Germany. I was infected, as well.
PokerStars was looking for a German writer for the poker school IntelliPoker and PokerStarsblog.de. I managed to meet the right people around the same time. Only two months after my last exam, I got the job offer, made the decision for my future, and never looked back.
Now, eight years later, I'm still pleased to work for PokerStars. I got the chance to travel around the world, covered 72 EPT Main Events (including eight times at the PCA), three WSOP Main Events, and the first LAPT in San Jose, Costa Rica. There are a lot of stories to tell, but not all fit into this blog if we're to heed the 'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas' axiom.
But there is one tellable story I will always remember: it was in 2008 when I flew to Las Vegas for the first time and wrote about the WSOP for seven weeks straight.
Sebastian Ruthenberg was already the most popular poker player of the new generation in Germany. Everybody expected him to be the first international superstar in poker from Germany. Six weeks before the WSOP started, Sebastian took the next step and got his first contract with PokerStars. Then, with the PokerStars patch on his chest, he only needed two months for the breakthrough: he won the WSOP $5,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo.
It was a a day like none other. Germany won in the UEFA Euro against Portugal and a huge German crowd came over from the Hofbräuhaus to the Amazon Room in the Rio to cheer for Sebastian at the final table. The atmosphere was fantastic, and the final table couldn't have had more drama. Steve Sung, Annie Duke, and Marcel Luske all played so well and got standing ovations after they busted. For the first time as a blogger, I thought, "Wow! That feels like a big sports event."
But the hunt for the bracelet wasn't over yet. Chris Ferguson was the last man to beat for the bracelet, and everybody expected a short heads up because the stakes were already so high. The drama not only continued, it was a ride on a razor blade for nearly three hours. Both players were short several times but always managed to get back in the game. The German crowd could be desperate and hopeless and then a moment later euphoric and confident of victory.
After Sebastian won the bracelet the crowed exploded, and Ferguson proved to be a real gentleman. He not only congratulated Sebastian, he also thanked the crowd for a fantastic atmosphere he had never experienced before. Then Ferguson stepped away to make the stage free for the World Champion in Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, Sebastian Ruthenberg.
The atmosphere during the final and the behaviour of the players impressed me a lot. It was loud, it was enthusiastic, and it was always fair - a poker moment I'll never forget.
The original article is called 'Ruthenberg bezwingt die Weltelite' and means something like "Sebastian conquers the best in the world." For me, it's still one of my favorite tournament reports I wrote in the last years. Sebastian needed less than two months to beat the world's best again and grab his first EPT title in Barcelona.
Thanks for reading all these years. If you'd like to play in the April 22th 6:00 ET PokerStars Blog 10th Anniversary freeroll, you can find it by searching "Blog" in the PokerStars lobby. The password is entertaining.