WCOOP profile: nilsef remains a mystery

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgWe are a society that wants to know everything. We want to know it all and want to know it right now. From Facebook to Twitter to breathless 24-hour news networks to blog pundits the world over, the information never stops. Even on this very poker news site, we offer you constant updates on tournaments from around the world and stories about the people who play them.

So, when it comes time to talk about WCOOP winners, we do that, too. Accordingly, we tracked down PokerStars player "nilsef" after he took down Event #10, $250 Pot-Limit Omaha Knockout. It wasn't easy.

Indeed, the world of online poker is a place for anonymity, a realm where you could as easily be playing against an octogenarian poker neophyte as a 22-year-old grinder. If somebody wants to remain in the shadows, he--or, for that matter, she--can.

When we finally got in touch with nilsef, the man from Germany was reluctant to say much.

This much we know: he started at PokerStars at the very same time he started playing poker in 2005. Since then, he's had some moderate cashes, but nothing in the area of the $50,015 he got for taking down Event #10.

A chess player before he found poker, nilsef learned of online poker during a chess club meeting and hasn't looked back since. He's spent his time on PokerStars and the poker rooms around where he lives. Still, nothing prepared him for the thrill of ending up deep in a World Championship of Online Poker event.

He started off the tournament with Barry Greenstein, a player who carries a certain reputation to the table.

"I have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a player," nilsef said. "I was lucky to have postion on him."

In the early going, nilsef managed to crack Greenstein's aces with a ten-jack-queen-king double-suited hand. Later, nilsef managed to make his aces hold up against Jason Mercier at the final table.

"Stacking someone in a cash game is nice, but I think the feeling you get from final tabling such a big tourney--let alone winning it--is the best you can get from playing poker," nilsef said.


That much was about all nilsef wanted to say about himself. He is a German enigma wrapped in a WCOOP-bracelet-winning victory. And that, he figures, is all we need to know for now.

With that, the mystery man pocketed his big payday and faded back into the shadows.

For more: nilself delivers final knockout blow of Event #10

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in WCOOP