EPT9 Grand Final High Roller: The unbeatable German High Roller mafia

If a malevolent comic book nemesis wanted to cook up a plot to win an EPT High Roller tournament, he should start by sending a crack team of henchman to table eight of the Salle des Etoiles this afternoon. With one vial of purple sleeping gas, or a few minutes of BIFF! PUNCH! and KA-POW! he could pretty much guarantee all his major enemies were dead.

That's because table eight of the Salle des Etoiles today features not only Benny Spindler, but Tobias Reinkemeier and Philipp Gruissem too. They are three of the German crew that has been tearing through high buy-in fields for more than a year now: friends, countrymen, travelling partners and utter beasts at the tables. If you add in Igor Kurganov (who is sitting on table nine) too and you pretty much guaranteed at least one of them in the top three by the end of the week.

Let's just take a look at their pedigree in these tournaments recently.

Reinkemeier came second at the Aussie Millions $250,000 challenge in February, winning AUD$1,250,000. (Kurganov was fourth in the same event.) Reinkemeier was also fifth in the €50,000 "Majestic Roller" event at the WSOP-Europe last January, good for €200,000, and was third at the €10,00 Estrellas High Roller, which added €119,000.

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Tobias Reinkemeier: Born to High Roll

About this time last year, he was runner up to Justin Bonomo in the Super High Roller tournament, winning €1,064,000 in that €100,000 buy-in event. His pedigree is exceptional.

Gruissem has had eight six-figure scores in High Roller tournaments over the past two years, including victory last month at the first WSOP APAC $50,000 High Roller Rebuy event in Melbourne. That earned him AUD$825,000, his biggest result since he came third in this very tournament in this very room last year.

Before that, he had won the High Roller at EPT London, and the High Roller at EPT Barcelona. A High Roller actually isn't a High Roller until Gruissem buys in, and then he's pretty much a lock to win it.

As for Spindler, he is a slouch because he's only won one High Roller event, a €10,000 buy-in at Sanremo last October. But he did that after winning the main event of EPT London, which earned him £750,000. Spindler is currently sitting beside another German, Mario Puccini, who is no doubt hoping for access to that exclusive club.

As all this was being calculated, Reinkemeier was actually being eliminated. Per Ummer turned quad queens after Reinkemeier had flopped a straight. The board was A♦J♣Q♦; Reinkemeier had K♠[10s], Ummer Q♥Q♠ and the turn was the case queen.

But that was only his first life and Reinkemeier went straight back to the cash desk to buy in again.

The High Roller event has now registered more than 100 players, and will play over three days. They will play 10 levels tonight, during which the possibility to reload exists for busted players, before the cash slams close as the first card is dealt tomorrow.

A quick note on how to follow our coverage of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final. Head to the main EPT Monaco page, where you will find hand-by-hand coverage from the tables of the Main Event in the panel at the top of the page, which also includes current chip counts and payouts as they happen. Head to the High Roller page for the same from there.

Our feature coverage can be found below the panels on both pages, plus the latest from the side events. And don't forget EPT Live. How could you? It's live now on PokerStars.tv

Howard Swains
@howardswains in High Roller