Tom Holke beats all-comers to win inaugural Eureka Hamburg Main Event
Sometimes it's just written in the stars. Despite everyone trying to take your destiny down another route, you stay on path until you reach your goal. Tom Holke came in today dressed in all the accessories he could find that matched the colours of the German flag- hats, scarfs, you name it - he had it on, and it was a signal that he already knew he was going to win. Come to think of it, he's been wearing the same gear since day one!
He's also played with the carefree style of a man who knew he was going to win. He had the look of a man who thoroughly enjoyed himself at every moment. If he lost a pot, no bother, he'd just go and win the next one.
Poker is a zero sum game though, and if he was feeling that elated, others were feeling the opposite. None more so than the second and third-pace finishers, Alexander Lemme and Steffen Kessler, who had the look of men who had been told they weren't going to win whatever they tried. Maybe Holke let them in on his secret.
Lemme should be happy with coming second for €67,100 - by far the biggest score of his career - but, as the start of day chip leader, he had eyes on top spot and nothing else. He busted after 12 hands of heads-up play when his ace-seven couldn't find a way back against Holke's dominating ace-jack. Kessler busted a short while before that when his pocket kings were beaten by Holke's ace-jack (again) that made a straight on the river.
Only six of the official final table of eight came back for the final day here inside the Spielbank Schenefeld casino, the tenth of ten days that filled up this inaugural poker festival. That number was quickly reduced to four after the elimination John Forst and Nils Maibaum.
Forst three-bet all in with nine-ten but was felled by Holke (who called behind) and his mighty pocket deuces. Nils Mainbaum lost most of his stack in the final three-way all in hand that concluded Day 3's play and wasn't in a position to fold to a flopped top pair. Unfortunately for him, Lemme had him out-kicked and he was on his way.
Armin Eckl was, by far, the shortest stack by that stage and struggled to find a spot to get his stack in. When he did - with five-deuce on the button- he ran into Lemme and his ace-queen.
Three-handed play was the only plateaux of the last couple of days - a three-level period without elimination. That doesn't mean nothing was going on though. Holke tormented his opponents with a style of play that his opponents weren't able to exploit, a style of play that big hands are the only ammunition that work. All you had to do was look at Lemme and Kessler's faces to realise their weapons were loaded with blanks.
Well done Holke, this is your time. Enjoy every single second of it.
To read back over how today's action went down, please click here.That concludes a hugely successful Eureka5 Hamburg festival. We'll be back for sure and keep a listen out for news about upcoming stops on the tour.