Is Erich Kollmann is the Barny Boatman* of Austrian poker? Despite never having made a single six-figure score, Kollmann has made $1,479,473 in live tournament cashes and sits second in the all-time money list for Austria behind Josef Klinger (who picked up €1,000,000 for his second place finish at the EPT6 Grand Final to Nicolas Chouity). His cashes go back to 1996 and his first six-figure year (in dollars) was in 2000. That’s quite some grind.
The Austrian player, who loves a bit of ostentatious flair, see the large crucifix and jewel encrusted earrings, had the chip lead at the break and is loving life. On the last hand of the break he received a walk in the big blind. Kollman smiled broadly and flashed his cards. I couldn’t see them. The hand before that he had opened under-the-gun for 3,300 and the action had passed to Alex Kravchenko on the button who opted to move his 50,000 stack across the line. Kollmann hadn’t insta-mucked. He sat and thought for some time before smiling again, folding and flashing his hand at the inscrutable Russian. This time I could see. It was A♣Q♣. Kravchenko forced a smile in return. Was it genuine? Unlikely. That still left Kollmann with 345,000.
“It was two big hands,” Kollmann told the PokerStars Blog. “I win kings and I beat kings. If that works, it’s okay,” he added with a smile.
He’s certainly been on the circuit long enough to understand that tournaments don’t always go as planned. Having worked for BMW for around 20 years and played poker professionally for the last six Kollmann scored his most successful year in 2011 by far picking up a hefty $457,481, so has his tournament strategy changed? Has something clicked in his game?
“No, it’s typical tournament poker. Sometimes it’s really easy, sometimes it’s a really hard job. You can win nothing for two years. Last year was really good and maybe this year is really good too,” said Kollmann.
Tournaments are not his only revenue, of course, with pot-limit Omaha his main choice of play.
“In cash games I play Omaha. We have a PLO poker lounge open in Vienna for high limit games starting 25-50 going up to 200-400. That’s a very big game,” said Kollmann casually.
Although he did not say that he was a winner in those games, his smile seemed to say as much.
*Boatman made his first six-figure score at EPT8 San Remo.