EPT11 Barcelona: Spotlight on the newest Super High Roller Sven Reichardt

August 20, 2014

A hand took place a short while ago that may swiftly become the type that gets tweeted and retweeted when it makes the highlight reel. It involved Olivier Busquet, Sven Reichardt, and an unlikely runner-runner that kept Busquet alive.

It also shone a spotlight on Reichardt, perhaps the least known player at the final table.

“I had the feeling that Olivier was trying to find a spot to push against me,” said Reichardt, a 36-year-old student from Hamburg, Germany. “I thought I should be opening a bit tighter there, and after I opened and he didn’t insta-fold I knew this could be the hand. Obviously I had kings and snapped called him, and, so, you know the rest.”

Reichardt was fairly deadpan about what proved a painful and pivotal hand.

Busquet had shoved with A♠2♠ and Reichardt called with K♦K♠. The flop made Reichardt a full house, kings over eights, which equated to being the 99 per cent favourite. Actually it was a shade more than that.


Sven Reichardt

Watching this Scott Seiver joked that Busquet still had runner-runner outs. It was one of those wonderful moments of dramatic irony we’re sometimes party to on the live coverage, even when it comes at the expense of a player who could rightly have demanded recognition as the unluckiest man in poker.

An A♥ came on the turn, and the A♦ on the river. Reichardt’s reaction was quite something, nothing more than a slight grin. Busquet meanwhile did his best to conceal his. Something you merely brush off, I asked Reichardt. “I kind of have to,” he replied.

But hands come and go, and there will be another one for us to jump up and down about before too long. Reichardt’s background is much more compelling. He’s not a pro, has no intention of becoming a pro, and instead has his thoughts elsewhere, intending to spend the next six months studying to become a primary (Elementary) school teacher. Three weeks from now, while the poker world rolls on and WCOOP becomes its central pre-occupation, Reichardt will instead be writing his Master’s thesis on mathematics in primary schools.

You might ask how someone goes from training to become a primary school teacher to a €50,000 Super High Roller, with only four modest–but promising–cashes in EPT and WSOP events over the past 18 months.


The final table in full swing

Reichardt didn’t have much to say about it. “I had a satellite win,” he said with a grin, before explaining that while the TV stage was a bit different, it had not affected him at all. The table was different he said, the lights too, but other than that he was as comfortable as any super high roller. Instead he left it to his friends, a dozen of them who have travelled from Hamburg to watch him, to get excited on his behalf, performing the first Mexican wave we’ve seen on the rail for some time.

So if primary school teaching didn’t work out then Reichardt could stick to poker.

“Actually he has it the other way around,” said his friend Alex Dietl on the rail, who would watch his friend lock up a €225,500 cash finish. While poker was great and everything, there was also something pretty cool about being able to teach kids in their first years in school.

Well, when you put it like that…

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.


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