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Five of the Very Best German Poker Players
German people are known for being sticklers for order and organization. They’re also extremely punctual and perform any task meticulously. Germany also produces some excellent poker players, some of the very best, in fact.
The top five German tournament players have amassed more than $114 million between them. It’s not known why the Germans excel at poker, they just do. But who are the top five active German poker players out there today? This quintet is
Best German Poker Players: Fedor Holz Is No. 1 Without a Doubt
You can’t have a list of elite German poker players without mentioning Fedor Holz. He tops the German all-time money listing despite only been active for five years. Holz has won $32,556,377 from live poker tournaments in those five, short years.
His first recorded live cash came September 2020 when he finished second in a €500 buy-in event in the Czech Republic for €15,320. That gave him the bankroll to begin grinding online poker and live events.
Holz has gone on to bank seven-figure prizes on seven occasions! His largest cash weighs in at $6 million, his reward for a second-place finish in the 2018 Big One for One Drop. Holz has one WSOP bracelet to his name. The Austria-based German won the 2016 $111,111 High Roller for $4,981,775.
The superstar has retired from professional poker but still sticks his toe in the waters occasionally.
Four-Time WSOP Bracelet Winning German Dominik Nitsche
Dominik Nitsche won his first-ever major live poker tournament. He won a satellite on PokerStars for the $5,200 LAPT Argentina Main Event in April 2019. Nitsche topped a field of 291-entrants and banked $381,030. We should have known we had a superstar on our hands even back then.
I first met Nitsche at EPT Barcelona in November 2010. He was still a relative unknown, an up-and-coming German kid. I remember he played a loose-aggressive style. Some may say he was spewy. Little did we know the talent he harbored.
Nitsche now has $18,649,880 in live poker tournament winnings. Winning four WSOP bracelets helped Nitsche achieve this lofty total. He became the youngest player to win three bracelets aged only 23-years-old, beating Phil Ivey by three-years.
His largest score is worth $4,064,000 which he received when he won his fourth bracelet in 2017.
Ole Schemion The Loose-Aggressive German Star
Ole Schemion is one of the best poker player to have never won a WSOP bracelet. That unwanted title is something that will surely go away sooner rather than later.
Schemion is a phenomenal tournament player who, like Nitsche, won his first major live event. Schemion’s first victory came in 2011 in an €1,100 side event at EPT Berlin. Victory saw €54,200 added to the German’s bankroll.
He won the same tournament the following year for a career-best €68,900. Schemion then won the 2012 Partouche Poker Tour Main Event for €1,172,850 ($1,474,670). The German had burst onto the poker scene.
The Berlin-born Vienna resident now has $16,331,581 in earnings and is feared and respected in equal measure. Schemion is one of my favorite players to watch. I’ve been fortunate enough to see him in action and it’s a joy.
He has an almost unnatural way of accumulating chips. His loose-aggressive style always extracts the maximum amount of chips and he puts his opponents under immense pressure.
Online poker tournaments are where you’ll often find Schemion. “wizowizo” is his alias and the name he’s won millions of dollars using.
Rainer Kempe, the Model Professional
Rainer Kempe is third on the German all-time money listings, but you’re unlikely to have heard of him. This is because Kempe is the model professional who likes to go about his business under the radar.
Kempe resides in Brighton these days due to the weird taxation rules in his native Germany. It’s from here that Kempe travels the world playing in the biggest live events, which he crushes. Kempe has 41 cashes worth at least $100,000 with two of those being for seven-figures! His largest prize comes in at $5 million, his reward for winning the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl.
Mr Methodical, Christoph Vogelsang
Christoph Vogelsang has $25,064,465 in live winnings placing him second in the German all-time money list. He’s another player, much like Kempe, who goes about his business quietly and efficiently.
The German is highly methodical and is slow playing style is often bemoaned. It’s an approach that works for him as he rarely puts a foot wrong at the poker table.
Six of Vogelsang’s biggest scores are worth at least $1.2 million. His career-best weighs in at $6 million, which he collected for winning the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl.