The 2016 Super High Roller Bowl featured 49 of the world’s best poker players and to the surprise of nobody who has been watching the world of high roller poker tournaments the past few years, it ended up being another celebration of German poker excellence.
Rainer Kempe beat countryman Fedor Holz to win second annual Super High Roller Bowl and the $5,000,000 first place prize. Holz’s runner-up finish earned him $3,500,000. The two Germans were responsible for every elimination at the final table on Wednesday night.
After Holz opened to 140,000, Dan Shak, down to just over 500,000 in chips, moved all in and Holz called. The German pro tabled and was ahead of Shak who tabled . The board ran out to give Holz a jack-high straight and send Shak out in seventh place for $600,000.
Nearly one hour later two more players went out. The first to go was Bryn Kenney. With action folded to him on the button, Kenney moved all in for 1,300,000 only to have Holz call from the small blind. Kenney got bad news when he found out his was up against Holz’ . The board ran out to send Kenney out in sixth place.
Despite being on the good side of the first two eliminations, Holz remained in second place behind Kempe. And on the very next hand, Kempe put even more distance between himself and the other players.
Matt Berkey called from the button before Kempe raised to 205,000 from the small blind and Holz folded his big blind. Berkey responded by moving all in for 1,300,000 and Kempe called. Berkey showed and needed to improve against Kempe’s . Kempe ended up making a set on the flop, but the turn gave Berkey outs to a flush. The river was no help for Berkey and he was out in fifth place for $1,100,000.
The final four players played for over two hours before seeing another elimination. While Kempe and Holz did their best to maintain the top two spots, Poker Hall of Famers Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth traded turns as the short stack before the 14-time WSOP bracelet winner saw his tournament end.
Holz and Seidel folded to Hellmuth who just called from the small blind. Kempe announced he was all in and Hellmuth quickly called. Kempe turned over before Hellmuth stood and showed a dominated . Hellmuth could do nothing but watch as the flop, turn and river brought him no save and he was eliminated in third place.
The $1,600,000 fourth place prize is the second largest of Hellmuth’s career, behind only the $ 2,645,333 he earned for his fourth place finish in the Big One for One Drop in 2012.
That left the two young Germans and Seidel in contention and although he spent a good part of the final table fighting off elimination, Seidel eventually did bust. After Holz folded his button, Seidel shoved for 1,200,000 and Kempe called. Seidel held but was behind Kempe’s . Seidel could do nothing but watch the run out before exiting the tournament area.
The $2.6 million score moved Seidel past Antonio Esfandiari on poker’s all-time earnings list. Seidel has now won $29,283,817 over the course of his career and trails only Daniel Negreanu.
While Kempe began the final table with the chip lead and never appeared to have that lead in danger, the heads-up finale proved to be a different story. Kempe and Holz traded the chip lead back and forth over the course of three-and-a-half hours before Kempe finally emerged victorious. The final hand was pocket pair versus pocket pair.
Holz raised to 400,000 before Kempe made it 1,200,000 to go. Holz, with just 4,380,000, moved all in and Kempe called. Holz had and needed to improve against Kempe’s . Holz got no help on the flop, turn or the river and was eliminated in second place as Kempe celebrated the first seven-figure cash of his career.
Final Table Payouts
- Rainer Kempe – $5,000,000
- Fedor Holz – $3,500,000
- Erik Seidel – $2,400,000
- Phil Hellmuth – $1,600,000
- Matt Berkey – $1,100,000
- Bryn Kenney – $800,000
- Dan Shak – $600,000