Dominik Nitsche Wins the WSOP National Championship at Bally’s Atlantic City
Dominik Nitsche became the first non-American to win the WSOP National Championship this weekend. The 23 year old Nitsche now owns 2 World Series of Poker bracelets.
The WSOP National Championship was held in Bally’s Atlantic City Casino. It is considered an official 2014 World Series of Poker event, despite not being held in the Rio Casino. The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Paradise, Nevada is the official site of all other WSOP events this year.
Dominik Nitsche – Two-Time Bracelet Winner
Dominik Nitsche is part of a stable of German poker professionals who have been dominant on the European high roller scene in 2013 and 2014. Last year at the World Series of Poker, enough Canadians performed well that much was made by some poker writers about the year of Canada. When asked whether this would be the “Year of Germany”, Nitsche used the question as an opportunity to laud German domination of the game.
Nitsche said laughingly, “It’s not exactly ‘The Year of Germany’, because we just win everything anyways. It’s not a weird thing…we just own poker in general.”
When pressed to make a prediction, Dominik Nitsche said he expects Germany to win three WSOP bracelets at the upcoming month-and-a-half tournament. Besides his own bracelet, he predicted his friend Manig Loeser would win his 2nd WSOP bracelet, while a dark horse would emerge to win a third WSOP event. Germany’s best chance might be the $1 Million “Big One for One Drop” event, because an inordinate number of Germans have entered Guy Laliberte’s charity fundraiser this year.
WSOP National Championship
This was the fourth annual WSOP National Championship. In the previous three tournaments, no European had ever made the final table of the event–much less won it. This year, Nitsche finished in first place and fellow European Matthew Ashton took 3rd. Nitsche won $352,800 for his championship performance.
Athanasios Polychronopoulos finished in second place and collected $218,056 in winnings. Athanasios Polychronopoulos might sound like a European, but the two-time WSOP bracelet winner is actually a native of Southampton, New York. He won $218,056 for his second place finish.
Rounding out the final table, Christopher Bibb came in 4th place and won $115,655, while Tracy Doss finished in 5th place and won $86,461. Andrew Robinson finished in 6th place and won $65,734, while Ylon Schwartz finished in 7th place and won $50,816. Jeffrey Gunnip collected 8th place and $39,917, while Sean Lippel ended up in 9th place and won $31,865 in earnings.
National Championship Player Pool
The final table was a strong one. Third place Matthew Ashton is the reigning Poker Players Champion, while Polychronopolous is an accomplished player. Domenik Nitsche won a three-handed competition with both men, which gave him some sense of pride.
Nitsche added, “It’s always nice to win a tournament, especially in a tough field like here. Athanadios is an amazing player and we played heads-up for quite some time. Beating him feels extra sweet because he is such a good player, even though we’re friends.”
Nitsche went on to discuss the strength of the 126 player field. The field included 26 gamblers who bought in for $10,000 apiece. Also, 94 players came from the Circuit, while two players won their way into the event with wins at Bally’s Atlantic City tournaments. The final four entrants were players who won on the new, legal online poker site, WSOP.com. Nitsche praised the skill of the Circuit qualifiers.
2014 World Series of Poker Begins This Week
The 2014 World Series of Poker starts this week in Paradise/Las Vegas, Nevada. For the third straight year, the site of the 7-week tournament is the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The event at Bally’s Atlantic City technically was the first event in the tournament, because an official bracelet was handed out. The festival of poker the WSOP has become touches off with the Casino Employees Event on Tuesday. A Mixed Max $25,000 No Limit Hold’em Event is scheduled to begin later in the same day.
This year, the WSOP tournament includes 65 separate events, culminating in the 10-day World Series of Poker Main Event, which begins in three stages on July 5, 6, and 7. For the seventh straight year, the WSOP Main Event will adjourn for four months when the 9-player Final Table is determined. These nine players, the so-called November Nine, will finish the event in November at the Rio All-Suite Casino.
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