Philipp Gruissem Wins Back to Back Alpha8 EventsWednesday, November 20th, 2013 by Ryan
It’s not often that you find yourself talking about players winning back to back tournaments very often, if at all. Maybe a few smaller tournaments, but to see a player win two big named tournaments is something that you can write home about. With the poker events winding down for the year, it means that we have a few more big time events to write about before the new year kicks off and things really get rolling. We are fresh off of back to back World Poker Tour Alpha8 events, and they were pretty interesting to say the least. The reason why they were so interesting is absolutely due to the fact that we saw Philipp Gruissem get the job done not only at the WPT Alpha8 London event, but then three weeks later do it again at his second straight Alpha8 event, which was the St. Kitts stop.
This means that not only does Gruissem have two big scores in just a month, but he has a third one to go along with that also. If you remember back to the 2013 World Series of Poker Europe’s High Roller Event, you saw his name right near the top at the end of the action as well, as he pulled in a 3rd place finish there. That score was worth a nice pay day of $337,915, and then his win in London was worth $1,379,840. Last but not least, was another $1 million pay day, as his win at St. Kitts had a final payout of $1,086,400. As you may know, Gruissem lives for these types of tournaments, and it’s no surprise that he’s had a whole lot of success in 2013 in tournament play.
If you look back at the many different large buy-in tournaments that he’s played in this year, you are going to see some very, very strong results. It started in January of this year when he took part in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $98k No Limit Hold’em Super High Roller event, where he finished in 3rd place for $400,700. After that just a month later he played the Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge, and got second place for $197,416. April was another good one for him, as he took part in the WSOP Asia Pacific A$50,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Re-Buy, where he won it all and brought home $863,386. We can’t stop there though, as he then played the GuangDong Asia Millions HK$250,000 No Limit Hold’em Warm Up in June, where he got 3rd place for $221,427. To go along with all of these scores he has two cashes in a $10,000 and €10,000 tournament, and shockingly these aren’t really considered high roller tournaments!
Just this year alone we’ve seen Gruissem bring in an amazing $4.6 million and is up to 4th on the Global Poker Index rankings. His most recent win wasn’t the easiest of them all though, as he actually started the final table as the shortest stack with 274,000 chips.
Fortunately for Gruissem, his strong play, and the fact that the bulk of the players were in between 200k and 300k in chips it seemed, he just had to get a few hands and grind it out. We did see Tom McDonald way ahead though to start with 660,000 chips, and then Mike “Timex” McDonald in second with 448,000 chips. Timothy Adams started with the short stack at 161,000 chips, and in this event just making the final table wasn’t enough to cash, as only 28 players bought into the $100k event. Only five players would cash, so the players got to the action.
By the 30th hand of the final table, Gruissem had around 383,000 chips, and was right in the middle of things. It took 15 hands for him to nearly double that up as he found himself sitting with 676,000 chips. After that, Adams’ time had come as he was knocked out as the bubble boy, and then we saw Gruissem send Scott Seiver home. He was now sitting with 826,000 chips, but was 300,000 behind McDonald. McDonald then knocked out Jason Koon in 4th place on Hand 60.
Mike McDonald was our third place finisher when all was said and done when Tom McDonald knocked him out on Hand 124, setting up the heads up match. Gruissem actually had the chip lead thanks to a double up through Mike McDonald earlier, and was sitting with 1,691,000 to the 1,110,000 of McDonald. 26 hands were played before Gruissem was crowned as the champ, and he held the lead throughout. The last hand saw McDonald raise, and Gruissem move all-in with A-5. McDonald made a good call with A-6, but a 5 came on the flop and that was a wrap. Gruissem was our winner and took home the $1 million pay day.