Rainer Kempe Wins the $1,100 Caribbean Poker Party Festival MILLIONS Open for $200,0001 year ago
An impressive warm-up is the best way to describe Rainer Kempe’s victory in the Caribbean Poker Party Festival $1,100 MILLIONS Open, the German showing his small-field high-roller skills translate just as well into big fields and smaller buy-ins as he took down the $200,000 top prize.
A total of 812 entries in the $1100 buy-in Open held at The Level at Melia Caribe Tropical, not quite reaching the $1million guaranteed prizepool but not far off, and the field included some big names aside from the eventual winner.
Former November Niner from the Czech Republic Vojtech Ruzicka was there, as was Hendon Mob man Barney Boatman and compatriot Jack Salter, with another German high-roller with recent success Stefan Schillhabel looking for a deep run.
The atmosphere may have been described as ‘subdued’ as the latter stages of the Open came to a conclusion, but not everyone was deep in a tournament as evidenced by Mike Sexton’s tweet, shoeing just why the Punta Cana stop is a major draw…
…but back at the tables Kempe found himself at a final table with a surprisingly star-free line-up (apart from himself) his fellow high-rollers bowing out earlier.
For Kempe, a man who can boast over $11million in tournament cashes with a $5million windfall when he scooped the Super High Roller Bowl in Vegas last year, the attraction of the event was likely not the money. Coming out top in any event is a boost, something he has managed twice with big wins at the Aria since his SHR victory, but taking down a big-field event is always something worthy of credit.
Short-handed play got even shorter when Kempe dismissed both Hockin and Martinez in 4th and 3rd respectively, setting up a finale against Italian Claudio Di Giacomo who had already sealed his biggest-ever payday – simply because he had never cashed before!
When the end finally came it was classic stuff, the PartyPoker live blog describing the action: ‘Rainer Kempe limped in from the button, Claudio Di Giacomo shoved from the big blind for 198,000,000, and Kempe called to put him at risk.
Kempe: A♠ K♥
Di Giacomo: K♠ Q♠
Kempe had the preflop advantage and Di Giacomo needed to improve in order to stay in contention. The board ran out A♣ J♣ 8♦ 9♣ 6♥ and Kempe took the pot with top pair, top kicker to eliminate Di Giacomo and win the $1,100 MILLIONS Open.’
In his winner’s interview the German said: "I'm just happy that everything went as smooth as it did in the end" and as we go to press his girlfriend Maria Ho is attempting to do something similar in the Main Event which PokerTube will report as it reaches its finale.
Final Table Results
|2||Claudio Di Giacomo||$121,500|
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