Rainer Kempe

Kempe has become a familiar face over the past couple of years thanks to big successes at the Super High Roller Bowl.

Kempe has become a familiar face over the past couple of years thanks to big successes at the Super High Roller Bowl and deep runs in EPT events, but it’s a relatively recent ascent for the 27-year old German player.

EPT Barcelona 2015 was the first time he cashed big, taking 5th spot in the Main Event for a $364, 716 payday, which would prove to be the start of his ascent to the top flight among the younger generation of players.

Kempe is not the kind of player to blow his own trumpet, a quiet and assuming young man who lets his poker do the talking, helped along the way by his close friend and sometime staker Fedor Holz.

His breakout year, 2016, saw him follow up the Barcelona final table with another 5th spot in EPT Malta, good for $177,724, a third place finish in the WPT Montreal for $147,599 and he rounded out his excellent year with a visit to EPT Prague – winning the €25k Super High Roller for €539,000 ($591,722).

As with many of the younger players, travel is seen as a necessary part of their poker learning process, and Kempe appeared in Las Vegas in March 2016, the temptation of the Aria High roller series paying off when he took second spot in the $25k for a very decent $321,790.

Firmly on the radar by now, nobody quite expected his next big win – but it was Kempe who outlasted the top-class field to take down the $5million first prize at the Super High Roller Bowl, ironically enough winning out heads-up against Fedor Holz, who was reputed to have a 50% stake in Kempe’s action.

Holz may have ‘semi-retired’ after his own heroic year, but before he announced this he lost out once again to Kempe when both men were back in the action at the Aria 2 months later, Rainer scooping $531,245 in the $50k event, with Ike Haxton second ahead of Holz.

The very next day he won $187,576, which sounds impressive until you realise it was the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop event, but it did serve to show that Kempe was now mixing the highest levels possible – something he would continue to do throughout 2017 with big though no longer unexpected cashes in the Philippines and the USA.

If you’re looking for interviews and big stories about Kempe, you’ll be hard pushed to uncover many of them – unlike some of the modern-day social media players, Kempe prefers to keep himself to himself. His poker, however, speaks volumes as to his talent and work ethic.

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