Germany’s Arne Kern Wins 2018 WSOP Millionaire Maker for $1.17M

Germany's Arne Kern Wins 2018 WSOP Millionaire Maker for $1.17M

Event #21 of the 2018 World Series of Poker, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em MILLIONAIRE MAKER, drew a huge crowd of 7,361 players, making the tournament an exercise in patience and pacing oneself, as well as skill. Fortunately for Arne Kern, he managed to display all the necessary qualities needed in order to take down an event of such a magnitude, with the German player lifting himself from near the bottom of the field on Day 4 to eventually claim the title, and a first-place prize of $1,173,223.

Following a monumental victory that accounts for all but $56,701 of his career earnings, the 28-year old student shone a little light on the strategy that helped net his native Germany a 34th gold bracelet, stating:

“At first I was short-stacking, playing pretty tight. I picked my spots. I waited until other players busted.”

$1,500 Millionaire Maker

The $1,500 Millionaire Maker featured a prize pool just shy of $10 million. Amongst the players then finishing in one of its 1,105 money places was Elio Fox in 92nd ($8,976), James Dempsey in 78th ($12,508), Scott Baumstein in 56th ($17,995), JC Tran in 42nd ($26,713), and Joseph Cheong in 23rd ($40,898).

The final day of play subsequently started with 17 players remaining. First to exit the arena was Manig Loeser, having locked up a $51,188 payday for his hard fought efforts, and as the field thinned further, the 2015 WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen (4-4) eventually eliminated Chad Hahn (J-10) in 10th to set the officially final table.

Stacked Final Table

The $1,500 Millionaire Maker final table featured a number of top pros, including 2-times bracelet winners Barny Boatman and Joe McKeehen, WSOP bracelet holder Justin Liberto, Ralph Massey, and 2012 Asian Poker Tour (APT) Player Of the Year Sam Razavi.

Boatman (J-J) then proceeded to eliminate Sean Marshall (5-5) in 9th, before Michael Souza (A-A) took care of Ralph Massey (A-Q) in 8th. Next, Arne Kern (A-J) called Boatman’s preflop all-in shove holding A-K, and after the board fell a rather fortunate A-J-6-8-6, Boatman exited the competition in 7th.

Soon after, Sam Razavi (A-A) knocked out Ruivo (9-9) in 6th, while Souza’s A-J was good enough to do likewise to Liberto in 5th. Nevertheless, Souza was next out the door in 4th after his A-K proved no match for Razavi’s pocket queens.

During three-handed play, McKeehen (K-K) called Sam Razavi’s (A-8) preflop all-in move, but was reduced to just 5bbs after an ace hit the flop. On the next hand, Kern (J-9) saw off McKeehen (Q-3) in 3rd for $538,276, in the process setting up the final phase of the tournament.

Kern vs Razavi Heads-Up

Kern and Razavi began heads-up play fairly even in chips. Two hours later, the former then managed to pull away to a 4-to-1 chip lead when the deciding hand arose with Kern (4s-2s) moving all-in preflop, and his opponent swiftly calling holding Ah-Jd. After the dealer laid out an 8s-3s-3h-5s-4d board, England’s Razavi had to settle for a runner-up finish that now takes his live career earnings to $2,450,192.

Meanwhile, Arne Kern claimed a coveted WSOP bracelet, and commenting upon the 4s-2s hand that helped clinched the title for him, the German player stated:

“I’m not very proud of that. I may have read the stack sizes a bit wrong but it all worked out. It’s a dream come true.”

Arne Kern now increases Germany’s bracelet tally to 34, narrowing the distance between his country’s WSOP haul and that of England (45), and Canada (55). Meanwhile, the United States enjoys a formidable advantage being the host nation, and has a massive 1,044 WSOP bracelets to its credit. Furthermore, the first non-US player to appear on the list of all-time bracelet winners is Jeff Lisandro with 6 accolades, while the 13 US players ahead of him boast an incredible 96 bracelets between them.

Final Table Results

1: Arne Kern (GER) $1,173,223
2: Sam Razavi (UK) $724,756
3: Joe McKeehen (US) $538,276
4: Michael Souza (US) $402,614
5: Justin Liberto (US) $303,294
6: Manuel Ruivo (POR) $230,120
7: Barny Boatman (UK) $175,865
8: Ralph Massey (US) $135,383
9: Sean Marshall (US) $104,987