No 5: Tobias Reinkemeier
Total Live Tournament Winnings: $2,265,427
Tobias Reinkemeier is one of a select group of young players who made a small deposit into their first online poker account and moved up the stakes in an extraordinarily short amount of time.
After making his mark online, Reinkemeier debuted on the live poker tournament circuit with a bang in 2007 when he won a €500 side event at the European Poker Tour stop in Dortmund for €30,500.
The 24-year-old followed that win up with a few more successes at smaller tournaments but his career took off in 2010 when he won the EPT High Roller Event in Monaco for €1 million.
Reinkemeier followed that with a final table at the Partouche Poker main event and significant cashes in Melbourne, Madrid and Barcelona.
In December 2011 he finished in 11th place at the World Poker Tour main event in Prague.
No 4: Moritz Kranich
Total Live Tournament Winnings: $2,905,460
31-year-old Moritz Kranich got his start cashing in smaller tournaments in his hometown of Hamburg in 2007 before celebrating his first cash in a major tournament series in 2009 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas.
Not even two weeks later he went to EPT Deauville in France and won the main event there for more than €850,000.
Since then he’s been a part-time professional playing only the tournaments he wants – and quite successfully so.
In 2010 he won the World Poker Tour Bellagio Cup in Las Vegas for $875,150. Kranich nearly added another win in 2011 at the World Series of Poker Europe main event before he eventually busted in third place for €550,000.
No 3: Benjamin Spindler
Total Live Tournament Winnings: $3,134,924
Aptly named “Psychobenny” for his hyper-aggressive style, Spindler is feared for the relentless pressure he applies on his opponents.
Many times his aggressive strategy leads to early bust-outs, but once he builds a big stack it becomes virtually impossible to stop him.
A good example is the EPT London main event in the fall of 2011, which he won thanks to his relentless style. The title was worth more than $1.1 million and rocketed Spindler up the German All-Time Money List.
Spindler’s CV also shows impressive wins in tournaments in Estonia and Austria and final tables at big events in Marrakesh, Berlin, Madrid and the Bahamas.
No 2: Sebastian Ruthenberg
Total Live Tournament Winnings: $3,457,185
Also hailing from Hamburg, Sebastian Ruthenberg is not your typical internet nerd or party kid.
He started his live poker career in 2006 with a win at the German Poker Open for €50,000 and his career peaked in 2008 when he managed to win a bracelet at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and the main event of the European Poker Tour in Barcelona within only a few months.
Combined, those two events earned him over $2.2 million.
Today, Ruthenberg has almost completely withdrawn from live poker. He’s planning a new career in gastronomy and is enjoying the life of a poker player who made all the money he needed to settle down in less than five years.
No 1: Pius Heinz
Total Live Tournament Winnings: $8,876,067
The player with the shortest list of cashes is on top of this list because his biggest cash is also the biggest you can take on the global poker scene.
In 2011 Pius Heinz, a 23-year-old predominately online player, went to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas to see if he could persevere in the biggest and longest poker tournaments in the world.
He fared well, making the final table in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event with 2,713 players and winning $83,286 for his efforts.
He then went on to play the $10,000 buy-in main event and two weeks later became only the second German player ever to reach the so-called “November
Nine” – the last nine players in a field of 6,865.
When the players met again in November 2011, every one of them was guaranteed at least $782,115. In the end, it was Pius Heinz who won the most prestigious title of the year, along with the $8,715,368 first-place prize.
The win currently gives him a $5-million lead on Sebastian Ruthenberg on the German all-time money list.
Heinz has already won another live tournament in Barcelona since and made the final table at a side event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in early 2012.
Heinz also starred in the famous show “The TV Total Pokernacht”, hosted by Stefan Raab – which he also won.
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