Eric Afriat may have garnered more attention by earning his third career World Poker Tour bracelet at the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic on Sunday, but there was a second WPT champ crowned that very same day across the Atlantic. Christopher Puetz won the WPT Germany Main Event, the first time he has ever won a live poker tournament. For the victory, the 23-year old Puetz won €270,000.
Puetz told WPT.com that he only started playing poker a couple years ago while still in school. One might surmise that he primarily plays online, though we don’t know for sure. What we do know is that this is only his third recorded live tournament cash. The other two only totaled about €11,000. Both of those came at the same casino as WPT Germany, King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic (yes, it’s called WPT Germany – the casino is right at the German border). Both prior cashes came last year in WSOP International Circuit events, one in March, one in October.
The young champ is not sure what his future poker plans are, but he won a seat in the season-ending Tournament of Champions, so odds are we’ll at least see him there.
Before Puetz made his run to the Champion’s Cup, the story of the day was Hossein Ensan. The 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event champ entered the day second out of nine players. He was looking to become just the tenth player ever to complete poker’s Triple Crown: win a WSOP bracelet, a WPT title, and a European Poker Tour title. He won EPT Prague in 2015.
But Ensan had a rough go of it on Sunday and bowed out in seventh place, on the official final table bubble.
Puetz started the day in the middle of the pack with 2.230 million chips. The chip leader was Gianluca Speranza with 4.415 million.
By the time the six-handed final table was reached, Puetz was in third with 3.790 million, but he was nearly 5 million behind Joep van den Bijgaart.
Puetz accomplished very little for much of the final table, watching his stack drop below 2 million. van den Bijgaart increased his lead for a while and generally cruised, even though his stack did dip below 6 million at one point. Puetz continued to stay alive, finding a double-up and steadily chipping up, even if he wasn’t making up much ground on van den Bijgaart.
On the 86th hand of the final table, though, Puetz broke through, doubling through van den Bijgaart to climb above 8 million. That sent van den Bijgaart reeling and he was eventually knocked out in third place by Laszlo Papai.
Going into heads-up play, Papai had a slight lead on Puetz, 10.775 million to 9.625 million.
Just a few hands in, the two men raised and re-raised each other pre-flop until all the chips were committed. Puetz had a small lead at that point, but the stacks were so close that this was effectively the match.
Puetz had A-J, dominating Papai’s suited A-T. Nothing helped Papai and Puetz won the hand, collecting all but 125,000 chips.
Papai was automatically all-in on the next hand and lost, giving Puetz the crown.
2020 World Poker Tour Germany Main Event – Final Table Results
- Christopher Puetz – €270,000
- Laszlo Papai – €174,500
- Joep van den Bijgaart – €125,000
- Josef Gulas – €91,000
- Gianluca Speranza – €68,000
- Farukh Tach – €52,000