Judging from the experience of a young German, poker rooms on the internet are a good way to prepare for the real thing.
Max Altergott (whose last name literally means “ancient god”) is a living proof of this theory, entering and winning the very first live cash tournament of his life, the $100,000 buy-in EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller.
Beating seasoned opponents such as Jason Mercier (27) from the US and Sorel Mizzi (27) from Canada, and thus grabbing EUR 1,746,400 of the EUR 4,851,000 prize pool was no small feat, and it has made big gambling news in the global poker community.
The whole event was equally grand, lasting for 10 days, with the final table of seven players fighting it out over the course of six hours. As Mercier and Mizzi are well known for their tournament experience, observers were nearly anonymous in predicting a third place finish for Altergott.
The German player, however, proved them wrong. First, he eliminated Mizzi when the Canadian’s all-in gamble on a K-Q proved to be an all-out of the game, beaten by pocket Jacks.
As the battle went on Mercier also decided on an all-in, with top pair and a flush draw, but Altergott’s overpair delivered a decisive blow, leaving the American with just a few chips. The next round was the last, and a new champion emerged.
Despite the defeat, Mercier probably found his EUR 1,115,700 a decent consolation for losing out to a relative rookie.
One conclusion we can draw from Altergott’s feat: even though German gambling laws prohibit online poker, real talent can not be kept hidden for long. Hopefully he will also get his own Wikipedia entry soon.