Over the last decade, German poker players have emerged as a dominant force in the poker world.
The nation is considered to be home to some of the best players in the world, including World Series of Poker Main Event Champions Pius Heinz (2011) and Hossein Ensan (2019).
The Best German Poker Players (All-Time Money List)
The following players are the top tournament poker players from Germany as tracked by Hendon Mob.
1. Fedor Holz ($32,556,379)
Since he burst onto the scene in the mid-2010’s, Fedor Holz has established himself as one of the best tournament poker players of all-time.
Though he is only 27 years old, the German native has already amassed over $30,000,000 in tournament earnings and two World Series of Poker bracelets. He went on a legendary heater in 2016 and 2017 that saw him crush the high-roller circuit.
His largest scores include $6,000,000 in a second-place finish at the 2018 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop and $4,981,775 in his first WSOP victory in the 2016 $111,111 High Roller for One Drop. His second bracelet came in September 2020 when he won the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em Heads Up Online event.
Fedor has retired from playing poker full-time. However, he also still regularly plays high-roller events, both live and online while he focuses on other ventures.
2. Christoph Vogelsang ($25,064,465)
Known for his turtleneck hoodies, Cristoph Vogelsang has become one of the best tournament players in the world. Though he got his start as an online player, he has transitioned into an extremely successful live player who has amassed over $25,000,000 in tournament earnings.
His most prestigious victory was also his biggest score as he won the 2017 $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl for $6,000,000. His second largest score came in 2014 at the WSOP One Drop for $1,000,000 where he placed third and earned $4,480,000.
3. Rainer Kempe ($21,427,269)
Like many other German poker players, Kempe also climbed up the poker ladder during the 2010s and has over $20,000,000 in career earnings.
Also like Vogelsang, Kempe’s largest tournament score came with a victory in the Super High Roller Bowl. Kempe won the tournament’s second edition in 2015 for a prize of $5,000,000. His second biggest cash came three years later when he earned $2,040,533 in a third-place finish at a Super High Roller event in Macau.
4. Dominik Nitsche ($18,649,882)
Nitsche ranks fourth on the all-time German money list with over $18,000,000 in career earnings.
In addition to this, Nitsche outpaces the other Germans as he holds four WSOP bracelets. He won his first bracelet in 2012, which he followed up with two in 2014 and one in 2017. His 2017 victory was his biggest to date, coming in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop, which he won for $3,487,463.
5. Ole Schemion ($16,331,584)
Schemion has earned over $16,000,000 during his prestigious career. He also ranked first in 2013 GPI Player of the Year standings.
His largest tournament score came in 2016 when he won a Super High Roller event in Monte Carlo for over $1,800,000. He has recorded three other cashes of over $1,000,000.
Honorable Mentions & German Poker Cash Game Specialists
Pius Heinz: The first German poker player to win the WSOP Main Event
Heinz made history by becoming the first German poker player to win the World Series of Poker Main Event. His victory in 2011 earned him $8,715,638.
Hossein Ensan: The 2019 WSOP Main Event Champion
Ensan became the second German player to win the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2019. His first-place finish earned him $10,000,000.
Steffen Sontheimer: A rising German poker star
Sontheimer ranks sixth on the German poker money-list with $13,727,893 in career earnings. He is a regular on the high roller circuit and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him crack the top-five over the next few years.
Online Poker Laws in Germany
Like most places in Europe, online poker sites are allowed to operate. Aside from the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany does not have specific regulations for online poker. In general, gambling laws are considered a part of the public domain (Poker Scout).
Top Poker Sites for German Poker Players
According to PokerScout, these are the most-trafficked online poker sites in Germany.
The Truth About How People From Germany Play Poker
This section is dedicated to how you can adapt your poker game when you are playing opponents from Germany.
Disclaimer: These reads are Doug Polk’s personal, generalized reads about players from different regions (as expressed in this video). They do not:
- Apply to EVERY player from said country.
- Mean that you’re terrible at poker if you hail from one of the countries mentioned below.
That said, these generalized reads can be used to shape our strategy when we have little to no other pertinent information to act upon.
This doesn’t mean we should always make drastic adjustments just because we’re playing against a certain nationality, but rather use these reads to help us make the best decision in close spots. Let’s get into some (tongue-in-cheek) profiling!
Be warned, the Germans typically DO NOT LIKE GETTING BLUFFED.
Adjustments: A propensity for calling can be combated in a few ways. First off, we should bluff less, since bluffing a calling station is definitely not optimal. Secondly, look to value-bet as thinly as possible to maximally punish any over-calling from your opponent.