Jan-Peter Jachtmann Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

German Publisher and Semi-Pro Player Wins $10,000 Buy-In Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship

First Gold Bracelet of the Year for Germany

Jachtmann Dominates and Destroys Final Table Lineup – Four Hour Cakewalk for Winner


“One Moment, One Decision, One Victory”

This is the story about the man who beat the great Sammy Farha at his own game.

It is the story of a relatively unknown poker player outside his own country, who managed to cross a vast ocean and travel a great distance in order to fulfill a dream.
It is the story of a man who spends the majority of his time promoting the game and its greatest players, who suddenly found himself in the unfamiliar role of poker champion.

This is the story of Jan-Peter Jachtmann.

The reason you now know Jachtmann’s name – indeed, the entire reason you are reading this true tale now – stems from a single moment, now frozen in the mind of the latest World Series of Poker gold bracelet champion.

“One Moment”

Prior to this year, Jan-Peter Jachtmann had never cashed in any event held at the WSOP. The 44-year-old publisher and semi-pro poker player from Hamburg, Germany enjoyed a few prior tournament wins in Austria. Alas, Jachtmann had paid his dues many times over for more than 20 years as a dedicated semi-pro player, dating back to the game’s infancy in central Europe, when the most popular form of poker played in the few casinos that existed was Seven-Card Stud.

Whatever Jachtmann accomplished as a player was certainly outdone by his role as a publisher and poker journalist. He founded, and still runs “POKERBLATT,” which is Germany’s largest poker magazine. No doubt, Jachtmann’s duties over the past year were made much easier, by fellow-countryman Pius Heinz’s surprise victory as the reigning world poker champion.

Several days ago, Jachtmann arrived in Las Vegas. He came as a player, not as a journalist. Jachtmann intended to play in just three gold bracelet events – all Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments. Jachtmann managed to cash in his very first attempt, coming in 43rd-place in Event #26. One for one. Not a bad way to start a WSOP career.

Jachtmann fell flat in his second tournament attempt. He was never a factor. That left Jachtmann with one last opportunity to make this WSOP visit something to remember.

Three days ago, when Jachtmann sat down amidst 293 of the world’s most grizzled Pot-Limit Omaha specialists, he was arguably one of the least-recognizable faces in the crowd. Every table was filled with poker superstars.

Former gold bracelet winner Robert Williamson III, with nine PLO cashes within the last 10 years (including a cash in this event) was at his table. So was Huck Seed, the 1996 world poker champion. Two-time gold bracelet winner Jason Mercier, joined the game -- who ended up final tabling this event, as well. Then, there was “the man.”

When it comes to Pot-Limit Omaha, “the man” is Sammy Farha.

The poker legend may be more famous for the match he lost (against Chris Moneymaker, in 2003) than the times he won. The man with three Omaha-related WSOP gold bracelet victories appeared to be on the verge of making another deep run, when he ended the second day’s action as one of the chip leaders.

On the third and final day, with only 11 players remaining, there’s no way Farha could have foreseen that the turning point was about to occur. Farha probably didn’t even know the opponent's name who was about to end his tournament life. It would be quick. It would be shocking. And, it almost didn’t happen.

“One Decision”

Sammy Farha was sitting comfortably on over a million in chips when the average stack was just half that. One of the few players in the tournament with more chips was Jan-Peter Jachtmann.

The hand that ultimately determined the destiny of both players, and propelled the winner onto victory was the classic trap hand, so often seen in Pot-Limit Omaha. The cards and suits won’t be recounted here. Let’s just say Jachtmann held a straight and was staring coldly into a paired board.

A paired board is a land mine in Pot-Limit Omaha. It’s potentially explosive. One misstep, and a tournament life is blown away. Suddenly, there is an empty seat and a new chip leader. That’s the paired board trap in Pot-Limit Omaha. *

Gazing into that ugly paired board, Jachtmann knew he had a nine-high straight. He watched in anguish as the Omaha-master Farha paused and then slowly shoved virtually all of his stack toward the center of the table. Farha was close to being all-in. It was decision time.

Faced with the prospect of being left with having almost nothing left, or catapulting into the chip lead if his hand was good, Jachtmann went into the tank. He thought about his decision. If Jachtmann guessed wrong in the very last WSOP event of the year he would play – within 24 hours, he’d be back on a plane to Germany, albeit with an interesting story or two. But if he guessed right, the possibility to a gold bracelet would very much be within reach.

Jachtmann decided to shove and take his chances that his hand was good. Farha -- with one of the paired board cards in his hand still had outs if he could it a nine-outer – was pot-committed. He called. A blank hit on the river, a nail in the legend's coffin, as well as a temporary proxy of a far more precious metal amulet that was to come a short time later. Farha’s tournament life was over. Meanwhile, there was a new chip leader who never lost his momentum from that point forward.

“If I would have won that hand, I would have won the tournament,” Farha quietly and confidently said later. “I had reads on every player at my table. There’s no way I would not have won it.”

Ironically, Jachtmann had knocked out one of the players he admires most.

“The crazy thing is Sammy Farha is one of my absolute idols,” Jachtmann revealed afterward. “I didn’t tell him before, but I wanted to tell him later. You don’t just go up and say ‘hey, you’re my idol,’ and then he starts playing differently against you. When I was watching poker on television, I saw Sammy Farha and I was like ‘wow, he’s a cool guy.”

“One Victory”

With Farha’s former chips as his own, there was absolutely no stopping the Jachtmann express. He arrived at the final table as the chip leader. During the final ordeal, Jachtmann was never in serious danger of elimination, although former gold bracelet winner Andrew Brown did his best to put up some kind of road block to derail the roaring German freight train.

Indeed, it was full steam ahead at a final table that went a lightening-quick four hours – one of the shorter championship-level events in recent years.

With his victory, Jan-Peter Jachtmann became the first German player to win a WSOP gold bracelet since Pius Heinz won last year's Main Event Championship. Interestingly, this now places two German players in the reigning hierarchy of poker's two most popular games -- Heinz as the undisputed No-Limit Hold'em heavyweight king, and Jachtmann as the new Pot-Limit Omaha world champion.

And none of this would have likely happened had it not been for that one thrilling moment, one brave decision, and ultimately one extraordinary victory.

•    Note: A paired board means the opportunity for a full house is possible, which nullifies all flushes, straight, and lower-ranked hands.

Jan-Peter Jachtmann Wins $10,000 Buy-In Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship (Event #39)

Las Vegas, NV (June 23, 2012) – Jan-Peter Jachtmann won the biggest tournament of his life tonight at the World Series of Poker, in Las Vegas.

Jachtmann won the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship. This is the 39th of 61 gold bracelet events on the 2012 WSOP schedule. The three-day competition drew another blistering lineup of heavyweights. Of the 36 players who finished in the money, nearly half (16) were former gold bracelet winners. The tournament began with 293 entrants and concluded on Saturday night under the bright lights of the ESPN Main Stage.

Jachtmann is a 44-year-old professional poker player and publisher from Hamburg, Germany. He operates the largest German-language poker publication in the world. For this achievement, Jachtmann collected the astronomical sum of $661,000 in prize money, plus his first WSOP gold bracelet. This was undoubtedly yet another huge boost to the booming poker market in Germany.

Indeed, Jachtmann becomes this year's first WSOP winner from Germany, following reigning world poker champion Pius Heinz’s landmark victory in the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship.

Name:  Jan-Peter Jachtmann

Birthplace:  Hamburg, Germany

Current Residence:  Hamburg, Germany

Profession:  Publisher

Marital Status:  Single

Children:  None

WSOP Cashes:  2

WSOP Final Table Appearances:  1

WSOP Gold Bracelets (with this victory):  1

Best Previous WSOP Finish:  43rd (previously this year)


Question:  First of all, congratulations.  Tell us what you do in Germany with the media and your magazine.
Jachtmann:  I publish the biggest German poker magazine with the German speaking market.  It’s like Germany and also Switzerland.  And we are doing that for more than five years now.  We are successful because we don’t have the big English market like Bluff or Card Player translated into Germany -- and we just focus the special German players, and Austrian players.  And we do that for probably all magazines in high circulation.  That is my business.  I’m a semi professional player and semi professional in the marketing of that magazine.  I will write something about this tournament, too.

Question:  When Pius Heinz won the world championship last year, what was your reaction?  Were you excited about that?
Jachtmann:  Yeah, I was very excited.  It was fantastic for the German market especially because he managed to get on all the big regular newspapers, which never made something about poker.  So, he was really big and it was on every mass media.  And that is what is good for the whole German market and he was a nice guy and he can talk with the media and that’s good.  He just arrived yesterday and he’s here now.

Question:  Can you talk about the poker scene in Germany?  Do you feel it’s still growing?
Jachtmann:  Well I think it’s still on a really high level.  So, I think in the United States it’s on a high level.  There are not hundreds of thousands of players a month maybe like we had in the poker boom three or four years ago.  But definitely it’s regarded more and more as a skill game.  Before it was just like, ‘It’s just like every other game of luck.’  Because you know, we regard it as a skill game.  There are no bad feelings about poker anymore.  It’s a mind game, mind sport, and this is why I think it will stay for a long time.  Like we have a lot of chess players and other card games.  This is now good.  It’s now like every month new players are starting.  It’s on a new level.

Question:  Can you talk about how you became involved in poker?
Jachtmann:  I’ve been playing over twenty years.  But first, we started to play private games and then I started to play in casinos.  We only had Seven-Card Stud at that time.  So I learned that and there was no time for online poker.  Online poker I started much time before that.  And then, first we had only a few casinos who made a few tables and then the poker boom came mainly from America and then No-Limit Hold ‘em and suddenly a lot of places to play and a lot of people and more tournaments.  Now we can play especially in Germany or Europe and can every week have a good tournament.  So, it’s like the European Poker Tour or different stuff.  You can go to London or you can go to Vienna.  A lot of clubs, a lot of places to play poker now.  So now, I could travel all year, but actually I’m trying to keep my business.

Question:  Now this is the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship.  You’d be the reigning champion of Pot Limit Omaha for a year.  This is a very exciting thing for a player who’s been around for two decades.  How does it feel when you realize you won this title?
Jachtmann:  Yes, I came over here especially to play Pot-Limit Omaha.  I went into the money, it was my first money -- WSOP money.  I won some Europe, a lot of different things, but never at WSOP.  It was my first cash.  Second, I busted in the 5K, and now it was a dream to reach the final table.  And I even get the championship. I t’s great, unbelievable.  Pot-Limit Omaha I play for many years and this is my game that I play almost every day. I play cash games almost every day in Germany.  It is my best game, for sure.

Question:  You entered the final table with quite a few chips, and you just continued to build up throughout.  Did you feel like you just carried momentum throughout and were just able to defeat everybody fairly easily?
Jachtmann:  The momentum I felt today was when I won against Sammy Farha.  I made a risky call at the flop with 6-6-7-7.  And, I played with Sammy Farha yesterday at the same table.  He could have anything, doesn’t have to have a 5.  So, I said okay, I call him once for 150,000.  I still have 800,000.  If I don’t hit and if he fires again, I have to fold.  But then I hit the 8 for the straight, and I don’t give him the full house.  So I risk my tournament life, and I take him out.  So he keeps that spot and after that everything runs.  I said ‘wow.’  But the crazy thing is that Sammy Farha is one of my absolute idols and I didn’t tell him before.  I wanted to tell him afterwards, because I don’t say ‘you’re my idol’ and then he plays differently maybe against me.  Because when I was watching television I saw Sammy Farha and I was like ‘wow, he’s a cool guy.’  I really liked his play.  I like to play more action games, that is why I like Omaha, then more just to play tight.  And this is what I really like.  And he’s a really nice guy.  Otherwise I feel a little sorry.  But then I said ‘Wow.  That’s crazy.’  And now, I move on.

This was classified as WSOP schedule Event #39, since it’s the 39th gold bracelet of 61 to be awarded this summer in Las Vegas.  The tournament was played over three consecutive days and nights, starting on Thursday at noon and concluding on Saturday night at midnight.

The total duration of the final table was about four hours – making it the second quickest finale in 2012 (to date).

The final table included two former gold bracelet winners – Andrew Brown and Jason Mercier.

The runner-up was Andrew Brown, who won his gold bracelet in 2008 playing in the $2,000 buy-in Omaha High-Low Split event.

The top 36 finishers collected prize money.  Among the former gold bracelet winners who cashed were Ville Wahlbeck, Sammy Farha, John Kabbaj, Joshua Tieman, Keith Lehr, Allen Cunningham, Alexander Kravchenko, Hasan Habib, Ted Lawson, Naoya Kihara, Robert Williamson III, and Nenad Medic.

Robert Williamson III won this same event back in 2002.  In the last 10 years, no player has more WSOP cashes than Williamson in this game.  This was his 10th PLO cash since 2002.