EVENT #42: $1,500 buy-in Extended Play (No-Limit Hold’em)
PRIZE POOL: $2,583,900
FIRST PLACE PRIZE: $478,102
PLACES PAID: 198
Adrian Apmann Wins Inaugural “Extended Play” Championship
German Poker Pro Outlasts 1,914 Players and Wins Five-Day Marathon
Apmann Collects First WSOP Gold Bracelet and $478,102 in Prize Money
Three-Handed Trio at Final Table Extends Five Hours
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Adrian Apmann
Birthplace: Ludwig, Germany
Current Residence: Vienna, Austria
Marital Status: Single
Profession: Student (Part-time poker player)
Number of WSOP Cashes: 6
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 51st (2015)
Total WSOP Earnings: $531,009
Personal Facts: Apmann credited much of his victory to the help from other German poker players, noting the tightness of the local community is very beneficial to everyone involved.
[Note: All statistics above include the results of this tournament]
Adrian Apmann needed overtime to win the first-ever “Extended Play” tournament, which debuted at the 2015 World Series of Poker. The extra playing time and more hands dealt out per level was expected to benefit the most skillful players and bigger names, who given the chance to withstand inevitable dry spells during every tournament, would end up dominating the leaderboard. Give superior players longer time and more play, as the saying goes, the cream would rise to the top. At least that was the idea.
Well, the cream didn’t just rise, it boiled over. Only, it took quite a long time to heat up.
Apmann ended up winning the $1,500 buy-in Extended Play (No-Limit Hold’em) tournament, which drew a whopping 1,914 entrants in its WSOP debut. A tournament that normally would have taken three days to complete, was actually scheduled for four days, and then ended up running into a fifth, and final day that lasted nearly seven additional hours.
After nearly a week of card playing, Apmann was the last player standing, or make that the last player sitting at the final table, which was played out to its conclusion on the ESPN Main Stage at the Rio in Las Vegas. The finale was streamed live online at WSOP.com.
“It’s unbelievable to be standing here right now,” Apmann said in a post-tournament interview. “I had two deep runs and cashes earlier this year, but to get this far and win it, I really do not think I have realized it yet.”
From the $2,583,900 prize pool, Apmann collected $478,102 in prize money. He also earned his first WSOP gold bracelet. Coming into this tourney, Apmann had five previous cashes dating back to 2012, but nothing stood out as a resume maker when it came to poker. Although he did cash in the 2012 Main Event Championship, his best showing here in the annual Las Vegas summer classic had been a 51st place showing.
Apmann is a 25-year-old poker pro, originally from Ludwig, Germany, but now residing in Vienna, Austria. He still calls himself a college student, but plays as much poker as he can in his free time. When Apmann moved to Austria in 2009, he immediately began gaining valuable poker advice from many German and Austria players, just as the tight-knit community began to be a force in European tournaments.
As German players increasingly enjoyed success at the WSOP, noticeably starting with Pius Heinz’s memorable world championship victory in 2011, and followed by repeated victories by Dominik Nitsche and George Danzer, Apmann also improved as a player. In fact, he credits many of the German players, some of whom now live and play in Vienna, with making him a better player.
“It’s a very tight-knit community,” Apmann said. “They were very supportive. I would ask some of the players I knew questions and they would always be willing to answer it and help. I think it’s very important to have a network like that.”
The final table included two gold bracelet winners – Barney Boatman (England) and Konstantin Puchkov (Russia). However, neither player could shake the German poker player from his lofty perch. Boatman certainly got deeper and seemed the experienced best in position to dethrone Apmann. However, Boatman, nor the second-place finisher, Yehoram Houri, could roll back the rising tide that eventually swept Apmann to victory.
Indeed, the three-way match between Boatman and Houri on Day Five lasted nearly five hours, the longest stalemate of the entire series, so far. Apmann was never seriously threated during the three-way standoff, although both Boatman and Houri were anything but passive during the trio’s endurance contest.
After Boatman’s bust out, Houri caught a huge break on a double up, with two overcards versus Apmann’s low pocket pair. But the last hand reversed things and gave Apmann the victory when his Ace-Ten bested Houri’s pocket 7’s after both an ace and a ten flopped and the board failed to change things.
“I tried to sleep (the four nights in between playing sessions) but couldn’t very well,” Apmann said. “On this last day I was really feeling it. I was feeling really tried. I was saying to myself, ‘let’s get this over with’ – not to lose it, I mean, just that I wanted it to end because it was so exhausting.”
As for the generous structure and extra playing time, even though the tournament lasted a longer time than anyone could have expected, the grueling marathon was well worth the effort.
“It was a great structure for the players. I loved the way this tournament was set up,” Apmann said. “I’m not sure I will be celebrating, though. It was really draining.”
When asked about how he got into poker, Apmann said his life was changed back in 2005 when he first saw coverage of the WSOP on German television. Like millions of other poker players around the world, he saw people like himself coming to Las Vegas and playing a game, sometimes making life-changing money.
“I started playing poker after I saw it on TV,” Apmann said. “I tend to like mind games. I said to myself – ‘that’s a really cool game.”
Indeed, it’s also pretty cool to win a WSOP gold bracelet and $478,102.
Following Apmann’s finish in the top spot, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place: Yehoram Houri finished as the runner up. The director of a medical center from Paris (France) posted only his second cash at the WSOP, which paid out $295,727. He played a marvelous tournament over five days. Houri also has two second-place finish in European Poker Tour events.
Third Place: Barney Boatman, from Hendon, UK (ala. “The Hendon Mob”), finished in 3rd place after playing three-handed for nearly five hours. Boatman was hoping to win a second gold bracelet, but instead had to settle for $204,464, the payout for finishing third. Boatman, who enjoyed his first WSOP cash 16 years ago, and won a gold bracelet in 2013, now has more than $1.2 million in WSOP earnings.
Fourth Place: Anthony Diotte, a 28-year-old poker pro from LaSalle, Ontario (Canada) came in 4th. He’s won more than $2 million in online tournaments, as well as a victory on the Latina American Poker Tour’s High Roller event. This marked Diotte’s fourth time to cash at the WSOP, which paid $147,463.
Fifth Place: D.J. Buckley, a 39-year-old professional gambler from Eden Prairie, MN took 5th place. This was his third cash of the year, which also included an in-the-money finish in the Monster Stack tourney. This was Buckely’s best WSOP showing, which paid out $107,800.
Sixth Place: Kurt Lichtman, a 50-year-old hedge fund manager from New York City, came in 6th. He pocketed $79,842 in prize money. This was his third time to cash in a WSOP event, and first time to make a final table.
Seventh Place: Konstantin Puchkov, from Moscow, Russia won a gold bracelet back in 2010 playing HORSE. He really gained notoriety in 2012 when he posted ten WSOP cashes that year. This marked the fourth straight year Puchkov has made at least one final table appearance. His payout amounted to $59,920. Puchkov, age 63, owns and trains horses when he’s not playing poker.
Eighth Place: Artem Metalidi, from Kiev, Ukraine, ended up as the 8th-place finisher. He’s a 26-year-old poker pro who developed his craft by studying at PokerStrategy.com. Melalidi now has four cashes at this year’s series. His best previous showing was a runner-up finish back in 2012. Metalidi’s first final table appearance since that date paid out $45,554. After the tournament ended, winner Apmann said he thought Melalidi was the toughest player at the final table.
Ninth Place: Ross Gottlieb, a 25-year-old veterinarian, had plenty to bark about by finishing ninth and making the final table in what was his first ever WSOP cash. He will undoubtedly be the cat’s meow back in his new vet practice, which opens up next month. Gottlieb, who recently graduated from Ohio State University, took his share of the prize pool amounted to $35,063.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS:
Aside from the final table finishers, other gold bracelet winning players who cashed included – Antonio Esfandiari, Lisa Hamilton, Blaire Hinkle, Todd Witteles, Ryan Welch, and Andre Akkari.
John Strzemp, a casino executive from Las Vegas (Wynn) cashed, finishing in 27th place. He’s best known in the poker world for finishing as runner up to the late Stu Ungar in the 1997 WSOP Main Event Championship.
Poker pro and author Jonathan Little cashed for the 29th time in his poker career.
Poker author James McManus (“Positively Fifth Street”) cashed in this event.