The philosopher, Alain de Botton, once said, in his fabulous little pocket book Relationships, that ‘we may believe we are seeking happiness in love, but what we are really after is familiarity.’
All of which means, if you are one of the best poker players in the world, it’s not a bad strategy to fall in love with someone of the same ilk – advice put into practice by four high rollers stalking the halls of the L.A Poker Classic.
Sweethearts Rainer Kempe and Maria Ho have taken down both $25,000 buy-in High Roller events at the Commerce Casino. Kempe was the first couple crusher after conquering a field of 27-entrants to win the $270,905 first prize, including Josh Gordon in heads-up action.
Kempe, who is ranked #4 in the Global Poker Index (GPI) has had a ridiculous start to 2019, winning the $50,000 Super High Roller and $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo events at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), and the AUD 25,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions.
The 2018 GPI Player of the Year for Germany has now won 16 live tournaments and amassed close to $20m in career-earnings.
The second $25,000 High Roller attracted 28-entrants, and the top two female players in the GPI, Kristen Bicknell and Maria Ho, battled it out for the title, railed by boyfriends Alex Foxen and that man Kempe.
At the end of a competitive tussle the title went to Ho, who captured the $276,000 first prize on her birthday; her second most significant score behind the half a million Ho banked for finishing runner-up to Allen Bari in a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2011 World Series of Poker (WSOP).
It’s not the first time the tag team of Kempe and Ho has waltzed out of an event with a bag full of silverware. In October, Ho conquered a field of 387-entrants to win the $69,166 first prize in the ZAR 13,500 WPTDeepStacks Main Event in Johannesburg, and Kempe won the two high roller competitions for a combined haul of $100,000.
1. Rainer Kempe – $270,905
2. Joshua Gordon – $180,600
3. Jeremy Ausmus – $127,320
4. Ali Imsirovic – $96,040
1. Maria Ho – $276,690
2. Kristen Bicknell – $180,070
3. Sean Winter – $117,190
4. Tamon Nakamura – $76,270
5. Manig Loeser – $49,640